I guess President Obama doesn’t read my blog (see last entry).
Instead, he chose the “double down” option – if what you’re doing hasn’t been working, do more of it.
All the talk touting bipartisanship is fine. But on Obama’s part, unfortunately, it’s just the same empty talk he’s given out before. There was no recognition that he himself bears some responsibility for how things went off track, in the way he let Congressional Democrats run riot at the outset of his administration, and effectively shut out Republicans who, in the crisis climate of early 2009, actually wanted to be part of a broad-based legislative effort.
That was then. Now we have the health care impasse. It’s obvious Democrats don’t have the votes for the huge bill they’ve cobbled together. So what does Obama’s say? He gives the same speech about health care that he gave last summer. It didn’t work then; why should it work now?
He did, seemingly, challenge opponents to come forth with their different ideas. But it was more a rhetorical taunt than a sincere invitation for cooperation. Mr. President, you want some ideas? How about tort reform? Hello, Republicans have been talking about that for years. It should be a key element of any serious attack on health care costs. Congressional Democrats would have none of it; and Obama, in his speech last night, wouldn’t even mention it. Instead, he just called again for passage of the flawed bill that is already dead. There was no new proposal, no suggestion for how to fix it, nor for how to actually meet the concerns of opponents, except to insist, yet again, “you’re misguided.”
On bipartisanship, Mr. President, you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. If you want some cooperation from Republicans, and all the other people who don’t like your party’s bill, you have to be willing to compromise, to accept some of their concerns, and try to meet them halfway. I heard nothing of the sort last night.