"The really interesting question is why it is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail, their number-one priority. The one unifying principle in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don’t have health care."This sounds like campaign rhetoric. Not the kind of language you expect from a President who is charged with leading Washington to come up with solutions to the mess that is ObamaCare.
Obama, press conference August 9, 2013
Where is Sam Donaldson when you need him?
About 30 years ago I met ABC News White House reporter Sam Donaldson at an event with President Reagan in Columbus, Ohio. Sam was kicking back in the rear waiting for his chance to shout questions at President Reagan. That was a trademark of his. If Reagan was dodging the press Sam would simply yell over the crowd. There's no Sam Donaldson around these days to yell questions at Obama. His press conference, if you can call it that, last Friday was highly scripted with only a handful of questions from selected reporters who basically teed up a subject on which Obama could then deliver a speech. No reporters jostling to get an answer.
If Sam were there he might have shouted: "Do you really think it's wise to attack the GOP when you need their help to save ObamaCare from disaster?" Or, "Do you expect Republicans to work with you when all you do is attack them politically?" Or "why do you blame Republicans for this mess when it was you and your party that cut them out of the original legislative effort?" How about "the 2012 campaign is over and you won. When are you going to stop the partisan mudslinging?" I'm sure if readers put on their own Sam Donaldson hat they might come up with their own questions.
John Steele Gordon, writing at Commentary Magazine, reminds us that not only did Obama and the Democrats cut Republicans out of the legislative mess that led to ObamaCare, they rushed the bill through a straight up or down vote in the House of Representatives which prevented the kind of legislative conference that might have fixed many of the current headaches. Ironic that now Democrat leaders like Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) are begging for the GOP to help fix the mess Dems made. Here's an excerpt from Gordon's column:
There were only two choices: have the House—where the majority has total control—pass the Senate bill with all its sloppiness, or cut the Republicans in on the deal sufficiently to pick up a couple of Senate Republicans. This being Obama’s Washington, of course, they opted to pass a crudely drafted, legislative horror show into law.
Now these political chickens are coming home to roost. Some provisions have had to be dropped because they were manifestly unworkable and others have been suspended by executive fiat. The language was so sloppy and ill-considered that one provision actually cut Congress members and their staffs off from their very cushy health-care subsidies. Obama waved his hand and said that a provision of the law that clearly says X actually says Y, and subsidies will continue to flow to Capitol Hill, if not to anyone else making $175,000 a year.
None of this, of course, is Obama’s fault. It’s the fault of the Republicans who were told, almost in so many words, to drop dead while the legislation was being drafted.Referring to the "Holy Grail" attack on the GOP Gordon goes on to remark:
It is pure, unadulterated, unadorned, bald-faced political slander by the president of the United States against the party that controls one house of Congress. It is also political stupidity of a very high order.Short term political gain seems to be the only game Obama is capable of playing. It's not a winning strategy for American but maybe that doesn't matter. Obama is a devotee of radical leftist Saul Alinsky who taught that it is more important to destroy the current system than improve it!
Barack Obama is, by far, the most viciously partisan president in American history. Other presidents have been partisan, often deeply so, but were careful to take the high road so as to keep open lines of communication with the other party, without which governance cannot be successful in a democracy. Not Barack Obama. His incompetence in everything political except winning elections is now costing him (and, inevitably, us) big time.
History will not treat this man kindly.