President Obama, from his televised guest-spot in Baltimore:
Those poor gullible constituents. Video of the lecture here. Q&A here. Long but fascinating, especially the exchange with Rep. Tom Price, 40 or so minutes in (clip here).
The component parts of this thing are pretty similar to what Howard Baker, Bob Dole and Tom Daschle proposed at the beginning of this debate last year.
Now, you may not agree with Bob Dole and Howard Baker and Tom -- and certainly you don't agree with Tom Daschle on much...
... but that's not a radical bunch. But if you were to listen to the debate, and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot.
No, I mean, that's how you guys -- that's how you guys presented it.
And so I'm thinking to myself, "Well, how is it that a plan that is pretty centrist..."
No, look, I mean, I'm just saying -- I know you guys disagree, but if you look at the facts of this bill, most independent observers would say this is actually what many Republicans -- it -- it's similar to what many Republicans proposed to Bill Clinton when he was doing his debate on health care.
So all I'm saying is we've got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality.
I'm not suggesting that we're going to agree on everything, whether it's on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don't have a lot of room to negotiate with me.
I mean, the fact of the matter is is that many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable in your own base, in your own party. You've given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you've been telling your constituents is, "This guy's doing all kinds of crazy stuff that's going to destroy America."
One of Obama's best lines, uttered with a straight face: "Let's do the people's business in the bright light of day." He's got a million of 'em.
Mary Katharine Ham has some good analysis.
Peter Wehner fact-checks one of the president's claims:
Quin Hillyer wasn't favorably impressed:
Barack Obama’s claim to the GOP lawmakers today — “I am not an ideologue” — calls to mind Richard Nixon’s famous claim, “I am not a crook.” Unfortunately both Messrs. Obama and Nixon were what they claimed they were not. Now being a crook is much worse than being an ideologue; but being an ideologue, especially a liberal one, can have its own high costs, as our 44th president is discovering.
I rather doubt Obama considers himself an ideologue; he has probably convinced himself that he is what he wants to project: an empiricist, a pragmatist, and person who makes decisions based on evidence and reason instead of ideology. The fact that he has pursued an agenda blessed, in almost every instance, by Nancy Pelosi is the oddest of coincidences.
ThisPresident is an Arrogant, Thin-Skinned, Prevaricator...Read the rest. He's just warming up.
...and I could tear him limb from limb (figuratively speaking) in a Q & A give-and-take. I am watching him act like a haughty, angry, self-righteous, self-reverential (insert appropriate noun) in his meeting with House Republicans right now, and he is lecturing them like they are teenagers. What an arrogant so-and-so.
But Rep. Mike Pence thinks something was gained. I agree. The GOP stood their ground with substantive comments and questions and hammered home the fact that they have indeed offered their own plans.
Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the link.
Most recent posts here.