Surprise, surprise: yesterday's "summit" was nothing more than grandstanding and political theatre. Is anyone baffled by the outcome? Please; this was a non starter from the get go. What is baffling is why it was called for in the first place.
Did Obama expect the obstructionist Republicans to contribute something? Maybe he was letting them show their true face (to the country) for which he could then say he tried, but ...Â It was political theatre.
Nothing changed and nobody would change his mind (or his vote). What it did show was how polarized the two sides are, why bipartisanship is a fantasy and (more importantly) how broken and dysfunctional our current political system is in going about solving the nation's problems.
We're at war in two countries (Iraq and Afghanistan), clandestinely at war in two others (Pakistan and Yemen), the economy is still cratering for all except the "banksters" on Wall Street, foreclosures are still mounting, the "green shoots" of recovery are kept under officials breaths (so the ridicule of the public's "Are you kidding me!" comments (as they shake their heads in disgust) are kept mostly to themselves in their own silent private rage.
But I digress.Â Getting back to yesterdays "summit"; the pundits will (are) dissecting its outcome; who won, who lost, what will it mean or not mean in the end forÂ health care "reform", how each party will fare in November, whether Obama's ratings will go up or down; and all the usual foolishness we've come to expect from our 24/7 "news" media.
One has to ask, "Are we politically, a serious country any longer"?
Meanwhile Dick Cheney, speaks from some "undisclosed location"; oh, he's no longer the V.P., well, in whatever location he struts and mouths how he supported torture and sneers while silently reassuring himself, "There's nothing you can do about it", knowing full well he'll never be held accountable, much less prosecuted for the misdeeds he perpetrated on this country.
Oh well, "March Madness" will soon be upon us, a worthwhile distraction I guess. The president should be watching ("Sorry Mr. President, North Carolina won't be there this year" [ last year's NCAA Men's champion and Obama's pick to win it all]).
As for his "other" job, the rhetorical skills and ability to think quickly on his feet were on full display yesterday, but they were (are) misplaced. Those skills were needed to persuade his fellow Democrats, including the Democrat "blue dogs"--not the dyed-in-the-wool obstructionist Republicans who are (and always will be) resistersÂ of change and why heÂ defeatedÂ them in 2008 and why they were sent reeling in the 2006 Congressional elections.
Bipartisanship--bah, humbug! If Obama had gotten behind a single payer, Medicare-type health care "reform" package from the outset, working with and persuading Democrats (particularly in the Senate) to pass it (with the earlier 60 vote filibuster proof majority) or now by the process of "reconciliation" (as will be the case as yesterday's "summit" made all too apparent) then this country would have had the one health care reform measure ("single payer") that would truly have been "transformational" and benefit all the people of this country. Instead we'll get some version of what will be called health care "reform" (by the Democrats and Obama), that it will keep the present system essentially unchanged and with the private health insurance behemoths still in charge and with no competition (from a "public option" that would reduce our present runaway health insurance costs and a primary reason for "reform" in the first place).
Reluctantly, we have to face the reality that whatever is passed is the best one can expect from this president and this Congress.