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Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin
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Oba-Kabuki: A Box-Office Bomb

Comment

The Oba-Kabuki health care show at Blair House kicked off with a big lie on Thursday morning — and it all went downhill from there. The taxpayer-funded infomercial backfired by exposing the president's thin skin, the Democrats' naked disingenuousness and the ruling majority's allergies to political and policy realities.

Responding to Sen. Lamar Alexander's opening call for Democrats to renounce parliamentary tactics designed to limit debate, circumvent filibusters and lower the threshold for passage of health care reform to a simple 51-vote majority, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sputtered indignantly: "No one's talking about reconciliation!" Everybody and their mother has been invoking the "R" word on Capitol Hill, starting with Reid.

In a letter on Feb. 16, four Democratic senators pushed Reid to adopt the procedure, normally reserved for budget matters. A few days later, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs discussed the option. Then Reid himself talked up reconciliation on a Nevada public affairs show as an option to ram the government health care takeover through in the next 60 days.

According to The Hill, Reid said that "congressional Democrats would likely opt for a procedural tactic in the Senate allowing the upper chamber to make final changes to its health care bill with only a simple majority of senators, instead of the 60 it takes to normally end a filibuster." A few days after that, Reid snapped that Republicans "should stop crying" about the abrogation of Senate minority rights, since the GOP had used the reconciliation process in the past.

So, the cleanest, most ethical holier-than-thou Congress ever is now defending the unprecedented adoption of ram-down rules for a radical, multitrillion-dollar program to usurp one-seventh of the economy on the grounds of "two wrongs make it right"? Hope and change, baby.

For his part, President Obama responded with one part pique and two parts diffidence. After the summit lunch break, Republicans pushed the reconciliation issue again in the face of the Democrats' refusal to disavow the short-circuiting of the deliberative process. "The American people," an annoyed Obama asserted, "are not all that interested in procedures inside the Senate." Oh, really? A new USA Today/Gallup poll reports that 52 percent of Americans oppose using the procedural maneuver to pass the health care bill in the Senate.

The survey also showed that Americans oppose Demcare-style health care "reform" by 49 percent to 42 percent — with those "strongly" opposed outnumbering those "strongly" in favor by 23 percent to 11 percent.

Obama's best and brightest team of Chicago strategists, new-media gurus and communications specialists still hasn't figured it out: Voters are as fed up with the corrupt process in Washington as they are with the White House's overreaching policies. It's both, stupid.

When he wasn't cutting off Republicans who stuck to budget specifics and cited legislative page numbers and language instead of treacly, sob-story anecdotes involving dentures and gallstones, Obama was filibustering the talk-a-thon away by invoking his daughters, rambling on about auto insurance and sniping at former GOP presidential rival John McCain. "We're not campaigning anymore," lectured the perpetual campaigner-in-chief.

After ostentatiously disputing the GOP's claims that health care premiums would rise under his plan, Obama walked it back. Confronted with more GOP pushback on the failure of Demcare to control costs, Obama told GOP Rep. Paul Ryan that he'd rather not "get bogged down in numbers." Not numbers that he couldn't cook on the spot without staff consultation, anyway.

Obama and the Democrats labored mightily to create the illusion of almost-there bipartisanship by repeatedly telling disagreeing Republicans that "we don't disagree" and "there's not a lot of difference" between us. But the dogs weren't riding the ponies in this show.

This was a set-up from the start. The "we're so close" mantra is the rhetorical wedge the White House will use to blame Republicans for fatal obstructionism, while whitewashing festering opposition from both pro-life Democrats who oppose the government funding of abortion services still in the plan and left-wing progressives in the House who are clinging to a full, unadulterated public option.

While Republicans came off well, the six-hour blowhard-fest was a monumental waste of time. Obamacare Theater tied up GOP energy and resources as the White House readies its "Plan B" (expanding government health care coverage, just at a slower pace) and Democratic leaders prep their reconciliation ram-down for early next week. This Washington box-office bomb is a prelude to much bigger legislative horrors still to come. Don't you love farce?

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

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Comments

6 Comments | Post Comment
mrs malkin, we all deserve all of this, im still amazed at how this guy got elected,
it's both party's that have to go, the tea party should a third party, the rino's
must be defeated,, if ever there was a time for a third party this is it, i believe
that there is enough independent voters and moderate dem's and of coarse
the republican's will fall in line if the pole's show a strong tea party backing,
it's time for conservative's to take back this govt.
Comment: #1
Posted by: loyd young
Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:02 AM
the rebellion in this country is right around the corner, this healthcare is nothing compared
to what is about to happen,, we have 15 million americans out of work,
the *^%&# is gonna hit the fan when these dem's try and give 15 million illegal's amnesty,
this country will rise up from it's deep sleep like it never has before,
now is the time for a strong tea party candidate to rise up and fight for this country.
Comment: #2
Posted by: loyd young
Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:12 AM
sarah palin and mitt romney and scott brown and the rest of them
will realise the mistake that they have made, the american people will
vote mccain and the rest of the rino's out into the street's, it's time for
a real change in america,, it's time for the malkin's, coulters, beck's and rush's,
to run for office. '' and the o'reilly's and geraldo's too go where they really belong,
like CNN AND MSNBC,, THEY DON'T BELONG ON FOXNEWS.COM,, geraldo and o'reilly
should be sent on an antartic expedition for 3 year's.
Comment: #3
Posted by: loyd young
Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:26 AM
sarah palin and mitt romney and scott brown and the rest of them
will realise the mistake that they have made, the american people will
vote mccain and the rest of the rino's out into the street's, it's time for
a real change in america,, it's time for the malkin's, coulters, beck's and rush's,
to run for office. '' and the o'reilly's and geraldo's too go where they really belong,
like CNN AND MSNBC,, THEY DON'T BELONG ON FOXNEWS.COM,, geraldo and o'reilly
should be sent on an antartic expedition for 3 year's.
Comment: #4
Posted by: loyd young
Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:26 AM
Slowly, but surely, these progressives will be exposed on both parties and we will have to re-write our history books, re-name our public buildings and national parks eliminating the names of those whose conduct was actually treaonous to the very constitutional laws that formed these Untited States. The use of the word 'people' in our bill of rights denotes a plurality, thus, should not be confused with any singular ideal.
Comment: #5
Posted by: John C. Davidson
Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:32 AM
Well now, those are some might big Repugnican talking points. More of the same wacky rhetoric from the hypocrites that used Reconciliation more than a dozen times from 2001 - 2008 to ram through all the costly crap that Bush/Cheney Inc. used to gut our economy and make lawless the nation we all love dearly all while touting we're Number One! in the faces all we threatened with our highly capable and over-extended military.
Maybe you don't have a grasp on the actual cost of letting the health insurers run rampant with our cash, but clearly, the indicators can't too difficult to understand. The Dems are trying to prevent runaway costs of health care plans for individuals and businesses while the middle class earning power dwindles. When you raise prices on a necessity like health coverage while killing the income opportunities the only result is that people become in debt, lose their real estate and end up in bankruptcy or a grave.
If you think the tea-baggers are on the right track, then what are they actually proposing to do? Leave it as is? I heard nothing from the Repubs except stall this thing until the election is upon us.
I have a friend who is a "simple man" and confesses these question run too deep. He clings to his bible for answers. Fine. Well this is what you get for ignoring life's complexities and letting high priced corporate lawyers write the legislation and hammer on your representatives until they relent. Now the tea bagging Becksters want to eliminate progressives. How? By force?
Sounds like the work of corporate owned authoritarian fascists on FLAX News. You are a profit whore.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Samuel D Modiano
Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:05 PM
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