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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Doc and Pony Show Update- The GOP To Obama: Define Bipartisanship

In a letter sent to Barack Obama, via The White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, House Republican Leader John Boehner and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, defining the term "bipartisanship" seems to be the theme and a very good move.

‘Bipartisanship’ is not writing proposals of your own behind closed doors, then unveiling them and demanding Republican support. Bipartisan ends require bipartisan means.

Making the letter public, even a smarter move.

Boehner and Cantor's letter asks very clear concise questions to determine whether the GOP should even participate in what Obama calls a "health care summit" or whether Obama is simply trying to present some doc and pony show so he can claim he "tried".

The first question makes it clear that starting with the bills already on the table is unacceptable as they have already been rejected by the majority of Americans.

Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over so that we can develop a bill that is truly worthy of the support and confidence of the American people? Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today that the President is “absolutely not” resetting the legislative process for health care. If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate.

No one can deny that the bills already in the House and Senate have been rejected by the majority of Americans, as we have shown time and time again, the averages from all the latest polls, from multiple polling organizations, show that 53+ percent of the American public has soundly rejected Obama and the Democrat's health care proposals.

Read the whole letter for yourself.

I said yesterday, the Republicans should take advantage of the forum Obama is providing to make the case of the majority of Americans and force the Democrats to publicly show themselves willing to completely ignore the majority just so they can jam through their own agenda.

As was rightly pointed out to me in the comments, that cannot work if Obama sets the prop, dictates the terms and writes the scripts.

This letter, and making the terms and conditions clear and demanding fairness and true bipartisanship, as Obama claims he is trying to do, the GOP have just lobbed the ball right back into Obama's court, just as publicly.

He can put his money where his mouth is, truly work in a bipartisan manner or he and the Democrats can sit at that table alone, on television and explain by themselves why they think they know better than the majority of Americans.


John Boehner greets Obama overtures with skepticism, wants to 'trust but verify' moves toward bipartisanship