It’s amazing how one little election can focus the mind.
The election to the Senate of Republican Scott Brown in Deep Blue Massachusetts was propelled by one major force: the voters’ anger over and rejection of the Democrats’ health care takeover. The folks in Massachusetts suited up Scott Brown to get into the huddle to stop it. Period.
That forced the president to suddenly find Jesus on “transparency.” During the 2008 campaign, he spoke often of his desire to air everything related to health care reform on C-Span. He said he wanted everything in the open. He said he welcomed the healthy clash of ideas, and he wanted the American people to see what their government was considering.
Once he got into office, that lasted all of about 2 minutes. Starting last April, he promptly slammed the door on Republicans. There was no C-Span. And the really dirty stuff was done with the doors closed, locked and bolted, and the drapes drawn.
Now The Bama wants to host a televised meeting with Republicans on February 25 to show how transparent he is. He wants to paint the GOP as obstructionist and “the party of no” and a bunch of big, bad meanies who want people to drop dead for lack of health care.
Unless The Bama is willing to slap a “Do Not Resuscitate” sign on the current health care bills, I don’t think the GOP should be drawn into the trap. But they can also do something else: they can calmly call his bluff.
He says he now wants transparency. OK. Let’s start with him. The Republicans should demand that the starting point for any new discussion should be full disclosure of ALL of the deals the White House and Democratic Congress struck on health care. That means that The Bama must reveal all of the details about the secret, backroom deals he struck with the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance companies, the hospitals, the AMA, the AARP, and others. He must also be forced to disclose all of the details of the dirty dealing that went down with Democrats in Congress, ie. the payoffs to Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson and others.
He wants transparency? We’ll give it to him, by demanding transparency from him first.
He won’t do it, of course, which is the beauty of this strategy.
And here’s the kicker: he won’t do it BECAUSE HE CAN’T. He is bound by those deals. He can’t start from scratch as the American people are demanding, because he is tied down by the secret deals he made. If he discloses their details, his whole house of cards collapses.
Which is even more of a reason for Republicans to demand of the President that transparency begins at home.
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