Politics

Reason Writers Around Town: Peter Suderman in the New York Post on the White House's Health Care Summit

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In today's New York Post, Reason associate editor Peter Suderman takes a look at what the public thinks of ObamaCare — and whether or not Republicans stand to gain from going. 

What do Republicans stand to gain from participating in President Obama's health care summit, the televised bipartisanship photo-op scheduled for Thursday? Nothing.

Given the long, steep nosedive President Obama's health care reform plan's popularity has taken since last summer — Pollster.com's multi-poll average now shows opposition at 51.6%, with only 39.8% in favor of passage — all they'd be doing is attaching themselves to a losing proposal. Especially when the president has shown little interest in scaling back and starting over.

Liberals like to argue that passing the bill is still a good idea politically — that its popularity will rise once it becomes law. But there's scant evidence to bolster this belief.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. Well the bottom line here is that nothing will ever hep the sheeple! The politicians who pass the laws have all been bought and paid for!

    Jess
    http://www.anonymous-tools.se.tc

  2. I agree. Not much upside to attending a last ditch attempt by your political opponents to rally support for unpopular legislation that advances your opponent’s agenda to make more people dependent on government largesse, basically an attempt by your opponents to try to buy votes and pay for it by taxing your supporters.

    1. “advances your opponent’s agenda to make more people dependent on government largesse”

      What a tired, stupid, unverifiable/unfalisiable trope: “the supporters of health care reform REALLY just want to increase government dependency.”

      Yeah, that’s it, it can’t be that they would like what they say they want, i.e., greater coverage and lower costs, but simply disagree with you on how to do that. I mean, you’re so Cosmically Right on these kinds of things that such would be “unpossible!”

      1. Trope. I ate that once when I backpacked through Europe. Or was it tripe? LOL.

        Jess
        http://www.anonymous-tools.se.tc

    2. They could show up and point out the flawed financial projections and incentive structures in the Democrat’s plan, and then present a rational free-market-oriented plan of their own. They probably won’t, though — they’ll probably just say over and over that they would never cut Medicare.

      1. I saw this representative named Ryan (R) on the news the other day and he seemed to have some substantive free market type stuff on health care all planned out. Perhaps he will be there?

  3. Good Morning reason!

    Hi anon-bot!

    What do Republicans stand to gain from participating in President Obama’s health care summit, the televised bipartisanship photo-op scheduled for Thursday? Nothing.

    Pretty much what Rush said when this stage show was proposed.

    1. Hey, they don’t like his type around here. He’s a religious nut-job and he’s anti-intellectual and all that.

      You should not be listening to him. It’s for your own good.

  4. “What do Republicans stand to gain from participating in President Obama’s health care summit, the televised bipartisanship photo-op scheduled for Thursday?”
    Healthcare .

    Suki, I can’t believe you listen to Rush. Please return your vagina to Women of the World headquarters.

    1. RCTL, I can believe that you think you are the vagina Nazi.

      1. Don’t you mean FemaNazi?

        1. OK you two. Stop arguing about your vaginas.

  5. I think the smart move politically would be to tell Obama that they’ll attend the summit only if he promises to veto any health care bill passed via budget reconciliation in the Senate. They could say, “we don’t negotiate with a gun to our head” or some similarly pithy sound bite.

    If he agrees to that condition, the lefties will have his head.

    If he disagrees, the GOP has further evidence to flaunt that he is not really interested in bipartisanship.

    1. Oh, and if he makes that promise and then breaks it, his party is even more fucked in 2010, and he’s a guaranteed one-termer. That’s one lie he won’t be able to get away with, way too public.

      1. Really? Rely on a promise by Obama, who has broken so many promises, and then attend a meeting run by Democrats, with the agenda and the terms of what gets to speak and when controlled by Democrats, intended to rally support for the Democrats’ pet project?

        It’s a terrible negotiating tactic, giving up something of value in exchange for a promise by someone notorious for breaking such promises.

        1. I meant to say “WHO gets to speak”, not “what gets to speak”, but on reflection I like the accidental latter phrasing better — implies a kind of roboticness lack of humanness to politicians.

          1. Imagine this chain of events:

            1. Obama promises to veto any bill that is passed via reconciliation.

            2. Republicans show up at his silly summit.

            3. The Dems ram through the House bill provisions via reconciliation on a party-line vote.

            4. Obama signs it despite his public promise in (1).

            Who comes out looking worse after this chain of events? If we assume (3) is possible, the Republicans are already screwed vis-a-vis stopping the bill.

            If they unconditionally refuse to show up at this thing, they’re going to be painted as not being serious about “bipartisanship” and it’s going to minimize the gains they make in the 2010 elections. You and I know this is a Broadway show, but the general public doesn’t.

        2. If he makes such a promise publicly, and then breaks it, he’s going to lose a lot more than he gains by having the GOP attend his little circus.

          The problem now is, it’s obvious to US that he’s broken promises left and right, but the vast majority of people haven’t been confronted with this fact yet since the issues he broke promises on were relatively obscure.

  6. Liberals … argue … that its popularity will rise once it becomes law.

    IOW, you *will* obey this law, and *like* it.

    1. Well, maybe they mean like Medicare, which was “teh Socialism” of its day but now is defended by “conservatives.” Say no to government health care, hands off my Medicare!

  7. Ron Paul Wins Presidential Straw Poll at CPAC

    FOXNews.com

    Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas known for his libertarian views, ran for president in 2008 but was never a serious contender for the GOP nomination.

    Ron Paul has ended Mitt Romney’s three-year run as conservatives’ favorite for president, taking 31 percent of the vote in the Conservative Political Action Conference’s annual straw poll.

    Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas known for his libertarian views, ran for president in 2008 but was never a serious contender for the GOP nomination.

    Romney, former Massachusetts governor and also a 2008 GOP candidate, has won the last three presidential straw polls at the annual conference. This year, he came in second, with 22 percent.

    Sarah Palin, who didn’t attend the conference, was a distant third in the straw poll, with 7 percent, followed by Tim Pawlenty, the Minnesota governor, and Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana.

    The straw poll is not binding — and not necessarily a good forecaster, given that in 2008, John McCain went on to take the party’s nomination over Romney.

    Results of this year’s poll were announced just as the crowd prepared for the conference’s keynote speaker, Fox News host Glenn Beck.

    1. Good for Paul. Note though that while the actual CPAc attendees chose him the media focus has been pretty exclusively on Romney, Pawlenty etc. The media often doesn’t know it’s ass from a hole in the ground sometimes…

  8. And I also can’t stand the comments like “was never a serious contender for the GOP nomination.” This is how the media creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. If one takes out the bias Paul did much better than anyone thought at the start of the contest, he raised quite a bit of money and placed suprisingly competitively often. I’d say he was about a “serious” contender as John Edwards was, and this despite this kind of snide treatment by the media…

  9. Politicians, just like all people, often have mixed honorable and dishonorable motives. Especially when the good and bad motives don’t conflict with each other. The Democrats genuinely want to help people with health care reform and they don’t mind that their plan would increase the size and power of government.

    1. The Democrats genuinely want to help people with health care reform

      Bullshit

  10. “and they don’t mind that their plan would increase the size and power of government.”

    [citation omitted]

    1. it’s hornbook

    2. [citation not needed] cause it’s axiomatic – they clearly don’t mind or they wouldn’t propose plans that clearly increase the size and power of gov’t

  11. Seriously? MNG, if I said, “The sky is blue.”, would you ask for a citation? Look, if it’s any consolation to you, I also think that Republicans don’t mind when they are in power, and they cook up plans that just happen to increase the size and power of government.

  12. Sorry Mike, when you peer into the souls of “Democrats” to see what their “real” motives are then I’m afraid I’m going to have ask you reveal the Gnostic source of your insights. Especially when their stated motives can rationally explain their behavior pretty much in full…

    1. I live smack dab in the heart of “Nancy Pelosi Liberal Country”. Pretty much everyone I interact with everyday is a Democratic liberal.

    2. Dude, nothing can fully explain the tortured, self-defeating history of Congress’ health care reform bills.

  13. I’ll even defend the GOP here: do you actually believe that the GOP “don’t mind” increasing the size and scope of government? They may be willing to pay that price to reach goals by their preferred methods but I don’t see any evidence they desire that side effect at all.

    1. All politicians want to increase the size and scope of government, even if they don’t consciously realize it, because increasing the size and scope of government increases the size and scope of their own influence and power. You might realize that this is my inherent problem with government.

      1. I always assumed it was because your mom was tardy in changing your diaper.

        1. Don’t assume. It makes an ass out you and me. It’s because she gave me barium enemas. Constantly. I still can’t get her to tell me why.

          1. Because I told her too. After she made my post-coitus snack, of course.

    2. The GOP is not a monolithic bloc of people thinking the same, even among the political class.

      Some, arguably most, GOP politicians don’t mind increasing the size and scope of government for (pay attention now) THEIR PREFERRED POLICIES.

      Many of them explicitly want a larger military.

      Many of them want as much pork for their home state or district as they can cart home.

      The revealed preference of most GOP politicians is that they do want a bigger government because that is what they did when they controlled both Congress and the White House.

      They just don’t want as big a growth as the revealed preferences of Democrats.

      A few, like Ron Paul, actually seem to want to shrink the government.

  14. My best guess is it’s a standard exercise in political theater. Nothing more. They show up. they pretend to listen. Then they say no. They appear “reasonable” and “bipartisan”. The chattering classes are satisfied. And the taxpayers get stuck with the bill for a meaningless display of “responsible” government. (Sarcasm intended)

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