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Gibbs weighs in on health care summit

So yesterday I posted that representatives Boehner and Cantor responded in letter form to Obama's request for a public, televised health care summit. White House press secretary Gibbs has responded to that letter in a manner that is politics at its worst.

I can scarcely do a better job at illuminating the absurdity of his response than the one done by Ann Althouse. She took the Boehner and Cantor letter and broke out the key questions raised. She then looked at Gibbs response to see how he handled each of the questions. Check out what happened:

Gibbs responded:


That wasn't meant to be a joke. It just turned out that way. I edited the Boehner/Cantor letter down as I read it and saw that it was a series of questions, so I started reading Gibbs's letter with the idea of editing it down to the parts that responded to the questions. You see what happened.

Gibbs' response was a total non-response. (Read it here.) Basically what you have here is one group saying "We'll work together if you are willing to look at A, B, C, and D." The other side responds with "We want to work together. We've been working together. We look forward to working together again in the future."

The Obama administration has gotten caught by public opinion and it is interesting to see them wrestle with that new reality. A year ago the attitude was "We won" and they saw no reason to include those silly Republicans in any real governance. Now that they have lost the independents, they are beginning to realize that they need to be more inclusive in order to move forward. But so far their attempts at inclusion have been political mumbo-jumbo like the Gibbs response. Such responses are unlikely to sway independents that already have expressed their distaste for the current approach. I'm fascinated to see how they adjust as time progresses and poll numbers continue to fall.


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Comments (31)

The PARTY OF NO gets real u... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

The PARTY OF NO gets real uneasy when asked to step up the microphone and suggest ideas of their own, don't they?

Watch for more smoke and mirrors like these diversionary side issues as the right does everything possible to get out of taking a responsible position in US federal government.

Gibbs said:

The President is adamant that we seize this historic moment to pass meaningful health insurance reform legislation. He began this process by inviting Republican and Democratic leaders to the White House on March 5 of last year, and he's continued to work with both parties in crafting the best possible bill. He's been very clear about his support for the House and Senate bills because of what they achieve for the American people: putting a stop to insurance company abuses, extending coverage to millions of hardworking Americans, getting control of rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and reducing the deficit.

The President looks forward to reviewing Republican proposals that meet the goals he laid out at the beginning of this process, and as recently as the State of the Union Address. He's open to including any good ideas that stand up to objective scrutiny. What he will not do, however, is walk away from reform and the millions of American families and small business counting on it. The recent news that a major insurer plans to raise premiums for some customers by as much as 39 percent is a stark reminder of the consequences of doing nothing.

And the Party of NO, the PARTY THAT DOES NOTHING will attempt to find more way to DO NOTHING.


He's open to including any good ideas that stand up to objective scrutiny. What he will not do, however, is walk away from reform and the millions of American families and small business counting on it.

This specifically addresses the call for the GOP to scrap the current bill and start over.



THE PARTY OF NO wants nothing to do with the current legislation. The GOP legislators have sat on their hands AND DONE NOTHING for months. It's time to get to work, Republicans.

You can summarize Gibbs' jo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

You can summarize Gibbs' job description within the Obama administration thusly:

"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
-Vladimir Lenin

And the <a href="http://con... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

And the nation is noticing that the Tea Party movement is another bag of hot air full of "do nothing" ideas.

Could the Tea Party movement be losing ground?

Days after Sarah Palin headlined the nation's first Tea Party convention, a Rasmussen Reports poll released today shows that a generic "Tea Party candidate" would come in third in a theoretical three-way congressional contest.

The poll found that 36% of voters would support a Democratic candidate on a generic ballot, 25% would back the Republican and 17% would go for the Tea Party pick. Twenty-three percent of respondents are undecided.

In early December, the same poll showed the Tea Party in second place and the GOP in third. Unchanged between the polls, according to Rasmussen, is that 41% of voters have a favorable view of the conservative movement.

The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken Feb. 7-8, just after the national Tea Party convention in Nashville. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points

There is nothing like a lef... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

There is nothing like a leftist for what the Jews call "chutzpah" . . . after locking the Republicans OUT of all discussions in the House AND the Senate for nearly a YEAR, now the Democrats and our resident leftist troll chide our lack of participation?

Republicans have had several common-sense proposals out there for this whole time, but Democrats have been interested in pursuing socialized medicine without our input, despite the growing public opposition, until the election of Scott Brown spooked them. NOW, it's "inclusive" BUT they insist on starting with what they've done in secret, against the people's will, and proceed from there?

Thanks, but no thanks. It's just another chance for your petty, prissy, pissy, prancing, preening peacock of a President to admire himself on television some more. If you want to get serious and talk about what is acceptable to America, fine. Your PR gimmicks are already old.

"The GOP legislators have s... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"The GOP legislators have sat on their hands AND DONE NOTHING for months"


You mean to tell us that the democrats with HUGE majorities in the House and a SUPER majority in the Senate were unable to pass ANY significant legislation on Health Care?

You can complain about the GOP being 'the party of No" all you want. It is the Dems who are responsible for he failure to pass a bill and their failure alone.

They needed exactly ZERO Republican votes o pass any legislation. The fact that the dems have failed in their efforts can only mean that they are to blame.

Why couldn't the dems get a healthcare bill through? They had all the votes they needed. The GOP had no ability to stop them. Answer the question. The fault lies not with the GOP.

If you answer that the fault lies not with the dems then the only remaining answer is that the fault is in the legislation. And really since the legislation was written solely by the dems it comes back around to being their fault anyway.

Obama has refused to scrap the current bill. Saying that he will listen to ideas is saying tat he will consider making changes in the bill not to start over from scratch.

Steve Green is the poster c... (Below threshold)

Steve Green is the poster child for the delusion that is Liberalism. I believe the doctors can prescribe some meds for that as well as find you a bed in the asylum.

The Republicans are in a po... (Below threshold)

The Republicans are in a position of strength now because the public is very open (and seems to strongly desire) starting from scratch. If FOX News is the only MSM outlet willing to do so I think the Republican leadership should use them to get out the specific points they wish to present to Obama and have him (or Gibbs) be forced to publically comment on them.

Gibbs response, as with pre... (Below threshold)

Gibbs response, as with pretty much everything Obama reads from his teleprompter, is not reality based.

I can see why Emmanuel picked him and why Obama endorsed the selection.
He lies with extraordinary ease.

Stevie Green - still drinki... (Below threshold)

Stevie Green - still drinking the kool aid.

Tell us Stevie, with a solid MAJORITY in both Houses, WHY WASN'T THE "REFORM" BILL PASSED?

C'mon Steve. Tell us how, a... (Below threshold)

C'mon Steve. Tell us how, at such an historic moment, the Democrats were unsuccessful in passing a bill 'reforming' healthcare. Tell us, Steve. We're waiting.

Baghdad Bobby Gibbs just ge... (Below threshold)

Baghdad Bobby Gibbs just gets better and better.

"I think the Republican ... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"I think the Republican leadership should use them to get out the specific points they wish to present to Obama..."

Great idea. BUT DO SOMETHING GOP. You've spent a year sitting on your hands - and it's clear that the Tea Party isn't the answer - it's time for the GOP to DO SOMETHING.

THE PARTY OF NO wants no... (Below threshold)

THE PARTY OF NO wants nothing to do with the current legislation.

Since you're now paying attention polls, then you've noticed the polls that show Americans don't want the current legislation either.

Steve #12-I see yo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Steve #12-

I see you are avoiding he question everyone ere is asking you to answer: How is it that healthcare reform has failed to pass when the dems needed exactly ZERO GOP votes? Why hasn't Cap and Trade passed?

Care to enlighten the rest of us as to why, with unstoppable majorities in both houses Obama failed to pass these two critical pieces of legislation?

We're all waiting...

Psst.. Steve. Didn't you g... (Below threshold)

Psst.. Steve. Didn't you get the new memo ? The Obama said that he never said that Republicans were "the party of 'no' ". The new meme is that The Obama has been trying to work with Republicans all along (but apparently having a super majority of his own party isn't sufficient).

"see you are avoiding he... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"see you are avoiding he question everyone ere is asking you to answer"

And I see that some are desperately avoiding the topic of the post - the GOP's lack of involvement and 'engagement' in the health care debate.

The GOP can quit hiding behind the [offensive sexual term removed] skirts and step up to the plate and start the debate, unless you really are the party of No Ideas.

[Ed: I can't ask you to keep it sane, but please keep it clean.]

You're still avoiding Steve... (Below threshold)
jim m:

You're still avoiding Steve.

The GOP is not avoiding. They have declared their opposition to the current bill. It is too big, too socialist and the American people don't want it.

Obama himself admitted last week that the current bill would not allow people to keep their current doctor.

The GOP has made numerous suggestions for more sensible reforms that wouldn't require taking over 1/6 of the economy. They have made suggestions that would reduce health care expenses.

The dems have rejected each and every one of the GOP's suggestions. They produced a bill that was written solely by dems with no outside input.

obama got exactly what he wanted in a bill. The GOP made suggestions but the administration turned a deaf ear.

Now why did Obama and the dems fail to pass a bill that they wanted, that they wrote, and that they claimed was imperative to pass immediately?

Steve,I'm embarras... (Below threshold)


I'm embarrassed for you. Can you just answer how, with all of their amassed political power, the Democrats couldn't manage to seize the moment and pass healthcare legislation? What happened, Steve? Huh?

stevie G ...go rea... (Below threshold)

stevie G ...

go read the NYT and then come back and try to claim the GOP has no ideas on health care ...

stevie you really need to spend more time over at the Kos ... your insightful comments are simply wasted here ...

Only a leftist could lock y... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Only a leftist could lock you outside and blame you for not coming in!

I think poor Steve is stressed out. All the little Obamabots were so fired up for the hopey-changey thing, destroying capitalism and bringing back the New Soviet Man, and it's all just falling apart on them so fast as their Messiah turned out to be an incompetent buffoon (which may explain the empathy they feel for him).

"...the GOP's lack of in... (Below threshold)

"...the GOP's lack of involvement and 'engagement' in the health care debate."

I seem to remember very cleary some gentleman saying he didn't "want them to do a lot of talking." He also said they should "get out of the way." Then the highly partisan, Pelosi, and the stone faced Reid took it to the next level and actually changed the locks on the doors at one point. Then they holed up in their super-secret meetings with the sign on the door that said "Republicans have cooties. No cooties allowed."

When the Republicans submitted their first suggestions last year Gibbs couldn't wait to get on TV and laugh about it.

They submitted ideas. Several times. And everytime the Dems ignored it.

So you have that.

"...it's time for the GOP t... (Below threshold)

"...it's time for the GOP to DO SOMETHING."

What's the matter Stevie, that Hope and Change thing not working out? Weren't you one of those crowing about the demise of the Republicans and the rise of the Progressives?

Well? Why don't you Progressives get your asses in *#%!ing gear! After all, the Republicans were no longer relevant.

What's changed Stevie? A $!^@ING MAJORITY IN BOTH HOUSES and you still can't pass your agenda? Where's your leader, THE OBAMASSIAH?

Come on Stevie, 'splain it to us!

[Ed: Keep it clean please.]

"...it's time for the GOP t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"...it's time for the GOP to DO SOMETHING."

Yeah. Because Obama with control of both houses and the ability to pass any legislation he pleased with zero votes from the other party was utterly incapable of passing anything but gas.

Perhaps the fact has eluded you that the GOP lacking the force or strength of numbers was able to halt Obama's agenda purely by the strength of their ideas.

Yes. Ideas. Something the dems appear fresh out of.

C'mon Steve. We know you're... (Below threshold)

C'mon Steve. We know you're incapable of independent thought, and we understand that this is a toughy, but you've had plenty of time to google "republicans do nothing". How are the Dem talking points suggesting you defend them for not passing healthcare legislation?

What comes around .. goes a... (Below threshold)

What comes around .. goes around ...

Mr. Bush Obama has reacted by railing against Democrats Republicans for obstruction - as if Democrats Republicans are duty-bound to breathe life into his agenda and, even sillier, as if opposing a plan that the people do not want is an illegitimate tactic for an opposition party.

Steve Green has a learning ... (Below threshold)

Steve Green has a learning disability. In the last year, he has seen all of the Republican ideas on reforming health care: the tort reform, allowing purchase of insurance across state line, a tax deduction for individuals who purchase their own health insurance and on and on and on. He's seen all of the Republican ideas but his brain can't retain any of them. He has an illness, a malady, he's a sick, sick man. He has the liberalitis brain disease. He just can't retain any new information. That's why he's going to keep asking you for Republican ideas forever.

Well, that and the fact that Democrats have no ideas of their own. Never had, never will.

Steve Green has to be the m... (Below threshold)

Steve Green has to be the most uninformed, factless whacko I have ever experienced on Wizbang from the lefties and that is saying something. He is frankly: Stupid. ww

Steve Green, The R... (Below threshold)

Steve Green,

The Republicans have had plans on the table for Health Care for months,

May 20, 2009: The GOP's Health-Care Alternative

June 17, 2009: House Republicans Offer Health Care Plan

November 5, 2009: CBO: Republican health plan would reduce premiums, cut deficit

However Obama and the Democrats have gone out of their way to ignore the Republicans and then claim that the Republicans are not offering ideas or working with them.


Earlier this year, GOP leaders sent a letter to the president in May stating that they would like to work with the administration to find "common ground" on healthcare reform. But the administration responded with a tersely worded letter indicating that they had healthcare reform under control.

In June, 2009 Democrat Jim Cooper posted on Huffington Post the following:

In the House of Representatives, meanwhile, we are explicitly told not to work with Republicans.

Note that today Obama said:... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Note that today Obama said:"The people who sent us here expect a seriousness of purpose that transcends petty politics,"

Immediately Gibbs followed with his unfunny critique of Palin writing crib notes in her palm. earlier in the day another Obama official claimed that criticism of the White House was equivalent to providing aid to the Taliban.

Gee Mr President, if that crap isn't petty, how low exactly, does one have to stoop in your administration to be considered "petty"?

Liberal think that people a... (Below threshold)

Liberal think that people are too dumb to understand what the Democrats are doing.

That's why they think they can claim they want to work with the Republicans but the Republicans won't work with them, all the while locking Republicans out of negotiations.

It's why they think that they can claim to want to work with Republicans but refuse to use any of their ideas and then say that they have no ideas.

And it's why they think they can get away with so called "listening to the Republicans" and then simply dismissing anything and everything they say, suggest and want. And then claim that this "listening" is the same as "working with the Republicans".

They think that conservatives, independents and conservative democrats are so dumb that they will believe whatever Democrats say.

They are in for a rude awakening.

s green "Great idea. ... (Below threshold)

s green "Great idea. BUT DO SOMETHING GOP. You've spent a year sitting on your hands - and it's clear that the Tea Party isn't the answer - it's time for the GOP to DO SOMETHING."

sg, you know what you can do with your "party of no" BS?

Place it beside your cranium, that is to say, next to your colon.

You really need to keep up, your very own LUV interest obama obliterated the party of no BS during the "repub retreat" a few days ago.

You musta missed him saying the current health care bills contain 218 amendments offered by the repubs.

Did you miss that, or ignore it to continue your swirl down the toilet?






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