Friday, February 26, 2010

Health Care Compromise Meeting

(after rest and additional coherent thought) I did not watch the coverage of the health care compromise meeting held yesterday between the President and member of both house of Congress (one should never watch the sausage being made). I did read a number of the summaries of this meeting however, as well as watching some clips pulled from the sessions and the roundtable discussions of political pundits attempting to spin the meeting one way or the other. 

I have come to my own conclusion on these sessions after digesting all of this information and thought that it might be worth sharing. The version of compromise that the President and Democrats are proposing to Republicans seems to boil down to this, "You must compromise your legitimately held principles, or we will compromise your virtue." 

This is the essence of the reconciliation process in Congress, and the Republicans have used it more in the past than the Democrats. The process of the Thursday meeting however was additionally marred by the Democrats leaking the fact that they were looking at the reconciliation process days before the meeting was held, seeming to indicate that it was far from their intent. The gathering was likewise held up as little more than poor theater and sham politics as both sides postured before the cameras (somehow it seems impossible to keep politicians from overacting when cameras are running)

The president managed to solidify his position as "Abuser In Chief" by monopolizing the conversation that he had called in order to listen, and by slapping down opponents during a meeting designed to foster bi-partisan support. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, author of the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', "Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word Compromise that I wasn't previously aware of."

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