Mr. Obama admonished Sen. John McCain yesterday at the health care summit and reminded him the campaign is over.Sen. McCain had the nerve to attempt to bring up a major concern of the American people with Obama's health care insurance overhaul, specifically, the back room deals that were made to win the votes of certain Democrats. It is irony at best that Mr. Obama would think the campaign is over when a WH staffer has been quoted as stating Mr. Obama's staff is actually gearing up the Chicago team for his re-election campaign. Mr. Obama also chastised Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor for carrying in the massive bills put forth by Congress. He referred to the stacks of wasted paper as political props. On one hand, he's angry with Republicans for not voting for those props, and on the other, he claims they now are not relevant, but rather his 11-page bill prototype is the topic for debate. The CBO can't rate that prototype because it is void of specificity in terms of cost and spending. Yet, the Dem's argued yesterday about cost from the CBO, conveniently ignoring the fact that Obama's own plan can't be rated.
I believe Mr. Obama sat across the room from Rep. Paul Ryan and also Mr. Cantor and saw potential opponents for 2012. The president was so rude and dismissive of Paul Ryan that he spent most of Ryan's first allotted time with eyes diverted and listening to an aide talk in his ear. He did not have the courtesy to pay attention, in part because he didn't like hearing the disagreement with having Kathleen Sebelius, an unelected WH appointee, determine the course of individual healthcare. Mr. Obama came back quickly and said she would only be making those decisions for people in his new sytem, but we all know most of us will eventually end up in the ash heap of government controlled health care. That was Mr. Ryan's point, but the president failed to allow him the reasonable opportunity to make his case. His blatant display of direspect for Mr. Ryan's comments was indicative of the purpose of the entire exercise. The summit was designed to diminish Republican ideas, ignore concerns and relevant questions, and allow the president yet another bully pulpit moment. He intentionally ran out the clock, speaking more than either party combined. It was very symbolic of the president and his interpretation of his office. He does not view Congress as an equal partner in legislation development. He is the infinite decision-maker and his comments are more valuable than those that must answer to their constitutents for their votes. Mr. Obama's dominance yesterday was in fact, little more than a 2012 campaign stump speech for him.
The president commented afterward that the Democrats will move to pass the Senate bill, with or without the Republicans. He fails to recognize that it just isn't the Republicans that he is going foward without, he's also going ahead without the support of the American people. That type of political move is always a starting point for the next campaign and election season.