This is the true story, of 40 politicians, picked to live together, for seven and a half hours, and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting REAL! The Real World DC! Minus the edgy sound track and MTV style fast camera cuts, that’s pretty much what the Health Care Summit was, extremely predictable reality television. Now I’m not gonna sit here and claim that I watched all seven and a half hours of this must see TV, because I didn’t. I actually have a life and just like watching the movie Titanic, I pretty much knew what the outcome was going to be. Maybe if Nancy Pelosi stripped down on a red velvet couch while John Dingle drew a portrait of her it would have been more interesting, but that was not very likely to happen. But if you missed the health care summit hosted by President Obama today lets just say that it was only slightly more exciting to watch then the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics. So let me give you the cliff notes of what went on at Reformapalooza 2010. After everyone arrived, they changed into there tie dyes and open toed sandals. Barack gave everyone a high five, while John McCain lit some incense that he had been saving since his days in the Hanoi Hilton. Then they all sat down indian style in a circle, democrat, republican and so on, and passed around a hookah that Joe Biden found in the Lincoln bedroom. After they were all totally wasted, House GOP Leader John Boehner broke out 40 tabs of some trippin’ LSD that he got from Wavy Gravy at Woodstock. Then they all agreed on a Single Payer Health Care system, sang We Are The World, and all of the republicans pledged to become democrats. It was awesome!
You know I have to give President Obama a lot of credit here. This summit, pow wow, meeting, what ever you want to call it, was not something he had to do. The reality is he does not need the republicans to get this done. The senate democrats could pass this tomorrow through reconciliation with 51 votes, and not a single republican involved. But Obama is not your ordinary President. So why did he have this meeting? I’ll tell you why. The president is not in charge of the Senate. To take control the President needed to get these politicians on his turf. He needed to take them out of there comfort zone where they don’t discuss, but only lecture each other. He needed to put these politicians in a place where they had to talk to each other and where he could make the rules and control how they talked. And that he did. For the first time in this insane year long debate where even when republicans have admitted that reform is needed, yet still have done everything in there power to block it, there was real conversation. There was honest agreement on a limited number of points, and a whole lot of disagreement, and even though it became clear to both sides by the end of the day that if reform was to happen going to happen, it was most likely not going to be with the help of the republicans, President Obama now could move forward and honestly say to both sides, and the American people, I listened, I tried, I did everything I could short of caving in and giving the republicans everything they wanted. I don’t think for a moment that the President expected everyone to come together, sing Kumbaya, and walk out with unanimous support, but he showed that he is a different type president then we have ever seen. He talks straight, tells it like it is and even when other may wonder why he’s not playing hardball with the other side, ignoring the Republicans, and just ramming through his policies, he sticks to his values and does it his way. He said during his campaign that he believes in dialogue with your opposition. He believes in discussion. Our last president shut out dialogue with the democrats, he shut out Iran, he shut out the Palestinians, he shut out the entire Muslim world, unless we needed there oil. If they opposed us or our allies they were shut out. And in turn, in many parts of the world so were we. This President believes that without dialogue there can be no progress, and while others may disagree with that philosophy, Obama is our President and he will run things in the way that he believes will benefit this country the most. And if that means he needs to hold the Republicans feet to the coals and force them to have a real discussion with him about one of the most important pieces of legislation of our time, even if he knows what the outcome will be, then that’s what this President will do. We may not agree, we may not understand, we may not even watch, but 3.9 million people did. Apparently this was must see TV.