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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