Bill O’Reilly must be angling for an interview at the White House with President Obama because he gave Obama high marks for his handling of the health care summit yesterday. I watched most of it and saw a pedantic, petulant, arrogant Obama who spoke for 119 minutes – nine minutes more than the 110 minutes that all 17 Republicans took to make their statements. When added to the time taken by the Democratic congressional spokespersons, the Obamacare supporters consumed a whopping 233 minutes.
Obama’s justification for the imbalance:
I’m the president.
Obama set his partisan tone from the beginning by refusing to take reconciliation off the table. And he was downright rude, cutting Republican speakers off in mid-sentence and chastising Senator John McCain for daring to point out all the corrupt backroom deals leading up to the passage of the Senate bill.
Look, let me just make this point, John, because we are not campaigning anymore. The election’s over. We can have a debate about process or we can have a debate about how we’re actually going to help the American people at this point.
Well, with all due respect Mr. President, they are completely intertwined.
Obama also made a number of sophomoric comments which he apparently thought would sound good to the American people. In one of his many soliloquies, for example, he compared federal mandates for what health insurance policies must contain – which will drive up premium costs according to the Congressional Budget Office – with federal regulation of meat safety. That is an absurd analogy. The closer comparison would be requiring every supermarket to carry filet mignon and Kobe beef in their meat departments.
Try as he might, Obama and his supporters could not refute the central arguments against Obamacare – higher deficits (when you remove the double-counting and you factor in the annual fixes to make doctors whole against cuts in their payments), higher taxes and insurance premiums including on the middle class, and new intrusive federal government mandates.
In summing up the 7 1/2 hour talkfest, President Obama said:
I don’t need a poll to know that most Republican voters are opposed to this bill and might be opposed to the kind of compromise we could craft. And if we can’t, I think we’ve got to go ahead and some make decisions, and then that’s what elections are for.
This guy is tone deaf. It is the majority of the American people – not just of Republicans – who have overwhelmingly rejected Obamacare. But he is right that the elections will provide the American people’s feedback. They couldn’t come soon enough.