When Hot Air and the Daily Beast are giving the same review – Republicans looked good, the President looked all right, other Democrats looked bad – you have to end up wondering whether the President actually minds. Jonah Goldberg fairly accurately sums up what Obama has to work with, after all:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi relied on the Democrats’ favorite rhetorical gambit: policy-by-anecdote. Invoking the sad plight of some person no one knows can be effective, but we’ve been hearing such stories for a very long time; support for Pelosi’s solutions has still plummeted.
But it was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, mugging for his doomed reelection bid at home, who put the ugliest face on the Democratic party. Cranky, mean, and short-tempered, Reid seemed like he was sitting on a carpet tack throughout the discussion. He snapped that “no one is talking about reconciliation” — a reference to the arcane parliamentary procedure Democrats are considering as a means to ram their unpopular bill through Congress.
That’s true, save for the more than 100 House Democrats and more than 20 Senate Democrats who have already signed letters calling for reconciliation. His crotchety dyspepsia, combined with his arrogant dishonesty, made the leader of the Senate seem like the sort of oldster who would pinch little kids for fun if he could get away with it.
Imagine for a moment a world where the 112th Congress is not being run by Pelosi and Reid. Do you think that the President might end up with a health care reform bill that… forget ‘he can happily sign to show how bipartisan he is.’ At this point, the President will settle for a bill that he can actually sign. Which was the ostensible point of this summit to begin with; and the only event of real note there was a rather pointed refutation of the Democratic lie that Republicans have no health care ideas or plans. Not even David Gergen wants to run with that meme anymore.
I’ve noted this before, and I’ll note it again: both of the two major American political party are really two mini-parties. There’s the legislative one, which concerns itself with Congress and the state houses; and then there’s the executive one, which deals with the Presidency and the governorships. The two groups are usually more-or-less working in tandem; but they don’t always have congruent, or even parallel, objectives. Put it less pretentiously: what’s good for President Obama isn’t necessarily good for Speaker Pelosi and SML Reid. And if the President comes out of this looking good, he may not care about how badly his colleagues look in comparison…
Crossposted to Moe Lane.