Serious Governance, or Just a Show?

Posted: Feb 09, 2010 11:33 AM
As this news account points out, it would be unfortunate if Republicans refused to participate in good faith with President Obama's health care "summit."  It would, of course, not only be bad politics but also bad governance.

All that being said, it's doubtful that the President is truly interested in any approach to health care reform that lightens up on big government and relies primarily on the market.  First, ideologically, he has shown no signs of being a particularly pro-market kind of guy.  Second, as I've pointed out before, politically, the whole point of instituting big government health care was to offer Democrats a long-term electoral advantage.

But the Republicans have to make the effort.  They should do so, however, by challenging the President to prove that his new interest in "openness" is motivated a serious desire for bipartisan solutions, rather than by political interests (the need to get his poll numbers back up).

How about something like this:

We are delighted that, over the last year, the President has learned something about the importance of including the other party -- and the voices of the American people -- when it comes to formulating important, life-changing legislation.  We hope that his new interest in transparency and bipartisanship is in the interest of serious governance, rather than being the political stunt that some news accounts has suggested it is.  Of course, we are always happy to offer the President the benefit of the doubt, and we are moving forward in good faith, in order to find solutions for the American people.