GOP Walking Health Care Tight Rope

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Posted: Feb 08, 2010 9:36 PM
Now that President Obama is making an attempt to be *cough* bipartisan *cough*, the Republicans have to step lightly.  The White House is playing a seriously strategy game in offering an open health care negotiations table right now--an offer to the GOP to work with Dems in passing health care legislation.  But if the GOP knew what was good for it, it would back away from this offer.

As you may have heard, the Obama White House extended an invitation to GOP leadership to participate in a "health care summit" (seriously, what is it with Obama and summits??).  In a letter addressed to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, House GOP Leader Boehner and Whip Eric Cantor vented frustration that Obama plans to put the Dems' bills on the table for discussion at the summit. 

"If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate," Boehner and Cantor wrote.  As the GOP leadership smartly points out, the Dems' health care bills should not be the foundation upon which all health care negotiations are worked out. 

Not to mention, who really thinks Obama will make concessions to a Republican MINORITY?  Obama is inviting the GOP to a health care summit because he can't blame his own party for not passing Obamacare.  He's inviting the GOP for the express purpose of being able to label them the "party of no" and detract attention from the fact members of his own party don't like his proposals and are the true reason why the Democratic majority can't pass them.

With the swell in public opposition against Obama's health care proposals, the GOP would be remiss to accept the Dems' offer to get involved in helping to pass them.  At the most basic level, the GOP needs to make clear the public opposes these measures because they do not want the government involved in making health care decisions.  Period. 

It would be a tragic mistake for moderate Republicans to jump from the conservative ship in an attempt to "improve" Obama's proposals.  There should be no attempts to improve a toxic proposal.  Boehner and Cantor were absolutely correct in dismissing the White House's hallow offer and continue demanding any health care proposal start from scratch. 

Lesson for the GOP: don't let Obama define "bipartisan cooperation."  The White House will continue to label you the party of no, but as we've all seen, the public is catching on to Obama's games.  Keep to the conservative principles and the support of the American people will follow.