Dems doing themselves no favors
Writing at the Corner, Yuval Levin has a useful summary of the “summit” so far. He thinks the Democrats are doing themselves no favors. They seem aimless, while the Republicans have a clear position: scrap the plan and start over. Obama is the Dems’ only effective speaker, while all the Repubicans are well prepared and effective. Yet at the same time the format (as I said earlier) diminishes Obama, makes him seem like a slightly testy professor. From Obama’s point of view, the practical purpose of this “summit” is to persuade reluctant Democrats to get on board with Obamacare. Levin doubts it will have that effect.
Update: Rep. Paul Ryan hit it out of the park. The cost curve is not going down under your program, he said to an attentive Obama, it’s going up. You say that our positions are similar. They are not similar. You want a government takeover of healthcare. We want people to be in charge of healthcare. Ryan thus stated the fundamental truth: there is no middle ground between the Democratic and Republican positions
Update 2-26: Here are Ryan’s exact words:
And we’ve been talking about how much we agree on different issues, but there really is a difference between us. And it’s basically this. We don’t think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control. And that, at the end of the day, is the big difference.The transcript of Ryan’s entire statement is at Powerline. A full video of his presentation is at the Weekly Standard.
Obama and the Democrats had no answer to Ryan and the Republicans. They just kept repeating the need to cover everyone. But, as I think Eric Cantor said (paraphrase), “In an ideal world, we would all get everything we want, but we don’t live in an ideal world. We don’t have the money to do this.”
How about Ryan-Cantor 2012?