The President is playing the Republicans masterfully with his proposed Health Care Summit. Here's a Summary of Obama's Plan.
For too long the Republicans have complained about the lack of bipartisanship in the Health Care Reform business. Bipartisanship for those ideological windbags means nothing more than giving them everything they want and getting nothing for yourself. In my book that's not bipartisanship but being spoiled.
With the Health Care Summit looming, the Republicans, who've been nothing but obstructionist since the beginning of Obama's term, have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Here's why:
If they refuse to participate in the summit, then the accusation that they are the "Party of NO" begins to stick in an election year. The American People don't want obstruction, they demand real work get finished. Refusing to play ball makes the Republicans look more partisan than ever; that will not help in an election where the best way to get elected is to look more moderate.
Secondly, if the Republicans do participate, then their role of lobbing bombs is taken from them and they must contribute to a solution. This mean compromise is the order of the day. Unfortunately, this batch of Republicans is the most extreme bunch we've seen in a long time, so their ability to compromise is handicapped ab initio.
The net result: Obama and his team look reasonable and industrious while working for the greater good. The Republicans look like partisan hacks who are only in it for advantage, but really offer nothing substantive to the debate.
Fascinating and brilliant tactic if you ask me.