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Opinion

Opinion

GOP has room in the wings

February 13, 2010

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At first it seemed like a great idea. President Obama, fresh from good reviews for his appearance at the House Republican retreat two weeks ago, invited Republican leaders to Blair House in Washington for negotiations on a health insurance reform bill. But the essence of negotiation is in its definition — “to deal or bargain with another or others.” Or, to quote an old song lyric: “You’ve got to give a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little.” We know what the president is willing to take, but what is he prepared to give?

The glory of love (the title of the song from which the above lyric is taken) is in giving and taking, so why isn’t the story the same for political negotiations? For one brief shining moment it appeared politicians might actually do something that benefits the country. Polls show a majority of the public reject “Obamacare,” which is actually Reid-Pelosi-care. The president has submitted no bill. After raising hopes that a compromise might be had, the president on Tuesday met with Republican leaders for two hours and told them his core concerns remain nonnegotiable. So what’s to negotiate?

In the White House briefing room, the president said, “Bipartisanship can’t be that I agree to all of the things that (Republican leaders) believe in or want, and they agree to none of the things I believe in or want.” OK, but since the president and his party control all three branches of government it is fair to ask them to go first.

Some of the president’s goals closely resemble Republican objectives: lowering health-case costs and expanding coverage to the uninsured. The problem is the president and the congressional Democratic leadership wants to expand government controls and raise taxes, while Republicans favor an approach tilted toward the free enterprise system.

House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and GOP Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. In it they noted that legislation to “opt out” of Obamacare has been introduced in 36 states. Boehner and Cantor want the nation’s governors and state legislators to be invited to the president’s Feb. 25 health care “summit.” Even the Virginia State Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed a measure protecting individuals from being compelled to purchase health insurance.

Republicans have the political advantage, not only on health care, but also on national security, which has in recent years been the party’s strongest issue. Republicans delivered a rapid response to a USA Today editorial by John Brennan, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Brennan said that “unfounded fear-mongering only serve(s) the goals of al-Qaida.” What about founded fear-mongering, or just plain legitimate fear about the way the administration is handling terrorists and Iran? (The president has called for more sanctions, which are as useful as a U.N. resolution.)

The country’s top intelligence officers predict another attempted terrorist attack within the next three to six months. Are they “fear-mongering”? If the attack succeeds, what will the administration do? Issue strong denunciations? Call for a U.N. resolution? Appease our enemies again?

Republican candidates for the House and Senate are ahead in polls in many states. GOP optimists believe they could take back Congress. The question is: What will they do then? First, they should promise to stop Obama’s progressive-liberal-socialist (take your pick) agenda. Second, they must find a strong presidential candidate who will bring experience and a realistic worldview to the problems that confront us abroad and at home.

The stage is being prepared. There is room in the wings. Who will it be? Whoever it is, he (or she) had better be ready to take over from what appears to be a failing presidency. The country can’t afford eight full years of Barack Obama. We’ll be fortunate to survive the next three.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. tmseditors@tribune.com

Comments

porch_person 4 years, 2 months ago

"Some of the president’s goals closely resemble Republican objectives: lowering health-case costs and expanding coverage to the uninsured." ---- Cal Thomas

(laughter)

So what proposal have the Republicans offered that even attempts to lower cost and expand coverage???

(laughter)

That's right, kids!! There isn't one. Cal still has those fantasy brain bubbles.

(laughter)

======

If the campaign to "opt out" of the health care reform gains momentum, then the next obvious step is to "opt out" of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid are government health care programs. That would save the United States government a lot of money. Probably cover much of the deficit. Maybe even pay off the debt we owe to that communist nation, China.

Of course, lots of Americans would lose their health insurance completely but that's not the point. The point is that people shouldn't be forced to pay for health insurance or buy health insurance or pay for anyone else's health insurance.

This BS about "distributing and diluting risk across many participants to lower costs" is just that. BS. Health insurance should be like a special club that you can join if you have enough cash flow to cover what happens just to you. Kinda like joining the Kansas City Country Club or Hallbrook. We should make enrollment in a health care plan analogous to owning a BMW.

That is what we're suggesting, isn't it?

I mean, why stop at a measly health care reform. I don't want to pay for someone else's road either. I don't want to be forced to pay for auto insurance either. Never have liked that one. I don't want to have to pay for schools or prisons. Or for the defense of people in Oklahoma. And the power grid is something that I want to pay for only my consumption, not anyone else.

And I really hate NASA and NIH. No need to put my tax money towards something like that either. If I want to do science, I'll do it myself and reap the rewards myself. Or not do science. Maybe I don't care about science. No reason why I should have to pay for something I don't care about.

The important thing is, I can "opt out" of being an American whenever I want. If I feel like it.

Make America something like ordering ala carte in a restaurant because I voted for someone who didn't know what a Vice-President does and I know what's best for me.

(laughter)

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mickeyrat 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm still wondering: if "Republican objectives" are "lowering health-case costs and expanding coverage to the uninsured," why did that not happen in the decade or so that they were in power? Could it be that they didn't care then, and don't care now? Hmm. Maybe they should try to distract the electorate by talking up the big bad terrorists again.

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Agnostick 4 years, 2 months ago

The wings are always roomier once they've been clipped back a bit... ;)

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anon1958 4 years, 2 months ago

rwell (Anonymous) says…

There's absolutely no room in the wings for Republicans. Their wings – both right wings, somehow – are full of nuts.

====

Sad but true. The demise of the republican party has also harmed the democratic party tremendously. The democrats have not elevated themselves as the republicans sank because all politicians are narcissistic, lazy and thirst for power.

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Orwell 4 years, 2 months ago

There's absolutely no room in the wings for Republicans. Their wings – both right wings, somehow – are full of nuts.

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davy 4 years, 2 months ago

usually bull from Cal.

the problems of today are to a large degree a result of the neglect of the Bush/Cheney administration beginning with failure in July 2001 to be alert regarding a terrorist attack that later became very famous.

Bush/Cheney also 'forgot' to check credentials and made Ken Lay of Enron the White House energy advisor in 2000.

Then we have a major pre-emptive war launced on lies about WMD sold to Iraq, alongside the exceptionally poor leadership of Don Rumsfeld who sold chemical weapons to Saddam himself in 1983. what about those facts Cal?

ooops, ooops, and more ooops now we have to all pay for the Bush mess!

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TrooGrit 4 years, 2 months ago

Anon, don't let that FOX countdown hit you in your head, your least "capitalized" spot! Good Lord, boohoozo, or worse, porch poochie would have to take your spot, extolling all the wrongs of conservatism! You'd be missed that much!

Now on to other things of far more import: Iran is the smoking snake in the grass (excuse the mixed metapor), and we need to act NOW. They are about to get the weapon we all hoped some "third world" country wouldn't get, and worse off they are a terrorist nation! Hit them first, I know I'll be hailed with bullets for saying this, but full out nuke on Iran. You could stage it like it came from Israel, but you need to act NOW. Not that this president, OBOWNOW, would have any sense to do that. After all, that wouldn't play in his favor in the 2010 elections!

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cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

The prediction of imminent terrorist attacks is not "fear-mongering." It's political butt cover, plain and simple. No matter which party is in power, we can expect this from those in charge for years to come. Because more often than not they may still be accurate in their assessments, we must remain ever vigilant.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

" We know what the president is willing to take, but what is he prepared to give?"

You'll never see Cal asking the same question of Republicans, who happen to be in the minority position, and therefore the ones who really should be willing to give something to get something, but instead choose to be the Party of "No."

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 2 months ago

"GOP optimists believe they could take back Congress. The question is: What will they do then?"

First of all, it's doubtful, the senate---maybe, the house----a dramatic swing but you're talking it would require a 40 seat swing.

But, if they did, to answer Cal's question.....

Radio-personality Tammy Bruce may have said it best:

"... ultimately, it comes down to... the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence toward this country, which is unabated."

http://www.impeachobamacampaign.com/

As Cal said, "The country can’t afford eight full years of Barack Obama. We’ll be fortunate to survive the next three."

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dominickporter 4 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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anon1958 4 years, 2 months ago

"The stage is being prepared. There is room in the wings. Who will it be? Whoever it is, he (or she) had better be ready to take over from what appears to be a failing presidency."

Please, please, please, please pick Sarah. I mean, "DONT throw me in that briar patch bre'r FOX"

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Sorry about the fact I cant capitalize the word fox for the sake of the nimwits that will miss the pun.

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