Lots of email about the summit. I have to be honest and admit I couldn’t watch the whole thing. I do have a job, you know. But I caught as much as I could.
There were times I was in agreement with what was said; there were times I was literally screaming at the screen in frustration. I wondered if this was possibly doing any good.
But then I wondered if anyone was watching who might actually be influenced by it. I bet most of the people watching live were political junkies, media people, or people immersed in the health care reform process. None of those people were likely undecided or going to change their minds.
Moreover, I’m sure that – once again – the media will cover the process more than the policy. We’ll hear about the President’s exchange with Senator McCain, his disagreement with Rep. Ryan, or some other minutiae.
And I think the White House knew that’s how it would go.
So in the end, I think this was likely more about one process more than policy:
- The Democrats, and the White House, seem completely committed about passing this bill. No more weaseling.
- Now they can say they tried to talk to the Republicans. They tried bipartisanship one last time.
- They defended reconciliation. No more talk about it being a bad idea.
- They pretty much said that if they can’t get compromise, they are going alone.
I think this was cover. They tried. And now they are going to push. If they can get it through the House, this is going to happen. I’m not sure they can do that, but they’re going to try. I’m cautiously optimistic.