I watched for about two hours this afternoon. I should have found something else to do.
It went like this:
Random Republican: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...Listen to us! Let us have a hand in crafting this monstrosity, under the guise of fighting for the American people, that we've all but accepted as a foregone conclusion, blah, blabbity,blah.
Barack Obama: Blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, but that's a good idea but it'll be another 1,000 pages after Nancy And Harry get through with it, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Random Republican: Blah, blah, blah, blabbity-blah-blah, can we just start over?
Barack Obama: Blah, blah, blah, we've come too far for that, and I can't hold any more dem votes on what we have already, blah, blah. And besides, it's not a good bill for me unless i can create another 100 federal bureaucracies stuffed with union labor to skim money off the top, blah, blabbit, blabbity, blab, blah.
Random Republican: This bill is bad: how about we do this, blah, blah, blah?
Barack Obama: Blah, blah, blah, screw you, we're doing what we want, blah, blah, blah, but that was a good idea that we won't consider, though, blah, blah. We'll now have five minutes of Chuck Schumer to put everyone to sleep.
Senator Schumer: Whine, cry, whinge, where's my closeup?
Random Republican: I should have won, dammit!
Barack Obama: Blah, blah, please sit down and shut up, Senator McCain, I won...oh,and blah,blah, blah to you, too! Do you have anything to add, Senator Reid?
Senator Reid: Blah, blah, blah, waaaaaaaaaah, blah, blabbity, blobbity, blah,blah blah. Oh, and blah, blah, blah.
It was a tour-de-force, so far as dog-and-pony shows go, and I should know: I've seen absolutely masterful dog-and-pony shows given by expert bullshit artists in even more expensive suits, with even bigger salaries.
The only thing that could have made even more ridiculous would have been the use of props...Oh, wait! There were props! Some repub tried to evoke the Spirit of Reagan, and brought the entire 2,500 page Senate bill to the meeting to make the argument that no one could make sense of a pile of paper that thick and full of Senatorese.
And of course, there was John Boehner, who's function I could not, for the life of me, discern.
But then again, what did I expect? The event was staged to make Barry I look all Presidential and to lob the same, tired attacks at the other side; Stop obstructing! Stop politicizing! Stop criticizing! Arguments against Obamacare were heard; hell, Barry's Boys and Girl's Club knew what the points against it were before the thing ever started. This "meeting" wasn't called to really hash anything out, nor was it intended to exchange ideas; it's supposed to blunt the predictable mid-term election battlecry: There was no bi-partisanship, and it wasn't on C-Span!
So, we got three-plus hours of absolute drivel that will, ultimately, change nothing. The democrats (small 'd' intentional) will do what they've wanted to do all along, and implement this sucker piece-by-piece, buried in countless appropriations bills where no one will see it, and which if Republicans try to filibuster will result in the threat of (if not the actual) shutdown of the Fed'ral Gubmint. Just like what happened when Newt Gingrich got all uppity about balanced budgets.
Democrats think Newt lost that fight because some Social Security checks got held up, but history tells a different tale: Newt did get his balanced budget, and Billy Jeff Clinton had to "reform" welfare. His republican inheritors fucked that all up in the years that followed, and so they are now in the position they find themselves in today; crying about bi-partisanship, and then eagerly rushing to the Potemkin display of bi-partisanship they got today so that they can still appear relevant, but still unable to stop the worst idea to come down the pike since the Battery Acid Enema Diet.
We will get Obamacare. It's almost a forgone conclusion. The question now becomes whether the genie can be put back in this particular bottle if, and I do mean if, republicans win the mid-terms and are in a better position to first limit the damage done, and then, eventually roll it back. I say if because if McConnel and Boehner and the assholes who were on display yesterday in the Toyota Hearings are what the republican party calls"leadership", then nothing short of Barack Obama being seen lustily filleting a panda on You-Tube will guarantee victory in November.
And quite frankly, why this need and clamor for bi-partisanship, anyway? Why is it that the repubicans believe that a bad bill made worse by bi-partisanship is somehow more palatable, especially if Libtards get the bulk, or even the beginnings, of what they've wanted in the first place? Quite frankly, you were elected to be republicans -- not accessories-after-the-fact.
This piece of shit needs to be defeated in toto; not steered into a presumably less-worse direction. Barack Obama is dead-set on raping the United States Healthcare System -- republicans, with their insistence on having their ideas included instead of insisting their ideas replace what Harry and Nancy hath wrought -- are pretty much looking as if they're begging Barry to wear a condom while he does it.
Three hours of absolutely sleep-and-vomit-inducing television didn't bring anyone one step closer to that.
Update: Something that I was thinking about that didn't make it's way into The Screed; I made it sound as though republicans "lost" this battle (in effect, they have: the dems will try to sneak this thing into appropriations bills as poison pills), but there was another aspect to this thing: Barack Obama, while trying to appear all Statesmanlike, is basically in the position of having to beg republicans to lower their tone (to get the heat off of him) and maybe, move a bit to his way of seeing things. He was basically saying: listen, I'm throwing you a bone here, so do a brother a solid and make it look like we're negotiating and co-operating, okay?
A pox on both their houses.