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  • Conservatives Deliver Ideas, Again, to President Obama

    If a casual observer were to watch President Barack Obama’s speech today to House Republicans, they might walk away thinking that the minority party hasn’t offered up any ideas to fix the problems that plague America.

    But if that casual observer stuck around for the questions and answers, they would have seen an entirely different picture – a conservative party standing up to the President and making it clear that they do, indeed, have ideas but that their message has fallen on the President’s (and liberals’) deaf ears. The problem for the President is that the conservative message is resonating with America, as evidence by Scott Brown’s stunning electoral victory in Massachusetts’ Senate race.

    On the subject of health care, the President said that he didn’t get “a lot of nibbles” when he attempted to work with Republicans on the issue. But bipartisanship is a two-way street, and as Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) made clear to the President, her party has offered a slew of ideas. The trouble is, liberal leadership isn’t listening.

    As Rep. Blackburn said:

    We have over 50 bills … we’ve got plans to lower cost, to change purchasing models, address medical liability, insurance accountability, chronic and preexisting conditions, and access to affordable care for those with those conditions, insurance portability, expanded access, but not doing it with creating more government, more bureaucracy and more cost for the American taxpayer …

    And if those good ideas aren’t making it to you, maybe it’s the House Democrat leadership that is an impediment instead of a conduit.”

    Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), too, confronted the President on bipartisanship when he recalled the President’s service with Rep. Roskam in the Illinois legislature. Roskam told the President (as seen in the video above):

    You took on ethics reform. You took on some big things.

    One of the keys was you rolled your sleeves up, you worked with the other party, and ultimately you were able to make the deal.

    Now, here’s an observation.

    Over the past year, in my view, that attribute hasn’t been in full bloom. And by that I mean, you’ve gotten the subtext of House Republicans that sincerely want to come and be a part of this national conversation toward solutions, but they’ve really been stiff-armed by Speaker Pelosi.

    Now, I know you’re not in charge of that chamber, but there really is this dynamic of, frankly, being shut out.

    And shut out, too, are the American people, who have been taking to Tea Parties, townhall meetings, and the Massachusetts ballot box in protest of a runaway liberal Congress that is steering the country in the wrong direction.

    As much as the President would like to paint Republicans and conservatives as the party of “no,” his spin sounds quite hollow to an American public that sees the reality of their government through quite a different lens.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Conservatives Deliver Ideas, Again, to President Obama

    1. JP in Denver says:

      Two observations:

      1) The outrage about being shut out of negotiations and about backoffice dealings is a little laughable, because the GOP Congress did exactly that to the Democrats while they held control. Does that make it right? Of course not. But feigning shock about the atmosphere in Congress is a reap/sow environment, of which Obama can only affect but so much, is such political hyperbole.

      2) To my knowledge, the only GOP Health Care bill that I've seen submitted to the CBO was H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act in November http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=414 While this plan does reduce the deficit by $68B over ten years (not a huge number – Obama is being mocked by conservatives for spending freezes that saves$250B over 3 years ), it still leaves 52 million nonelderly residents uninsured in 2019. (I'm sure the Heritage Foundation has much rosier numbers, but I hardly imagine that any of you would take an assessment from the Center for American Progress at face value).

      That bill only covers an additional 3M people in ten years and kicks the can down the road; and there are big cost contingencies as to whether H.R. 3962 can even make that number – just as there are big questions about HR 3200. None of these bills are the perfect shot in the arm, nor are they as horrible as the other side makes them out to be.

      I'm a liberal, but an American who believes in democracy first – I believe that items in the GOP proposal should be included; such as tort reform and adjustments to HSA tax implications. Because they make fiscal and practical sense according to the CBO. I agree with the President's contention that interstate exchanges should be regulated if they're to be included.

      However- to the President's point, there have been an adequate number of policy and initiative changes made, per GOP insistence, which have yielded almost no end-game support when the bills come to a vote (e.g. tax cuts in the Stimulus). The GOP only got maybe 30% of what it wants (appropriate, seeing as you're 40% of the Congressional representation and you did ,in fact, lose elections), but steps away from legislation because it's not 100% in-line politically. It's then wholly condemned and vilified as "the wrong path for America". Am I wrong?

      This egregious display of obstructionism plays out in your favor, because you get some of what you want without any skin in the game – and you come out looking good to your constituencies as you tell them you faced down the Socialist while holding up the over-sized stimulus checks in your districts.

      The sad part is that I actually think it might work. However, proceed with caution: Power is cyclical, and you're establishing a perfect obstructionist blueprint for Dems when an eventual GOP majority wants to accomplish their goals with <60 seats in the Senate. And it's going to drive you crazy.

    2. Grace Alexander, Las says:

      I appreciate the Republicans standing up to the President, and telling him like it is! He's turned a deaf ear so far…wonder if this will do any good. At least we, the people, see our representatives working on our behalf…thank you!

    3. Linda , Nashua NH says:

      I watched the speech and the Q&A after and I felt that the president was wrong on many counts and felt that Marsha Blackburn got it right when she stated that most of the ideas don't get past Pelosi. When Pelosi came back from the holidays and announced her agenda that she was going to get pushed through the House there was no doubt in my mind that there would be no negotiating the ideas of the republicans or for the conservative democrats or independents for that matter. I felt that he was condesending to one genttleman who tried to ask a question about not being heard and he said that he had read the bills and would try to use some of the ideas but that they were not feasible or something to that effect.

    4. Linda Goodman Italy, says:

      I only hope the republicians continue to be the party of "no" to new taxes, runaway government spending and more government programs costing gazillions of taxpayer money. We need a spending moritoruim now, not 2 yrs from now. And we need term limits in the congress. If the president can only serve two terms, so should congressmen. End career politicians. End lobbyists. End pork barrel spending. Get the immigration problems under control and alot of our money shortage would be solved.

    5. Rosie Hampton,lynchb says:

      This President would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not know what is going on. Perhaps he needs to give less speeches and lectures;then he would have more time to really listen to what is going on (though I have my doubts that he is really interested).

    6. Kurt, Salem, OR says:

      I truly believe Obama thinks the majority of American don't pay enough attention to be able to pick up on his double talk, from the 2004 Democratic Convention, his speeches on the campaign trail on 07/08 and compared to what he is saying now. I, for one, pay attention and can ferret out lies from truth.

      Republicans have been left out of the debate by Pelosi and Reid with closed door sessions and absurd rulemaking. The promised transparency has never materialized.

      An average American.

    7. RJ Moeller, Chicago says:

      What Obama and Pelosi don't seem to understand is that the American people don't just dislike the ponytails Big Sister has given them…they want the federal government out of their hair altogether.

      You'd be hard-pressed to find better commentary on the President's SOTU address than this: http://rjmoeller.com/2010/01/a-speech-to-remember


    8. DB, Texas says:

      We have over 50 bills … we’ve got plans to lower cost, to change purchasing models, address medical liability, insurance accountability, chronic and preexisting conditions, and access to affordable care for those with those conditions, insurance portability, expanded access, but not doing it with creating more government, more bureaucracy and more cost for the American taxpayer …

      That sounds great from Rep. Blackburn, but I have a question: From 2000 until 2006 the Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate and the House and Rep Blackburn was there. Why didn't they ever address these issues in any way?

      Marcia Blackburn wants to pretend the Republicans have ever been serious about doing anything about problems with the health care system. They haven't.

    9. Scott, Oklahoma says:

      I watched that 66 minute Q&A (not the 6 minute clip you posted) and I thought Obama handled it amazingly well, and answered every objection raised in a very persuasive way. Especially the point that there are specific proposals Obama ignored. He gave specific examples of conservative policies, like allowing inter-state health care coverage, and how they've been integrated.

      And you can't really argue with the point that "Cover everyone, without spending any more money" isn't a realistic policy for change, or even a policy.

      After the state of the union address and rebuttal, I excitedly went to solutions.gop.gov, but found NO real solutions offered.

    10. Pingback: Morning Whip, Jan. 30, 2010 - Medary.com

    11. Bobbie Jay says:

      "We have to be careful what we say about people sometimes, because it boxes us in ways that makes it difficult for us, to work together."

      The only ones "it boxes in" are the ones "hiding' something.

    12. Jill, California says:

      It's been my observation that the more wrong people are, the more they dig in their heels with obvious lies, half-truths, weak justifications, and poor excuses. Obama has yet to learn that when you find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into a hole, it's time to stop digging.

    13. Dave, Florida says:

      I listened to the GOP Meeting and, to me same as the state of the union, it was nothing more than a lecture. I didn't feel he had any respect for any of the members attending. Now he comes to FL to announce a high speed train service. Think about this: 1.4 billion for a high speed train between Tampa and Orlando. Going to cut the travel time to 44 minutes. For those that have driven I-4 from Tampa to Orlando it only an hour and 10-15 minute drive!

      To make this announcement he brought the VP. Ok, but now we flew two planes AF-1 and AF-2. Don't even want to know that cost!

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