Just listen to the tone of some of the liberal media on Obama’s trip to the Republican Retreat to meet with them and be on camera being feisty.
It was a great photo-op.
But I’m more interested in the coverage.
NY Post – President Obama slams obstructionist Republicans at GOP issues retreat
WASHINGTON – President Obama dove headfirst into the belly of the GOP beast Friday – and left the not-so-loyal opposition bleeding on a Baltimore ballroom floor.
He skewered Republicans for obstructionist tactics, dubious facts and a lack of civility in opposing his domestic agenda, especially health care reform.
“If you were to listen to the debate and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you’d think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot,” Obama told the GOP issues retreat after unveiling a proposal for $33 billion in small-business tax incentives.
No Bias here…. 🙂
MSNBC: Some Republicans prefaced their questions with lengthy recitations of conservative talking points.
“I know there’s a question in there somewhere, because you’re making a whole bunch of assertions, half of which I disagree with,” Obama said to Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, whom he mistakenly called “Jim.”
Or Here… (see a different way of seeing this one later in the piece)
GOP lawmakers pressured him to support a presidential line-item veto for spending bills and to endorse across-the-board tax cuts. Obama said he was ready to talk about the budget proposal, though he disputed accusations that his administration was to blame for big increases in deficit spending. And he demurred on the idea of cutting everyone’s taxes, saying with a smile that billionaires don’t need tax cuts.
This last bit would be the JFK tax cut remark. But you’d never know for this “report”.
Chicago Tribune-BALTIMORE – In an unprecedented town-hall meeting, President Barack Obama went toe to toe Friday with some of his fiercest critics – a ballroom-full of House Republicans – accusing them of trying to derail his health-care overhaul while they complained about being shut out of the political process.
Obama repeatedly defended his policies and accused Republicans of distorting his positions for political gain. He was especially critical of the GOP’s efforts to derail the massive health-care overhaul bill in Congress.
House Republicans, who have little political power because of the large Democratic majority in the chamber, were determined to use the occasion to rebut skeptics who argue that the party offers few ideas and opposes legislation out of political convenience, not principle. They handed Obama a thick document containing Republican policy proposals when he was introduced.
Then you have the New York Times, a Little less in-your-face partisanship for once:
BALTIMORE — President Obama denied he was a Bolshevik, the Republicans denied they were obstructionists and both sides denied they were to blame for the toxic atmosphere clouding the nation’s political leadership.
But if it was at times a wonky clash of ideas, it also seemed to be a virtual marriage-therapy session — with the most pointed exchanges shown again on the evening news — as each side vented grievances pent up after a year of partisan gridlock.
Mr. Obama complained that the Republicans were painting him as a radical, making it harder to compromise. His health care plan, he said, was not “a Bolshevik plot.” The Republicans, for their part, complained that he did not listen to them and instead sat back while the Democratic “attack machine,” as one called it, demonized them.
“I am not an ideologue,” Mr. Obama said at one point, drawing skeptical murmurs from the crowd that seemed to surprise him. “I’m not,” he insisted.
But if he rejected the Republican labels for him, the Republicans rejected his for them.
“I can look you in the eye and tell you we have not been obstructionists,” Representative Jason Chaffetz, a freshman from Utah, told him.
Just to make the point that they have been more than the party of no, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, as he introduced the president handed him a booklet called “Better Solutions” compiling a variety of Republican ideas that they said the president had ignored or resisted over the last year.
“We don’t expect you to agree with us on every one of our solutions,” Mr. Boehner said, “but we do hope that you and your administration will consider them.”
See the tonal differences.
The tone was civil, but Obama stood his ground as he parried some of the harshest critics of his performance as president. His Republican hosts, aware that the event was being beamed live from a Baltimore hotel, went out of their way to show deference and largely pulled their punches.
If the session was rare by the standards of American politics – and it was – it didn’t rise to the level of question time in the British House of Commons, where opposition politicians hurl barely disguised insults at the prime minister. In the ballroom of an Inner Harbor hotel, Joe Wilson, the South Carolina congressman who loudly called the president a liar at a joint session of Congress last year, was never heard from.
Obama said that Republicans have attacked his agenda as “some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives.” As a result, he added, “you guys then don’t have a lot of room to negotiate with me.”
Truth hurts, Mr. President. 🙂
In line with his remarks about partisanship in Wednesday night’s State of the Union address, Obama said Democrats and Republicans were both to blame for demonizing the opposition party – typically to satisfy more extreme elements of the left or right. That is one of the reasons, he added, that it has gotten tougher to actually get things done in Washington.
“I think both sides can take some blame for a sour climate on Capitol Hill,” he said, after hearing repeated criticism of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s style of leadership.
At another point, he sought to ally himself with Republicans against a common enemy: the news media. “The problems we have sometimes is a media that responds only to slash-and-burn style politics,” the president said.
You didn’t hear this bit in the more liberal attack pieces. They were too busy slashing-and-burning… 🙂
Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, accused by Obama of posing a dishonest campaign talking point in the form of a question, called the event “an honest conversation. I find myself agreeing with 80 percent of what the president says. I just disagree with 80 percent of what he does.”
Amen to that.
President Obama argued that his health care plan was “pretty centrist” actually.
If this is “centrist” to him we are all doomed.
The president grew more exasperated when Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas challenged him on the spending plan he will unveil next week. “Will that new budget, like your old budget, triple the national debt and continue to take us down the path of increasing the cost of government to almost 25 percent of our economy?” he asked.
Mr. Obama called the question “an example of how it’s very hard to have the kind of bipartisan work that we’re going to do because the whole question was structured as a talking point for running a campaign.”(NYT)
So was the non-answer, Mr. President. 🙂
When Georgia congressman Tom Price charged that Obama had repeatedly accused Republicans of offering “no ideas and no solutions,” Obama shot back, “I don’t think I said that.”
Should we roll the tape? 🙂
Price then said, “Mr. President, multiple times from your administration there have come statements that Republicans have no ideas and no solutions, in spite of the fact that we’ve offered, as demonstrated today, positive solutions to all of the challenges we face, including energy and the economy and health care.”
Because Price appeared to correct himself after Obama’s reply, we decided to focus on the second claim, that people in Obama’s administration have made “statements that Republicans have no ideas and no solutions.” Price spokesman Brendan Buck provided a couple of examples and we found a couple of our own:
• At a picnic with labor officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sept. 7, 2009, Obama complained that the critics of health care reform — he didn’t identify them as Republicans, but it was clear he was referring to them — were not offering their own solutions. He said, “I’ve got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What’s your answer? What’s your solution? And you know what? They don’t have one. Their answer is to do nothing. Their answer is to do nothing.”
• A White House blog post attacking the Republican health care plan said it offered “no ideas.” (The posting appears to have a typo. It reads: “The Republican bill offers new no ideas.”)
• White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on April 19, 2009, described the Republicans as “the party of never . . . the party of no new ideas.” (He was referring not just to health care, but also to fiscal discipline.)
• At a White House briefing April 28, 2009, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made a very similar comment, saying that, “I think you heard me and others say that you can’t just be the party of no or the party of no new ideas.”
The White House doesn’t dispute that aides have portrayed Republicans that way, but a spokeswoman said the Democratic health care plan includes many amendments that were proposed by Republicans.
Still, Price is right. Obama and his aides have said the Republicans have no ideas on health care and other issues. We rate Price’s statement True.
He says one thing and does the opposite.
So the real question after all this is, will there be bi-partisanship where Democrats honestly work with Republicans and vice versa, or will it be the oft-mentioned liberal definition of “bi-partisan” where you agree to everything they say and shut and sit down as it as been modeled for the last year.
Time will tell.
But you need to watch out for The Ministry of Truth and their spin.
Orwell is alive and well.
And we must be ever vigiliant.
But the best bit I found from the forum was during Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s questions (remember that from earlier):
Obama: “That’s why I say if we’re going to frame these debates in ways that allow us to solve them, then we can’t start off by figuring out, A, who’s to blame; B, how can we make the American people afraid of the other side.”
You Mean Like it’s GEORGE W. BUSH’s FAULT!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
It’s all Wall Street’s Fault!
It’s Rich People’s Fault!
It’s the Insurance Companies Fault!
“And unfortunately, that’s how our politics works right now, and that’s how a lot of our discussion works. That’s how we start off.”
Can you hear the rock crashing through his own Glass House?
I bet he can’t.
And Nancy Pelosi was sound asleep…