Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 10, 2009

NAME ONE.... House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was on ABC's "Good Morning America" earlier, talking about the health care debate. Host Robin Roberts noted some of the areas of compromise President Obama brought up in his speech last night, and asked the GOP leader about whether he's prepared to offer "some compromises of your own now."

Cantor responded:

"You know, Robin, I think it's very important that we dismiss this notion of a government option. I think if we listen to the American people right now -- the fear surrounds this notion that somehow the government will replace the health care system that we know in this country."

First, if policymakers are going to "listen to the American people right now," the public option should fare quite well -- polls show most of the public likes the idea. Second, the answer doesn't match the question -- Roberts asked about where congressional Republicans may be willing to compromise. Telling the president to compromise even more is a non sequitur.

Amanda Terkel also reminded us of this piece published by Time magazine in May.

When Barack Obama informed congressional Republicans [in April] that he would support a controversial parliamentary move to protect health-care reform from a filibuster in the Senate, they were furious. That meant the bill could pass with a simple majority of 51 votes, eliminating the need for any GOP support. Where, they demanded, was the bipartisanship the President had promised? So, right there in the Cabinet Room, the President put a proposal on the table, according to two people who were present. Obama said he was willing to curb malpractice awards, a move long sought by Republicans that is certain to bring strong opposition from the trial lawyers who fund the Democratic Party.

What, he wanted to know, did the Republicans have to offer in return?

Nothing, it turned out. Republicans were unprepared to make any concessions, if they had any to make.

This has been the only real constant of the debate all year. President Obama showed his willingness to compromise by dropping single-payer as a possibility at the outset. He proceeded to signal possible concessions on a public option, a co-op plan, triggers, medical malpractice, reimbursement rates, eligibility rates. Last night, the president literally borrowed from the McCain/Palin platform in presenting new ideas.

And then there's the other side -- the one whining incessantly for weeks about killing reform and replacing it with a "bipartisan" approach. After six months of debate, can anyone name a single concession Republicans have been willing to make on reform? Literally, one?

Steve Benen 1:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (30)

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let's just tell republicans one thing...

and let's paraphrase dick cheney...


go f*ck YOURself...

Posted by: mr. irony on September 10, 2009 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

now Steve, I'm not sure that its fair to say the Repubs haven't been compromising. Why California Assemblyman Duvall was in a compromising position just yesterday.

and Cantor himself made a move - he only blackberried in moderation during the Obama speech instead of calling him names. And leadership compromised with Obama - in exchange for tort reform, they made Wilson call the WH with an insincere apology.

seriously, you should give them more credit.

Posted by: zeitgeist on September 10, 2009 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

There is plenty of room to compromise but you guys are just too busy talking to hear our silent proposals.

Posted by: Mlke K on September 10, 2009 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

see, there you go again. you're all just lying. if you really wanted to compromise, you don't need us to do it for you. you can compromise with yourselves - gut your own health care bill if you're serious about passing bipartisan health care reform! but you won't, just like you wont admit that the language in the house bill only appears to prohibit illegals from getting funding! because you're all liars and hypocrits. you just are!

Posted by: perrie on September 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

No. Not ONE!!! And Democrats need to start pointing this out publicly. OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER...

Posted by: Tim on September 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Boy the Corporate Media just can't wait to put all the fucking Repiglicans on TV can't they ? Can't wait to try to muddy the waters with yet more lies and propaganda. Matt Laur is the ultimate corporate slut. He should wear dresses festooned with the General Electric log in order to be honest.

Posted by: stormskies on September 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor is a slimy little creep.

Posted by: JS on September 10, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican party has now officially become the enemy of the American people.

Apparently they know it themselves since they're so worried about being locked up on concentration camps. Talk about a guilty conscience!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon on September 10, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Charles Boustany, a heart surgeon, gave the Republican response to Pres. Obama's speech to Congress on health care reform. Congress has been working on this legislation for many months. While every day Americans lose coverage, go bankrupt, or even die under present system, Dr. Boustany urges Congress to "start over" I certainly wouldn't want him to start a heart operation on me.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on September 10, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Spector was half-way decent today in his interview. with Andrea Mitchell this hour.

Cantor and now Hatch remain the rigid asses with no moral compass whatsoever.

Posted by: This speech has revealed the true divide and for that it was good on September 10, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

the media for the most part are whores. They (media outlets)are owned largely by conservatives who despite what the right constantly whines about dictate what is newsworthy and what is not. They tolerate some liberal views being expressed but for the most part squelch them in their tracks.

Posted by: chris on September 10, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

In the upside-down, inside-out Republican brain whack jobs like Joe Wilson think toning down their lies and outrageous claims is actually a concession:

"Hey, Obama, if you don't wanna see me go really crazy on ya you bedda get ridda dat public option!"

Is it just me or did Joe Wilson's voice sound higher at this morning's brief press gathering, like maybe someone just cut off his left nut?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 10, 2009 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I have to admit, one thing that made me chuckle last night when Obama indicated a willingness to listen to SERIOUS proposals from the GOP. Because let's face it, any ideas the GOP have, benefit insurance companies even more than they currently do. They had 6 years where they held the White House and both members of Congress. If they had a proposal THEN that would've protected Americans from paying less for insurance and not getting deep sixed if their costs were too expensive, they would've done it then. What did they do instead? Tax cuts for the wealthy and underfunding the military during two wars, not to mention underfunding education, FDA, EPA, etc. They have proven themselves to be completely uncaring for We the People. The only weapon left in their arsenal is to convince us that Obama's proposals are secretly commie, or fascist, or Islamic, or gay, or any combination of the four. And keep screaming about it until any serious discussion (or change) is impossible.

Posted by: slappy magoo on September 10, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Boustany urges Congress to "start over"

Well, If I were a Republican, I'd want a do-over on this, too.

Posted by: Andy on September 10, 2009 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Obama needs to stop being so genteel. Just pass the damn bill. The Republicans are in the pockets of big pharma and the insurance giants.

Posted by: Leslie on September 10, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a Republican compromise:

I will turn down the Rush Limbaugh Show during the commercials. There! Happy?

Posted by: chrenson on September 10, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

And that's why they ought to put single payer back on the table. Hey, if the GOP won't give us anything in exchange for eliminating an excellent public policy move that progressives support, and one that gets popular support when it is explained, then why should we eliminate it? Compromise is one thing, but when there is no reciprocity to give and take (only we give, they take), then why bother trying to get it? At this point, the "loyal opposition" party are the Blue Dogs. That's how messed up our political system is right now.

Posted by: Sisyphus on September 10, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think Eric was too busy twittering to listen to Obama had to say. Priorities, you know. Did none of the msm give him a hard time about that this a.m.?

Posted by: lou on September 10, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Cantor -- There's no slimy creep like our (7th district) slimy creep. He can sidestep a question with the worst of them.

My biggest disappointment was that Obama didn't begin with "Medicare for All" and negotiate/compromise from there, but the first clue came when the numerous insurance/health/pharma industry execs were invited to the WH.

Posted by: VaLiberal on September 10, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are in the pockets of big pharma and the insurance giants.

Plenty of Democrats are as well, and is one major reason health care reform is such a mess.

Posted by: qwerty on September 10, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

name a single concession Republicans have been willing to make on reform?

C'mon Steve. They didn't actually pull the trigger when they brought their guns to the townhall reform meetings...


Posted by: ckelly on September 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK


Exactly right.

I expect soon we'll be seeing Republican ads like, "Senator Baucus, if you don't stop pushing for health care reform we'll shoot this dog!"

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 10, 2009 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor has no clue who he is SUPPOSE to be working for, that is very obvious from his comments............you WORK for the American people you dipsh*t NOT big business, NOT the insurance companies - the American people. NOW, either do your flippin job and get out of the way and let someone THAT CARES do it instead.

Posted by: jc on September 10, 2009 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck trying to get a straight answer out of Cantor's mouth. You might have better luck going Blackberry to Blackberry.

Posted by: gf120581 on September 10, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK


...They offered to help it commit suicide.

Posted by: Blue Shark on September 10, 2009 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Did ANYONE ask that nasty little shit - Cantor - who/why he was so busy on his Blackberry last night?

He is probably the worst of the worst, because he's Jewish. It's so awful to see such a slimy little creep bringing down MY people's reputation. I cannot understand how any Jew can be a Republican. Maybe years ago when Republicans were fairly normal people....

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on September 10, 2009 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

That last sentence, "... name a single concession ..." might have been re-phrased as "... name a single contribution ..." Just a suggestion.

Posted by: frankBel on September 10, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans concede that Democrats are perfectly capable of screwing up health care reform on their own.

Posted by: Lego on September 10, 2009 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

This has always been one of my biggest complaints. Negotiations involve trading concessions. If Democrats includes Republican ideas in their legislation, and no Republicans vote for it, then you've given up something for nothing in return. Do I have to point out that this is foolish, a bad deal, and a waste of time? If, as the President pointed out last night, 80 percent of the proposals are things that everyone has no objection to, then why give up on the most important program of the reform agenda, the public option, when you are getting nothing in return?

Posted by: DavidLA on September 10, 2009 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

A little OT, but Olberman reported that the Rushster said that if Obama calls them out, they will double down. Can't wait to see that crazy coming down.

We should all make bumper stickers that say: "Pull the plug on Rush".

Posted by: Always Hopeful on September 11, 2009 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK



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