In a classic case of “he was for it before he was against it,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Some midwestern state) — who spent the better part of the past three months complaining that health care debate wasn’t being televised in its entirety on C-Span — is now furious that Barack Obama wants to have a public discussion of health care…in its entirety…on C-Span.
On his way to the nearest spray-tan shop yesterday, Boehner swung by Greta Van Sustern’s show. Here’s some back-and-forth from their interview:
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of the fact that it’s televised? The American people are probably delighted that we’re getting this televised.
BOEHNER: I think that’s fine, but you know, is this a political event or is this going to be a real conversation?
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, except that we’ve been hammering them about the transparency.
BOEHNER: I don’t…
VAN SUSTEREN: The president said, you know, he was going to put everything on C-Span, so we can’t criticize him now for when he finally does put it on C-Span.
BOEHNER: Well, that’s fine, but I want to make sure that we’re going to have an honest conversation, you know, an honest, bipartisan conversation about how we can approach this. I don’t want to walk into some set-up. I don’t know who’s going to be there. I don’t know how big the room’s going to be. I don’t know — what the set-up is going to be.
Um, what? He doesn’t want to walk into a set up? He’s concerned about the size of the room and who’s going to be there? Does he think Barack Obama’s going to murder him with a band of ninjas?
The size of the room!? Are you being serious, John Boehner!?
Look, we get it; John Boehner was in the room a few days ago when Barack Obama (sans teleprompter) manhandled the GOP at their own swanky retreat. He doesn’t want the same thing to happen again, and he certainly doesn’t want people to realize that the health care bill doesn’t actually have death panels in it. He’s smart enough to know that health care passing is a victory for Barack Obama, and he’s duplicitous enough to continue hammering transparency while working to avoid compromise.
To be clear again, to the GOP, this isn’t about working together. They have absolutely no desire to move health care. They’ve stipulated that a precondition for attending this discussion is a complete scrapping of the existing health care bill — publicly-available legislation that was crafted for months with bipartisan input. Like everything else, this isn’t about policy, it’s about political points. And the GOP aren’t about to allow the Democrats and the president to earn any.