This is a real opportunity:
Leading House Republicans raised the prospect Monday night that they might refuse to participate in President Obama’s proposed health care summit if the White House chooses not to scrap the existing reform bills and start over.
In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) expressed frustration at reports that Obama intends to put the Democratic bills on the table for discussion at the Feb. 25 summit.
“If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate,” Boehner and Cantor wrote.
I know you all won’t do it, but this really is a gimme. Set up the room with a side for the Democrats, including nameplates, one for the Republicans, including nameplates, and hold the summit no matter what. If they come, you can have the summit. If they don’t, then you can have the summit without them, and can use the time (as the camera pans over their empty seats) to promote the positive aspects of the current bill all while discussing the only GOP plan out there- the Paul Ryan bill. I’d suggest panning the room a good bit.
And if the Republicans don’t take a hit in the polls for refusing to show up, and if the media does not rip the Republicans apart, then you all can take out a shovel, beat bipartisanship in the back of the damned head until dead, and bury it in the WH yard, and start acting like you have large majorities.