Obama Ju-Jitsus The Republicans

The Lion just watched Mr. Obama’s meeting with House Republicans in Baltimore. Well, they were in Baltimore and The Lion was ranting from his recliner on Cape Cod. The wonders of television, you know.

This meeting put Mr. Obama, alone, at a microphone in front of the entire Republican caucus. He gave a short speech and then took questions.

Anyway, the so-called questions started off with Representative Mike Spence of Indiana supposedly positing a question. What he actually did was parrot a scripted talking point designed to embarrass the President.

At that point The Lion slammed his finger onto the remote control off button, cursed roundly, and left the room. Unfortunately The Lion is somewhat weak-willed, and after heating up some nice Italian wedding soup, he turned the fool box back on and watched the rest of the Republican charade.

No point in rehashing the details. The major points to take from the exercise were that the Republicans apparently comprise a bunch of adolescents, and that Mr. Obama would appear to be smarter than the whole Republican caucus, and a better, more decent, more civil human being than any of them can possibly claim to be.

The Republicans’ questions were so obviously scripted, so obviously intended to trap or embarrass the President rather than elicit a genuine give and take, that The Lion almost felt like feeling a bit of sympathy for the Republicans. Loyal readers will be glad to know that The Lion did not give in.

The most embarrassing performance was given by a woman Representative from Tennessee. She gave a five minute speech in such an annoying tone, and so far out of bounds for the purpose of the meeting, that Mr. Obama at one point tried to break in, but she just kept rolling along, spewing distortion after deceit after misinformation on her way to a proforma question.

Mr. Obama, to his credit and as he did during the whole session, called her out on her twisting of fact. He did not back down once during the whole meeting, and he called out individuals directly when they tried to lie or distort. Time after time he pointed out that what they were saying was factually wrong. Over and over the Republicans claimed none of their ideas were heard, and time after time Mr. Obama gave them chapter and verse on where and how their very ideas were incorporated into various legislation.

Mr. Obama turned the Republicans’ transparent deceit against them in this very public forum in an act of political ju-jitsu. It was enough to restore some of The Lion’s lost faith in the man.

The President’s goal for this meeting was to restart a civil and productive conversation between the parties for the purpose of solving the country’s problems rather than positioning themselves for the next election.

The Republican goal for the meeting was to embarrass the President by pushing talking points rather than opening an honest give-and-take.

Obama seemed to sincerely want a legitimate conversation. The Republicans wanted nothing more than to score some public relations points.

The Lion would like to see Mr. Obama prevail and the government return to a legitimate and productive process of governing for the people.

The Lion also believes, as he has for some time, that the Republicans have no interest in legitimate and productive government, which is no surprise since they have shown over and over that they are incapable of governing beyond the level of the tribes in Lord of the Flies. Today’s performance by the Republican tribe proved that.

If you missed the live telecast, look for it on the web. It’s well worth watching, and, at its core, far more exciting than anything else you’ll find on television.

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17 Responses

  1. Thanks for the play-by-play. I’ll have to take a look. I think liberals know already that this is how Republicans behave. I hope the President to their inability to have a discussion to heart.

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    • Could you perhaps rephrase that last sentence for some of my slower readers?

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      • Just get the Remedial Melissa Dictionary. Geesh. 😉

        TOOK, The President took blah blah blah….

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        • I tried, but Amazon was completely sold out. Apparently a lot of people don’t understand you. 🙂

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          • Grrrr.

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            • Jeez, just trying to be helpful… I’m really a sweetheart of a guy – after I’ve had my morning coffee.

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  2. My question is, did this attempt at civil conversation convince the president that trying to discourse productively with the Repugnants is useless? Once he figures that out, maybe he and his equally spinally challenged congressional cohorts can actually stop talking and get on with the business of governing.

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    • Good question, Chappie. I’ll ask him next time he stops in for dinner.

      I doubt that he’ll stop trying to open a conversation with the Rethugs, and I doubt their leadership will come around, but he may pull a few out of the orbit of the rabid dogs leading their pack. I am also convinced that the Rethug leadership will never hold one of these confabs with him again: he cleaned their clock, public-relations-wise.

      It’s also kind of difficult to get on with the business of governing when business is governing.

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  3. Hey, a free photo op for the Prez and the Gee o’Pee. Just what the country needed!

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    • Dunno how free the GOP thinks it was, considering what it cost them in public image.

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    • Gee O’Pee. 😀 Funniest thing I’ve seen in days!

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  4. Ric – I doubt that the GOP thinks they lost anything in public image. I don’t think they give a damn about their public image. As long as enough idiots buy into their ideology to get them into power, and enough others get disgusted enough with Obama and the Dems to vote against them in the next couple of elections just to make a point, the Repugs don’t care what people like you and me think of them. Unlike the Dems, they’re not trying to be loved by everyone; they’re content with winning just enough votes (hearts are good too, but unnecessary as long as the votes go their way) to get into power again.

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    • As long as they believe Obama just lied to them at that meeting they can maintain that they did well against him. But I do think that if Obama keeps that sort of pressure on them, keeps slapping them in the face with the facts, some of them who still maintain some degree of rationality, some quantum of the ability to think for themselves, then there is a chance to weaken the structure the wingnuts have imposed on the party. But the Dems have to keep attacking, on the facts, and can never back down. If they do that, and if they push ahead with well-reasoned and evidence-supported programs, we may have a chance to return to decent government.

      Having said that, I have to add that I’m not really hopeful that that is how things will go. I see instead a descent into a fractured, bloodied society. But then I’m an optimist, eh?

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  5. Do you suppose that the middle third of the country (not the 20% who are Palinites on the right, nor the 40% slightly left of center ‘liberals’, but the actual center) will finally notice that, for the past year, Obama has reached out again and again and again and again to the GOP and has been ignored/insulted/bitten every time? Will they notice that the GOP has no interest in actually running the country (not that they really have since Goldwater)? )Not that the Dems are great at actually running the country, but most of them at least give the impression that they are trying to be effective.)

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    • Given that the middle went for Scott Brown in the Massachusetts election, I’d have to say that the voters either haven’t paid attention, or don’t have sufficient attention span to figure anything out, or that the Rethugs are better at driving pickup trucks and telling stories than the Dems. As the smarter analysts, like Drew Westen, have tried to tell the Dems over and over, voters don’t respond to statistics and plans and wonkisms – they’re not mature enough. Voters are still like a bunch of third graders going ‘Oh wow!’ over a good story but whose eyes glaze over when facts and figures make the scene.

      That’s the difference between Dems and Rethugs. Dems think the voters have a modicum of intelligence and can reason. Rethugs know the voters are frigging idiots who can’t reason any better than monkeys. In fact, monkeys are smarter.

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      • Damn, aren’t we cheerful this afternoon?

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        • Well, no. What’s your point?

          Send Scotch, that good old cheerer-upper stuff you use.

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