The Obama administration loves the word “summit.” We’ve had beer summits, jobs summits, business summits, summits with auto-industry big wigs, and summits with Big Labor. In fact we’ve seen so many summits that it may well be time to change the definition of the word. It’s longer an important, possibly once-in-a-lifetime meeting between two heads of state. No, sir. These days, a summit is a gathering of people, from a specific corner of American life, that have angered or frustrated our wise commander in chief.
Case in point was last week’s health care summit. Repeatedly referred to as a “discussion” or “dialogue,” the meeting was allegedly designed to fix a problem upon which you, the American public, demand the government take action. In reality, it was nothing more than a grotesque, overblown spectacle of attempted damage control—a desperate move made by a president willing to try anything to right his floundering ship. Remember, had he been able to pass health care as planned, he’d never have embarked on this “bipartisan” fiasco.
Going in, all the platitudes were in place. The summit was an opportunity to work together—to hear all sides and choose the best ideas from both parties. Then, the president threw a childish hissy fit at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), exposing the phony nature of the event with three caustic words: “The election’s over.” The president wasn’t there to listen, he was there to dictate.
Unfortunately for Obama, what ended up on television was hours of video featuring a petulant, self-important, lecturer scolding those he views as inferior. Perhaps he blames them for the year-long failure of his agenda, or simply deems them responsible for the Obamacare debacle, but his disdain for the assembled congressmen was palpable. The president’s nose-in-the-air demeanor was captured by an unforgiving camera and broadcast to millions of viewers. Someone needs to tell the commander in chief that body language isn’t just a goofy segment on “The O’Reilly Factor,” because the attitude is unflattering, painfully obvious, and one of the reasons his poll numbers take a nosedive every time he opens his mouth.
The other reason is that, despite being assured that they overwhelmingly support the president’s initiatives, the politically aware are just not on board with the big-government cause. They spent an entire year making that fact clear to all but the most willfully ignorant. In fact, 24 hours after the summit, as if to drive the point home, a CNN/Opinion Research poll revealed that 56 percent of Americans believe “the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.”
After more than a year of “hope and change,” almost 60 percent of Americans feel their own government is the enemy. Lest you think only the right believes this, the number includes a whopping 63 percent of independents—the very people who’ve been given the dubious honor of having placed Obama in power.
So, when Democrats say they want health care reforms that grant the government control over another one-sixth of the economy, it’s getting harder and harder for them to lie about the source of the resistance. Unable to pass their legislation normally, and increasingly unable to pretend it’s popular, the left has now decided that reconciliation is the only remaining course if they’re going to successfully dismantle the free market. In other words, if the American people refuse to choose big government, it will be chosen for them, and rammed down their throats. Obama once called resistance to his health care agenda a “buzzsaw.” Right now it’s spinning at about 56 percent of capacity. Just wait until he tries to force this mess on the people from whom he derives his rapidly diminishing power.
For now, there’s little that ordinary Americans can do but scream at their congressmen and watch the spectacle unfold. That feeling of helplessness—of not being listened to—will present itself as a powerful conservative weapon in the fall. Until then, the best course of action is to avoid any “summit” invitations.
When this president extends a hand, there’s usually a dagger in it.
Robert Laurie writes a daily political commentary blog, The Robalution. Robert holds a degree in English from Wayne State University, and has worked in advertising as a graphic designer and copy writer.