Is it a soap opera? Is it a playoff game? Is it a reality TV show?
Well, yes — to all of the above.
But the main thing is, it’s a GOP trap.
In what he claims is a bipartisan move, President Obama is getting Republicans to attend a televised healthcare summit on Thursday.
Through it, he’ll try and pull off a takeover of the entire healthcare system — something that most Americans find sickening.
The staged set is Blair House, the presidential guest quarters across from the White House.
After the “show” airs, the White House will likely post an amply ambiguous healthcare plan on its Web site. Obama’s hope will be that, following the charade, the GOP’s image will be severely dented; this in a congressional election year in which the Dems thus far have lost a significant amount of momentum.
“I don't want to see this meeting turn into political theater, with each side simply reciting talking points and trying to score political points,” Obama said Saturday in his radio and Internet address.
Translation: Political theater is exactly what Obama is planning.
The main points the president wants to score are: (1) characterize his healthcare plan as positive, necessary and vital to the economy’s recovery; (2) paint the GOP as being the party of “No”; and (3) look like a moderate while winking to his Left.
Make no mistake about it — Obama is in full campaign mode, just like always. He wants to be a hero to his liberal base. He wants to win back independent voters who were giddy over him in the 2008 election. And he wants to reassure his radical fans that he’s going full steam ahead with his agenda.
What should the Republicans do?
Stay home would be a good idea, but that probably won’t happen.
Barring being no-shows, they should prepare for the event by arming themselves with the truth — that the whole thing will have absolutely nothing to do with substance. On the contrary, it will have everything to do with stagecraft.
My advice to the GOP is to watch a video of a Reagan speech on Wednesday evening, take two Red Bulls in the morning, and at just the right time, pass the mike to Joe Wilson.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, commentator, media analyst and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on various landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and Chief Legal Counsel for InternationalEsq.com, a legal think tank and educational institute for the study of law in the media.
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