Barack Obama, the post-partisan uniter: among the many preposterous pro-Obama talking points we heard during the campaign, this is probably my favorite, just because it’s always been so manifestly absurd. An extremely pro-choice, rabidly anti-gun congregant of a racist church with a record of calling Republicans racist was going to get the country beyond partisanship? Yeah, right. After he assumed the presidency, he offered Republican lawmakers an oh-so-subtle “I won” in response to their disagreements, has whined about GOP “obstructionism,” blamed others for his problems and told them to “get out of the way,” and generally shown remarkably little interest in actually reaching across the aisle.
Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) is having none of it, either. Last night, she told Sean Hannity that she has little hope that Obama’s upcoming “bipartisan” healthcare summit will prove to be anything other than a sham:
If his intent is to get a photo op so he can check the box and claim he has bipartisanship and transparency, then that seems pretty disingenuous. We don’t want just a political dog and pony show. We want real negotiations, and real discussion. We would love to be able to present our great ideas before the president; we just wanna know if that’s really what he’s looking to do.
My money’s on “photo op,” too. As Bachmann notes, Obama only notified House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) of the summit an hour before announcing it with Katie Couric, and when pressed for details, revealed that a new start or radical departures from the Democrats’ current universal healthcare plan aren’t exactly what he has in mind.
Simply put, there’s no reason to believe anything Obama says is sincere, and every reason to believe the primary motivation of his every word is political calculation. As explained above, his partisan record stands in stark contrast to his flowery rhetoric, and his ever-expanding list of broken promises is the stuff of legends.
Rumor has it that even Obama himself wasn’t too crazy about “Yes We Can!” as a campaign slogan in 2008. As the president gears up for his reelection in 2012, perhaps I can humbly suggest a more fitting alternative: caveat emptor.