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Some campaign promises matter more than others

Is the Democrats’ failure to let C-SPAN into their negotiations merging the House and Senate health care bills a big deal because of a campaign promise by President Obama? No, it’s not.

It’s true that a campaigning Obama promised that that “we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

But when he said that, did voters actually think that he was pledging to broadcast every discussion, meeting and conversation about a health-care bill? I don’t think so. I didn’t see any complaints (from C-SPAN or anyone else) when Obama held a private White House meeting with House Democratic leaders on Wednesday.

If voters perceived that this health-care bill had been worked out entirely behind closed doors, Obama and the Democrats would be in trouble. But the debate has gone on for so long, and the wrangling over the bill has been so public, that I doubt that voters feel deprived of knowledge. In fact, they seem to have had enough of this debate. This issue will provide Republicans with a minor talking point and not much more, especially if Democrats figure out a way to make some part of their process public -- and open to C-SPAN.

But that doesn’t mean that all campaign promises are meaningless.

My hunch is that voters remember specific promises about taxes, in particular, more than most others because such pledges are concrete and clear. When George H.W. Bush declared in 1988, “Read my lips: No New Taxes,” and then turned around in the 1990 budget deal and raised taxes, that was a big deal. In fact, Bush 41 did the right thing and helped set the country on a fiscally responsible course -- a direction that his son, alas, reversed, big time. But in breaking his promise, the first President Bush hurt himself politically.

President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000 a year matters in a way the C-SPAN promise doesn’t. He probably has a bit of room on this one; voters will grant him a slight discount because they expect Democrats to raise taxes. But his running room is limited for now. As for future tax increases, which will eventually be necessary to close our big deficit, Obama will have to build a case for them over time and try to bring voters with him. Abrupt reversals on taxes don’t work.

And if the final health-care bill includes an excise tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, as it almost certainly will, Obama will hear about it, since during the campaign he vociferously opposed taxing health benefits. How much will this hurt him? Obama will argue that the tax in the health bill is different from what he denounced in the campaign, a direct tax on employer-provided health benefits. But he will still pay a price. The price will drop if the excise tax’s reach is reduced in negotiations -- whether those negotiations are broadcast or not -- and, ultimately, if voters decide the health-care plan is worth paying for.

By E.J. Dionne  | January 7, 2010; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

If this were the Republicans,I have no doubt that your position would be just the opposite.

Posted by: mmlbca | January 7, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes It Is A Big Deal.
he speaks very distinctly,
that this is HOW he will
govern differently then Bush.
and yet. he is GW Bush III!
More Troops! No withdrawl from Iraq
not closing Gitmo!
he is the worst liar we have
ever had, even Nixon is turning
in his grave!!

Posted by: simonsays1 | January 7, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for bringing some much needed sanity and balance to all the hyperventilating about campaign promises.

Pres.Obama has taken on some of the greatest challenges facing this country just like he said he would. He has been consistent on the big issues - Iraq, Afghanistan, healthcare, etc. and has taken unprecedented steps towards greater openness in government with declassification of records, FOIA requests, etc.

Have Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress been perfect? Of course not! To criticize the fact that conference negotiations haven't been televised while not giving credit for stopping the egregious Republican abuses of the last 8 years - selective classification, abuse of administrative privilege, politicization of science and Justice, holding Congressional votes and roll calls open for hours while horsetrading on the floor, etc. is ridiculous.

Thank you for your perspective.

Posted by: sambam | January 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Well Dionne,

You provide us with another daily reminder of why the fish wrap you work for is failing hard. How many stealth layoffs over there this week BTW? Maybe if you keep trying to paper over another bold faced lie from Obama and the dems they won't can you this week. Riddle me this though, what moral high ground does Obama stake out by lying on something so obvious? If his agenda is based on lies which becomes clearer everyday, how does this serve his/your cause? You know, when you have to keep lying things aren't going ur way. People who lie are making 2 clear statements ("Let me be clear"): the 1st is that the audience is too stupid to understand or care, the second is that they FEAR the reaction to the truth. Obama captures both reasons here, he is running (Gibbs) from the video and pretending this will just go away ("Read my lips...No New Taxes") it won't. What happens to liars like you and Obama is a well worn story, it's like shooting up heroine really (just ask New York). First you start lying about small stuff and shooting your drugs then since you can't stop shooting up the stories you tell hold less and meanign to you and you get more and more reckless and even annoyed at being required to give an anser for what you're doing after all you NEED to do what you're doing. Finally when the drug (lying and stealing in this case) has taken firm hold you can't view the world in any other way than with you being ENTITLED to as many hits as you feel you need. Of course anyone else that mattered (you don't matter Dionne another dishonest schill at a failing left wing newspaper that has become an apologist for a known liar. Maybe you hope that in carrying a sack of wet crap like this for Obama someone will notice and that might help you in some contemptable way, I just don't know).

Of course we are at a point where all the lies Obama is telling/told are starting to add up, you know how it is when you are around a liar, at 1st you question yourself and your understanding of things then eventually when you face that you are dealing with a complete liar you feel disgust and if that liar has some form or influence on your life you feel outrage. You know like that. You see Dionne for the audience it isn't just the lies (those are bad for him on their own and will lose him Congress and likely the Senate as well) it's the gall. Obama's gall will have his political foes roasting him in short order.

Posted by: spqr_us | January 7, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

In ITS lifetime I don't think C-Span ever got into bill reconciliation conferences, regardless of party or contents of the bills. C-Span, and everybody else, got unprecedented access to the bill writing committees and the Debates in Congress. The one from column a and one from column B portion of the process doesn't need too much exposure. Obama HAS kept his promise, we got our eyes and ears full of the acrimony it took to get the bill.

Under the OTHER Party, everything but the final vote was in closed session, Democrats not particularly welcome. The legislation for the entire republican Raj might just as well have been written in some lobbyist's living room, and much of it apparently was.

Posted by: ceflynline | January 7, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

You are an unprincipled hack. I suspect you know it, too.

Posted by: eagle22 | January 7, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne, are you really suggesting that when candidate Obama said "These negotiations will be on C-SPAN, and so the public will be part of the conversation and will see the choices that are being made" that what he was really telling us was that he was going to allow C-Span to operate normally?

C-Span has televised hearings and votes since its inception. Candidate Obama wasn't saying that it would be business as usual in terms of what the public would be allowed to see. He clearly was promising a level of access that was signficantly greater than the American public has been given in the past. And we believed he meant it. But now that he is being called to make good on that promise, he is ignoring it. Hope and change.

This has definitely not been a transparent process. Even Sen Durbin admitted as much when last month, in response to John McCain's protests about how secretive process was, said "I would say to the senator from Arizona that I'm in the dark almost as much as he is. And I'm in the leadership." Do you really expect us to believe that THIS is the opennes that candidate Obama was promising the American people?

Please don't try to spin this as much ado about nothing. Candidate Obama promised more openness and now President Obama is going back on his word. He was supposed to be different, less partisan. But based on this process he's as badly partisan as anything that has come before.

The only logical reason Pres. Obama would break such a blatant promise is because he knows that if the American people see the "choices that are being made" by the Democrats behind closed doors, we won't like it.

And the administration and Congressional Democrats don't want us to know until it's too late for us to do anything about it.

Posted by: bluesky2525 | January 7, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

It does count, especially now, since the conference committee meetings are the ones which will determine the shape of the real screwing the American taxpayer is about to get.

Posted by: srpinpgh | January 7, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse


WHERE IS AMERICA’S LEADERSHIP?

America still waits for promises of speeches, given during the most expensive Presidential campaign in history, to materialize into actions that will be positive for a Nation facing unprecedented debt, deficits and unemployment.

America is still looking for leadership.

http://pacificgatepost.com/2010/01/america-waits-for-leadership.html

Posted by: JamesRaider | January 7, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

C-SPAN's Brian Lamb to Obama: You lie.

Posted by: lure1 | January 7, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

It is really sickening that partisanship can reach such a high level, particularly from a so-called pundit who should attempt to be objective. Alas. Nothing of the sort. Obama is becoming a pathetic individual where his words are totally disconnected from his actions. Is it intentional? or uncontrolled? Many people talk but don't act. But this disease should not afflict a commander-in-chief, and a "pundit" who has the luck to have access to an important newspaper should report it. But newspapers are sinking. Perhaps that's why. They don't report objectively.

Posted by: grooves12 | January 7, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, Dionne, but the public ain't buying it. The President made a big deal about how he is different, how his administration would be transparent. He's on tape eight -- count 'em eight -- times saying the negotiations will be on C-SPAN. Your mindless devotion to this delusional President is almost as disgusting as the President himself.

Posted by: Chippewa | January 7, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

If you don't have time to read EJ's column, let me summarize it for you: "For this Administration -- and for me -- the end justifies the means."

EJ, if the promise of transparency was "unimportant," why was it repeatedly made by Obama on the campaign trail? The American people are rapidly connecting the dots and are seeing a broad outline of total contempt for their views. And November 2nd is looking more and more like an electoral bloodbath for the party in power. And I'm guessing you will actually be surprised. The arrogance of power is always like that, isn't it?

Posted by: prosecutor1 | January 8, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

If voters perceived that this health-care bill had been worked out entirely behind closed doors, Obama and the Democrats would be in trouble. But the debate has gone on for so long, and the wrangling over the bill has been so public,

Hey Dionne, are you really this stupid or did you go to journalism school to learn how to be this stupid. You are right about all the banter in the media about this sausage being masturbated in congress, however, no one,even you in your journalistic suit, knows what these clowns are doing behind closed doors.

So your astute comment "If voters perceived that this health-care bill had been worked out entirely behind closed doors, Obama and the Democrats would be in trouble." is 100% accurate. The Messiah and the democrats ARE in trouble.

Ask yourself this, WHY ARE SO MANY DEMOCRATS ABANDONING SHIP?

Posted by: frankn1 | January 8, 2010 4:33 AM | Report abuse

Eight Times The President With a Contemptuous Look Told An Enthralled Crowd that All Health Care Debates Would be on C-Span- Doctors and Nurses and Health Care Experts would be there. Oh how transparent his character, not his administration, has become.

It may be a new year, but congressional Democrats are planning the same old sorts of sleazy tactics in their bid to take over America's health care system. Congressional Republicans, especially in the Senate, should not let them get away with it. Transparency and ethics should be Republican rallying cries, and obstruction on those grounds should be a point of pride.

By now it's almost trite to complain that President Obama repeatedly has broken his campaign pledge to "broadcast [health care] negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are." That doesn't make the complaint invalid. For legislation that could so profoundly and personally affect the daily lives of every American, Congress and the White House should be more transparent and more accessible than ever before. Instead, the process has been secretive and sordid throughout.

The House passed its version of the bill on a Saturday night. The Senate held its key procedural vote at 1 in the morning, and then provided a lump of coal in our stockings by forcing full passage of its bill on Christmas Eve. The House leadership banned consideration of all but one amendment not offered by leadership itself - forbidding debate on more than 150 of them - then provided just 24 hours for members to study the bill's final text. The Senate leadership inserted so many tawdry last-minute items that analysts are still finding jokers in the deck 11 days later.

All these shenanigans have driven approval for the government health care bills even lower in public polls than the strong majorities that already opposed them a month ago. Yet that hasn't fazed congressional leaders. Now comes word from multiple sources that not only will Congress refuse to televise the usual Conference Committee to reconcile the two chambers' versions of the bill, but it won't allow a formal conference at all. Instead, a chosen few negotiators will concoct the final version out of sight, without formal rules governing the process and without a single Republican at the table.

Posted by: mharwick | January 8, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

"As for future tax increases, which will eventually be necessary to close our big deficit, Obama will have to build a case for them over time and try to bring voters with him."

==========================================

Or he could try the other method of closing deficits: reduce spending.

Posted by: Hk45 | January 8, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Promises matter. And Dionne, if it were a broken Republican promise you would be screaming your lungs out.

One broken promise we might overlook because of circumstance but there are many, many instances when Obama said one thing and is doing another. He says what the teleprompter tells him to say - then does what he planned all along - to the detriment of the American people. Just three more years, thankfully.

Posted by: Kansas28 | January 8, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Where are those "5 million green jobs that cannot be exported over seas"? OBAMA said that as many as five times a day for the whole of 2008. I was begining to become hypnotized by that promise. No word of that now even at 10% unemployment.

Posted by: iphony | January 8, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Dionne I beg to differ, the bottom line is that Obama is willing to lie to get elected. He said exactly what he meant, Congressional health care negotiations would be public, not hidden behind doors so they can agree upon bribes. The real bottom line, even Obama's original supporters should realize they just helped elect another lying politician. You sir, are a poor example of a journalist. You should be ashamed.

Posted by: staterighter | January 8, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Dionne I beg to differ, the bottom line is that Obama is willing to lie to get elected. He said exactly what he meant, Congressional health care negotiations would be public, not hidden behind doors so they can agree upon bribes. The real bottom line, even Obama's original supporters should realize they just helped elect another lying politician. You sir, are a poor example of a journalist. You should be ashamed.

Posted by: staterighter | January 8, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Many different variables might push health plans into "Cadillac" territory, including geographic location, plan demographics, and other characteristics of the insured population. More at http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?tag=cadillac-plan

Posted by: JEngdahlJ | January 8, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

How, with a clear conscious, do you keep making excuses for this ignorant, incompentent idiot? According to you, it's ok for Oblama to tell a BOLD FACED lie 8 times. You and the WP are patehtic.

Posted by: mgrantham2 | January 8, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Carry that water E.J., keep carrying the water. After all, that's your job: BHO's water carrier. You do it very well.

Posted by: wadeb123 | January 8, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Post is operating more as an Obama cheerleading squad than a bunch of objective journalists.

I guess Obama wasn't joking when he said that all the journalists in the room had voted for him.

At least Fox News has some objectivity left.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Does EJ Dionne realize how bloody stupid and ridiculous he sounds?

It's Ok?

IT'S OK????????????????????

HE ACTUALLY WROTE IT STRAIGHT UP.

IT'S OK FOR POLITICIANS TO LIE AND HIDE CORRUPT DEALMAKING INVOLVING HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG LIBERALS WITHOUT BUSH TO BASH HAVE GONE COMPLETELY FKN SIDEWAYS

Posted by: TonyV1 | January 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"But the debate has gone on for so long, and the wrangling over the bill has been so public, that I doubt that voters feel deprived of knowledge."

Really? Any data or anything to back up this assumption? Dionne might be more out-of-touch with America than our senators/congressmen.

I doubt Dionne would have this opinion if GW were in office.... Another political hack job by the state run media.

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | January 8, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

But the debate has gone on for so long, and the wrangling over the bill has been so public, that I doubt that voters feel deprived of knowledge.
====================
So sick of this stupid argument, liberals, really you should stop making it before you look even more ridiculous than your Congress.

Ok punkin... really slow now...

It's true that the debate for Health Care has been going on for months, (talked to death really), heck it's been going on for decades, and most of it is public HOWEVER

THE ACTUAL IMPORTANT MEETINGS, WHERE THE CHANGES, AMENDMENTS AND BRIBERY DEALS ARE MADE WERE ALL DONE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WITH NO REPUBLICANS, NO JUNIOR DEMOCRATS AND NO C-SPAN... OK JUNIOR?

THE REAL MEETINGS THAT I'M SURE EVERYONE WANTED TO SEE WERE THE ONES HELD WITH PELOSI, REID, OBAMA, RAHM EMMANUEL AND WHOEVER'S ARM THEY WERE TWISTING AT THE TIME--ONLY. I'M SURE IF THEY TELEVISED THESE MEETINGS, THE RATINGS WOULD HAVE TRIPLED AMERICAN IDOL ON ANY GIVEN NIGHT.

IT'S THE CLOSED DOOR MEETINGS, THE DECISION MAKING MEETINGS THAT WE CARE ABOUT PUNKIN, AND YOU HAVE TO ASK YOURSELF WHY ALL THE REAL SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES ARE MADE IN THE SECRET ONES, AND NOT IN THE PUBLIC ONES....

OHHHHHHH! STUPID LIBERAL FREE SPEECH HYPOCRITE

Posted by: TonyV1 | January 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

If voters perceived that this health-care bill had been worked out entirely behind closed doors, Obama and the Democrats would be in trouble. But the debate has gone on for so long, and the wrangling over the bill has been so public, that I doubt that voters feel deprived of knowledge.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
EJ - what rock have you been living under..it is THAT very fact...that the bill has been created by yet a handful of democrats in back rooms that the people have turned against it. It is that very fact - that as more and more information comes out on this bill - it can no longer stand the sunshine test or light of day. It gets uglier by the moment.
It does nothing as intended - it will raise taxes and healthcare costs - it is not funded 100% as BO would have us believe. To be funded 100% - that means 500 billion in medicare cuts - which wont happen....to be funded 100% that means doctor payments must be cut by 21% by congress and subsequently more in the immediate future ..that will not happen as more and more doctors wil ldrop their patients. If these same congress people can not do just that - as required in medicare - how do you expect it to occur in Obamacare. By CBO accounts - its funded - but takes into account 10 years of income vs 6 years expense...and that also includes the forementioned that will NOT occur. This bill is a 2.5 trillion - yes trillion dawg and will bankrupt this great country. Bury it NOW.

Posted by: short1 | January 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

To Obama and the Dems:

You are where you are because I and thousands like me worked hard for you.

For you to turn around and tax MY healthcare benefits or PUT DOWNWARD pressure on them is UNCONSCIONABLE.

Employer based health-care is precarious enough. If you think that pushing me toward the open health-care market is just necessary collateral, you just wait until the next election and we'll see who is necessary collateral or not.

TRAITORS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ethanquern | January 8, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, Obama is breaking a campaign promise. OMG, this is supposed to be a world-class shock development?

Maybe in the cabbage patch where you live.

Get a grip.

There ain't no hay to make out of this one, because there ain't no hay.

If you are shocked and horrified that a candidate broke a promise once elected, you have a VAST education ahead of you.

If you are shocked and horrified that the DEMS are working behind the scenes to craft legislation, well, turn about is fair play. All it does is prevent the looneys from trying to impede the process.

Looneys, your stripes are showing!

Posted by: ethanquern | January 8, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It's about transparency and having open negotiations, not closed door meetings, bribes and pay offs and votes at 1 a.m.
It's about not having a joint conference committee hearing to work out the details, just to save time so the reform can be rushed through Congress with 60 senate votes before the President's state of the union address. It's an undemocratic (small "d") process.
With the economy still stagnant and more job losses reported in December, the American people are entitled to openness, to see the details of this very costly proposal in the light of day and before a live C-span camera.

Posted by: pjsilva | January 8, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Had McCain been elected and proceeded to cynically break many of his campaign promises, somehow I doubt if partisan Democratic pundits, such as Dionne, would be so forgiving. One of the biggest disappointments in Obama is he has broken many campaign promises. This may not be a big deal to those who think politicians should or have to lie to be elected, but to the rest of us, honesty and integrity are very important, including in elected officials. In this regard Obama is no worse, no better than his predecessors who misled or lied to people, to win.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 8, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne,

Count me as one of the suckers that fell
for Obama when he decisively stated there would be C-Span coverage of the health care
debate. This is why voters become cynical
with both parties.

Obama appeared to be honest and clear thinking each time he repeatedly promised
that C-Span would cover the health care debate.
You see this as politics as usual. I
think he lied for votes.
You think the ends justify the means
and I question your values.
Health care negotiations should be open to C-SPAN cameras." C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb accused President Obama of using his network as a "political football" during the presidential campaign, citing the president's broken promises.."
I agree with Mr. Lamb's statement.

Obama made a promise to the voters and they believed him and based their votes on his declaration of transparency.

Obama needs to keep his promise and be held accountable.
This issue of transparency is as vital
as any of the legislation that is being crafted.

Posted by: HannahMelloy | January 8, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Not all promises are equal?

When a candidate makes campaign promises, each one is used at a particular time for a specific purpose; depending on the issue and the crowd. Promises are made to rouse a specific group and in this particular case, to demonstrate a new beginning and specifically, a change from doing things as in the past. Remember the catch phrase “yes we can”? This phrase was used to mean many things to different people.

So when candidate Obama makes a promise and does not take action when he is the President, he is no different from his predecessors. President Obama had a huge percent of the young voter who rallied behind him because of his rhetoric and promises that demonstrate a break from the “past”. Those young voters will not support him next time. Worse, they may not support anyone else who uses “soaring rhetoric” and values those promises differently. As Mr. Dionne states, it the promise was about taxes, that is a promise that should be kept; Health Care is about 1/6 of the United States economy and therefore it is important to be part of the discussion.

Posted by: srich1 | January 9, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Is there no depth that the leftist at the Washington Compost will not go to protect the Zero?

Posted by: Pilot1 | January 9, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Democrats are in a precarious situation. 2010 Vote All Democrats Out of Congress.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | January 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne, ideology is a terrible thing when it blinds you to reality. Have you no shame? You can not be taken seriously ever after this piece of writing.

Posted by: pescador17 | January 9, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne is right!

The one thing that we have all learned in the age of Obama is certainly that:

All animals are created equal BUT some pigs are more equal than others.

Question:

Are the internet rumors true? Is Mr. Dionne really being considered to head the new Ministry of Newspeak?


Posted by: TECWRITE | January 9, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne is right!

The one thing that we have all learned in the age of Obama is certainly that:

All animals are created equal BUT some pigs are more equal than others.

Question:

Are the internet rumors true? Is Mr. Dionne really being considered to head the new Ministry of Newspeak?


Posted by: TECWRITE | January 9, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

One could say that the President did keep his campaign promise to utilize CSPAN for this health care debacle, but only if one defines CSPAN as follows:

Corrupt--Secret--Partisan--Anti-democratic--Negotiations (CSPAN).

Posted by: VirginianforFreedom | January 9, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne's defense of unending lies on the campaign trail starkly illustrate what is the central problem in American politics --- the belief that words do not matter in a campaign.

Voters need to HOLD POLITICIANS RESPONSIBLE for what they say.

Until this country demands truth, honesty, and accountability we will continue to elect lying, cheating, deceitful scumbags to represent us.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | January 9, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"But when he said that, did voters actually think that he was pledging to broadcast every discussion, meeting and conversation about a health-care bill? I don’t think so."

Of course you don't.

If Obama was on the front lawn of the white house killing babies with a pitchfork, you'd defend it.

You're probably the most partisan columnist at the Post.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | January 10, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi said the same thing. It's an open process. Really, well can anyone tell us whats in the health care bill. No Democrat that has been interviewed can tell anyone what's in the bill. C-Span was brought up because it was President Obama who was making a comparison in the type of government he was going to have compared to the government we had. It was President Obama who put his foot in his mouth. If President Obama can remind the people of the promises he made, why can't others remind him of the promises he's broken. President Obama can't have it both ways. Any type of meetings behind closed doors especially when their held in Washington by Representatives of the people should be cause for alarm. Anyone who can't see this is just looking the other way for political reasons.

Posted by: houstonian | January 10, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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