Krauthammer on Health Care and Jobs

Charles Krauthammer from tonight’s All Stars on the health care summit:

“I think this is not about real compromise or finding a middle way, this is  all about theater.  It’s a two act production tomorrow six hours long…an Obama production that pits the Children of Light against the Apostles of Nihilism.  That’s exactly how he’s staked it out and I think his whole idea is to present an event in which he gets the upper hand or the Republicans produce a sound bite that is embarrassing and it encourages the troops in the House and the Senate because he then has to go into reconciliation which is a tricky maneuver, and a parliamentary maneuver, and which is extremely problematic.  Tomorrow is all about theater and after that is real legislation.”

On reconciliation and Biden’s criticism of the Republican power grab when they used reconciliation:

“It’s a three-bank shot.  And I think it gets stuck int he House because Pelosi lacks the votes and in the Senate because it allows the Republicans endless amendments, but I want to add one thing:  I want to see the text of the prayer that Biden is now offering that Democrats not nakedly grab power.  I’d love to have that liturgy so we can all repeat it.”

On Obama’s address to the Business Roundtable today:

“He pretended he would pivot away from health care onto jobs but he’s still stuck on health care.  But the problem is this and it ‘s a problem all presidents have  Republican or Democratic.  The government doesn’t essentially create the  jobs; it can save a few in a recession.  You can have a “make work” job that will last a year or two, but essentially it’s the private sector.  And there’s not much the government can do.  But in a recession you have to pretend,.  And that’s what I think the new jobs bill in the Senate is all about.  Look, Reagan had that problem in ’81 and ’82 and he actually was pretty honest about it.  He said “Stay the course.” He didn’t have these huge stimuli and ultimately the economy rebounded, but if you’re a Democrat you’ve got to act differently, and he is now, with the jobs bill out of the Senate, I think there is one now that is rather small, there will be another one in a couple of months; you have to give the appearance of being involved in jobs because if you ask yourself ultimately what does the government do in a recession – not much; it tries to get out of the way and to lower taxes and you can stimulate private economic activity which ultimately will create the jobs.”

“Obama is treading water on jobs.  He thinks he needs heath care and because he believes in it and secondly because he thinks if he comes away with nothing after a year on health care he’ll be wounded in a way he’ll never recover.”