John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Glowing Profile, Growing Dysfunction

Posted on March 2, 2010
Rarely has a glowing, front-page profile in a leading daily newspaper been so controversial.  The President’s Chief of Staff got the full treatment today, as his allies let it be known that he is the only voice of reason in a White House that is struggling to remain relevant.

It was Rahm who said that the Democrats should have gone small on health care.  It was Rahm who said that the Administration would need help from Senate Republicans to close Guantanamo Bay.  It was Rahm who said that the Democrats would have to ditch the public option.  It was Rahm who said that the President wasn’t the Messiah, but just another guy who needed to get some solid accomplishments done before his team faced the voters.

If Rahm was right, guess who was wrong?  Yep, the President.  Oops!

But the President wasn’t only one who was wrong.

Nancy Pelosi has been wrong not to dump Charlie Rangel.  That is not my opinion.  That is the opinion of about 100 Democrats who will break ranks any day and vote to strip the Chairman of his Chairmanship.  Wonder how the CBC will react to that one?  Probably not very nicely.

The media thinks that Jim Bunning was wrong to hold up the unemployment benefits bill, over a quaint idea that the Congress would actually pay for more spending.  Hey, but wait a minute!  Didn’t Democrats just pass legislation a couple of weeks ago promising that they were going to pay for any new spending?

Is Bunning really in the wrong here?  Sure, he may be crazy as a loon, but even crazy people get it right sometimes, don’t they?  How hard would it be for the Democrats, who promised only 21 days ago in actual legal language that they were going to pay for all new spending, to find 10 billion dollars to pay for this bill?   Pretty hard, apparently.

The Democrats are starting to remind me of the guy who says he is going to take you out for dinner, and then makes you pay when he “forgets” his wallet.   Except this time, they forgot to tell the American people that they were actually lying about being fiscally responsible.

Now, keep in mind, the Democrats are getting ready to pass a health care bill -- a health care bill that is about as popular as athlete’s foot -- by using a procedure that practically guarantees that no Republicans will ever vote for it, not even that guy who took Bill Jefferson’s seat.  From a political standpoint, I think that is wrong.

The language used by all of the pundits (including me) is that the Democrats are trying to jam this down the throats of the American people.

This actually reminds me of the clever Republican strategy to impeach a President who enjoyed popularity ratings in the upper 60’s.  Except with impeachment, nobody really got hurt.  With this health care bill, many people are going to face either higher taxes or fewer Medicare benefits, or worse health care.

I wouldn’t want to be one of those Democrats who Speaker Pelosi said would have to be sacrificed so that President Obama gets something done on health care.  They probably think this whole thing is wrong.

President Obama must be wondering why his chief of staff is getting all the good press, while he is getting all the blame.  Good question.