By Lindsay Beyerstein
Tomorrow, President Obama will gather with Republicans for the long-awaited televised health care summit. Obama will promote his health care proposal, the Republicans will demand that we start over.
Even House Minority Leader John Boehner dimly senses that the GOP is walking into a trap. The public is thoroughly sick of the health reform process, but people still like the idea of health care reform. So, the GOP can't just say "kill the bill" in public. Instead, Republicans have to make disingenuous speeches about "starting over," knowing full well that if health care reform dies now, it'll stay dead.
Boehner must realize the prospect of starting over is about as appealing as National Root Canal Week at the DMV. But what can he do? The Republicans have no ideas beyond "tax cuts cure cancer." And they can't boycott the summit, or they'll lose the "bipartisan" blinking contest.
So, when Obama gets on TV and lays out his reasonable-sounding plan, complete with protections against private insurers who want to hike your premiums 39% overnight, he's going to sound good and the Republicans are going to sound crazy.
Brilliant tactician Boehner is now exhorting Republicans to "crash the party" they've already been invited to.
It's a trap, alright.