C-SPAN president and founder Brian Lamb has offered his network’s services to Barack Obama for live coverage of “all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings” involving the final health care bill. The Senate and House bills need to be reconciled before going back to each house for final votes.
Lamb is making the offer due to Obama’s pledge during the campaign for the Democratic nomination for president that all health care bill negotiations would be done in the open:
“That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are,” Obama said at a debate against Hillary Clinton in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2008.
Clinton, while First Lady, had conducted her process for health care reform in the early 1990s largely in secret, one of the factors leading to its downfall.
Rancho Miller, through its many highly placed sources (Hi, mom!!), has obtained a rough draft of what we are assured is Obama’s response to C-SPAN.
First, let me congratulate you on your contribution to reality TV. Although I don’t find C-SPAN as precipitously enervating as, say, “American Idol,” I’m sure it serves some function for somebody, just not me, because, as you know, I am president and I am busy.
I appreciate your offer of C-SPAN for televising health care negotiations. Unfortunately, most of the work has already been done and what would be televised would be fairly boring to the American people. We just need to tighten up some language, such as how we will force all Americans to buy health insurance and what punishments we should enact on them if they don’t. I believe, and I think I speak for myself, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, that these negotiations would be of no interest to the people and that you would be better situated by airing “American Idol” auditions.
As for my pledge during the 2008 debate against now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that there would be open and transparent negotiations on health care legislation, let me be clear on one thing (and please imagine me pointing pinchy fingers and thumb at you as I say this): That was then and this is now. That was not just the last hit for the Monkees. This is the way it is. I was trying to position myself precipitously as being different than Hillary Clinton, besides the fact that she’s allegedly a girl and I’m definitely a guy, as witnessed by the pics of my pecs published in several check-out lane magazine racks. That was done to get the Democratic nomination for president. Once I was elected president, all bets were off. Notice that I didn’t keep a promise by posting the stimulus bill for 48 hours on the World Wide Web before signing it. What? You expected me to then keep my pledge to make health care negotiations public? You’re a Lamb being led to water if you think that.
In addition, we need to look at the meanings of the words I used. First, when I said I wanted to bring all parties together, I meant it. Unfortunately, the Communist Party and Green Party have declined to send representatives to the negotiations, so obviously, we can’t fulfill that part of my promise.
Also, when I said we would not negotiate behind closed doors, I meant that we would negotiate behind closed doors. I don’t know where that “not” came from. I suspect it was left over from the Bush Administration.
When I then said that I wanted to broadcast these negotiations on C-SPAN, I meant … well, actually, I figured by the time the whole thing rolled around, people wouldn’t care about what I said then, such as that I was opposed to an individual mandate. I, as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was correct. No one except the tea baggers cares, and who cares about what they care about? Obviously, the American people didn’t notice that I fumbled the oath of office when I became president of the United States and thought I actually swore to defend the Constitution. Hah. Again, I say, hah. I am a politician. Politicians lie. I didn’t win the Nobel Truth Prize, after all.
Finally, the American people don’t need to know what their choices are. They need to line up and do what they’re told. That’s what Bill Ayers said That’s what I learned in my community organizing days. We know what’s best for them. If I cared what they thought or what the polls said, then I wouldn’t be doing my job as president or as Nobel Peace Prize winner.
So, Brian, keep up the good work, whatever it is that you do. We’ll remember you the next time it’s time for handing out trillions of dollars. I hope you have good health insurance, too, because, of course, you can keep it. Until you can’t. But that will be then, and this is now.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and President Barack Obama, Esq.
UPDATE: This video was posted. Barack Obama responded by saying that he had “no idea who that man in the computer is.”