It never seems to fail. Just when you think common sense and rational discourse are about to break out, the demon forces of empty rhetoric and intellectual dishonesty rise up to claim everyone’s attention. The president said as much at the Health Care Summit last week when, after some quite reasonable discussion, Minority Leader Boehner reiterated Republicans’ favorite talking points – – deriding the size of the current health-care bill, making the bogus assertion that the Democrats’ plan represents a government takeover of health care, and that it should be scrapped and a new bi-partisan venture be undertaken.

In Republican-speak bi-partisan usually means something completely divergent from the president’s agenda which has already been diluted in a vain attempt to extract some degree of participation from the minority. Even the more reasonable members of the Republican delegation reverted to type as soon as they left Blair House, repeating ad nauseum the same stultifying points that so mislead and misinform the public. For if one begins from the premise, as articulated by conservative hero Ronald Reagan, that “government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem”, it’s a long uphill climb to arrive at a consensus for finding solutions to the country’s problems.

Post continues at for Tuesday, March 2nd 2010