There's really little opportunity for the spirit of bipartisanship to exist when you have a part-time operative for the Obama administration/cable network political commentator throwing bombs about the GOP for not catering to the Obama administration's wishes on health care reform.
CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Paul Begala bashed the opposition on Fox Business Channel's Feb. 10 broadcast of the "Imus in the Morning" program. He claimed the problem wasn't stubborn congressional Democrats wheeling and dealing behind closed doors on health care reform legislation but Republicans wanting to be obstructionists.
"Well, it is kind of preposterous," Begala said. "The Republicans bit is, ‘Well, we'll work on health care if you stop and end and scrap all the progress we've made over the course of a year.' Well no, actually. The health care bill already has 213 Republican-sponsored amendments - 213. And for that they got zero Republican votes. I guess they got one in the House, David [sic - Joseph] Cao."
And according to Begala, the reason for the GOP's unwillingness to go along with the bill passed in the Senate and the House and its pending compromise and wanting to start all over - they want insurance companies to have the ability to take advantage of their customers.
"So the problem here is not that Republicans haven't been allowed to put their ideas in the bill," Begala said. "The problem is the Republicans like the status quo. The Republicans want insurance companies to have the right to dump your ass just for getting sick or to jack up your rates just for being a woman. You know what, the real life death panels are in the status quo where insurance companies dump you. There's been huge amounts of research and testimony on this."
That's not exactly the case. Certainly, movies like Michael Moore's "SiCKO" and other left-wing hardship stories have argued for health care reform. But despite Begala's claims, Republican legislators have said they were acting on behalf of their constituents. In fact, if the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts in January wasn't enough to show that ObamaCare is losing support among the public, there's polling data to show that as well.
However, Begala did admit this was raising Republican favorability but failed to show that he understood why.
"The Republicans, by the way - they're doing very well with this profile," Begala said. "Why in the world does anybody think they're actually going to come and work responsibly with President Obama now for change? They're prospering."
And as the show's host Don Imus explained, despite Begala's shortcomings, he's done well in the political media culture.
"We're talking with former aide to President Clinton, a man who has been enormously successful in his life while being wrong about everything - Paul Begala," Imus said.