Closing the door on openness

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President Obama pledged repeatedly during the presidential campaign to conduct health-care reform negotiations in public -- on cable TV, no less.

Did he lie, or just change his mind?

"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 during a 2008 primary election debate.

So far, however, most every substantive negotiation has occurred behind closed doors. That continued to be the case this week, even as C-SPAN offered to make good on Mr. Obama's promise by televising House and Senate negotiations on health-care reform.

"President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation's editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation's health care system," C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb wrote in a letter to Congress, which the private nonprofit C-SPAN is charged with televising. "Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American."

We don't see how the White House and Congress can argue with that.

Nor is Mr. Obama the only one who has promised more transparency. When she took over as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi famously pronounced, "The Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history."

All evidence to the contrary.

Fact is, Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are keeping the negotiations behind closed doors, and are doing their best to streamline the system so Republicans are unable to stop this runaway train.

This is not what any of them promised. And it's no way to overhaul one-sixth of the American economy.

If Pelosi, Reid, et al., are truly fighting for the little guy as they like to portray themselves, what's wrong with letting the little guy in on the debate?

C-SPAN pointedly and courageously reminded everyone of the president's pledge to televise health-care negotiations in its letter to Congress.

But if Democratic leaders haven't been listening to the American people -- who have, angrily at times, and in convincing poll numbers, told Democrats they don't want this brand of reform -- why should they listen to C-SPAN?

Leaders invite scrutiny.

Rulers shun it.

What we've got in Washington is rulers.

Comments (31) Add comment
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AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 01/07/10 - 02:17 am
0
0
If you have nothing to hide,

If you have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

Riverman1
90513
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Riverman1 01/07/10 - 04:53 am
0
0
We need to have some people

We need to have some people like that couple who crashed the White House party sneak into the negotiations. That's about the only way we can find out what's going on with our government these days.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 01/07/10 - 04:56 am
0
0
The Republicans have offered

The Republicans have offered nothing but stall and defeat tactics on the healthcare bill and the Democrats have wasted enough time trying to negotiate with them. Ignore the defeatist and get on with passing the bill and move on to other business. Republicans have stalled health care in America since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930's.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 01/07/10 - 05:24 am
0
0
Yeah gasp, isn't it amazing

Yeah gasp, isn't it amazing that all socialists tell the same story from the same perspective. The truth just doesn't seem to be in them. Nothing new here, and yet the Dems keep falling for the same old lies.

Riverman1
90513
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Riverman1 01/07/10 - 05:29 am
0
0
Gaspring, I'm all for

Gaspring, I'm all for healthcare for everyone, but how can we pay for it? Now they're saying those with good health care insurance will have to pay a tax. Even Democratic union workers are balking at that. It's like if you take an aspirin, you will have to set one aside for someone with no insurance.

HowieBoutneaux
0
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HowieBoutneaux 01/07/10 - 05:38 am
0
0
gasping, tell the truth. The

gasping, tell the truth. The Republicans have a plan/draft bill THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EVEN PRESENT FOR DISCUSSION! They are not allowed in ANY of these discussions or negiotiations. EVERYTHING Obama (PBUH) said about how "law making" would be done under his administration is a LIE! Even Pelosi says he was lying.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 01/07/10 - 06:02 am
0
0
Rep. Wilson of South Carolina

Rep. Wilson of South Carolina said it loud and clear, now even the slow understand him.

Riverman1
90513
Points
Riverman1 01/07/10 - 06:14 am
0
0
HowieBoutneaux, yep, the same

HowieBoutneaux, yep, the same Pelosi who had a bill passed exempting her husband's company from paying minimum wage to workers in Samoan canning factories. Why does the national press keep up this charade?

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 01/07/10 - 06:28 am
0
0
Riverman1 - Folks will beat

Riverman1 - Folks will beat me for this one, but the sun is setting on the American empire and we'll have to do what Europe did years ago. Spend more of our national wealth on domestic programs and less on empire. Many people will agree our society is coming unglued and who knows how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 01/07/10 - 06:29 am
0
0
gaspringwater-a favorite

gaspringwater-a favorite tactic of the liberals is to keep repeating lies til they are accepted by the public as a fact because the liberal news wont report it. great way to run a political party built on constant lies spread by the willing followers of those lies and a willing press. no wonder we are broke. no longer can we a honest debate and discuss ideas because the liberals in the govt and the press wont allow it. the truth is that since April of 09 the republicans in the house have offered 3 separate health bills, none allowed to goe forward. amendments were not even considered by the majority in charge and then closed door meeting. yep the great deliberative body is reduced to a handful of socialist dims so much for our constitution and representative govt..

Riverman1
90513
Points
Riverman1 01/07/10 - 07:02 am
0
0
GaSpring, notice what you are

GaSpring, notice what you are saying is that domestic programs increase as our greatness decreases.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 01/07/10 - 07:07 am
0
0
Empire? The trillions America

Empire? The trillions America has GIVEN to countries around the world defines empire? CNN and NPR certainly teach horrible perspectives to the uneducated.

carcraft
27866
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carcraft 01/07/10 - 07:55 am
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0
Gaspringwater and the other

Gaspringwater and the other lefties here read the editorial.., the editorial is about Obumbler breaking promises he made NUMEROUS times on the road to election...PROMISES..not ideas, not suggestions, not wouldn't it be nice if I..PROMISES..The editorial is NOT about Republican health care perposals, American empires or any other red herring..It is about the FACT that Obumbler lied to you, me and the world..The Democrates are power hunger socialist seeking to take over 1/6th of the American economy behind closed doors using YOUR tax dollars to bribe so they can steal power period...YOUR defense is the Republicans did not produce a health care bill..what a crock of cr*p

carcraft
27866
Points
carcraft 01/07/10 - 07:59 am
0
0
Oh and by the way the

Oh and by the way the Republicans did produce health care perposals..and thethe Democrates in Congress are telling lies, again, this one is about how much the bill will cost and what it will take away from medicare etc...

getalife
4
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getalife 01/07/10 - 08:01 am
0
0
Another one of Obama's

Another one of Obama's campaign promises broken. If you don't like this form of transparency, then go to the following website and give your opinion. www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 01/07/10 - 08:36 am
0
0
Re: 8:01- Yeah, if you want

Re: 8:01- Yeah, if you want to be audited by the IRS this year.

ron_rlw
1
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ron_rlw 01/07/10 - 08:43 am
0
0
So where is the open and

So where is the open and transparent government on this health care bill ... behind close doors in the White House with only ObamaCare believers attending. So much for an open and transparent government ... this is change we can (not) believe in.

ron_rlw
1
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ron_rlw 01/07/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
By the way has any one heard

By the way has any one heard what our democrate representive ... John Barrow ... says about our new open and transparent government?

themaninthemirror
0
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themaninthemirror 01/07/10 - 09:04 am
0
0
A chicken in every pot, a car

A chicken in every pot, a car in every driveway, and a welfare check in every mail box. Every night will be Saturday night, and every day will be a holiday. And if you don't cash your welfare check promptly you will be fined. As Dorothy said to Toto,"I don't think we're in Kansa anymore."

getalife
4
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getalife 01/07/10 - 09:05 am
0
0
dstewartsr, I am not afraid

dstewartsr, I am not afraid of an IRS audit. When out of fear, people stop standing up for what they believe in, voicing their opinions and concerns, then we will no longer be free. If enough people object to Obama's form of transparency, then maybe he will change!!

slippery 25
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slippery 25 01/07/10 - 09:16 am
0
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The President has now spent

The President has now spent more of our tax money than any other President. He has also told us more lies than any President .
Change!

3g
0
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3g 01/07/10 - 09:31 am
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I applaud the writer of this

I applaud the writer of this opinion for mentioning C-SPAN 5 times - a network completely unbiased in it's news coverage and my personal favorite . However , pointing fingers and blaming individuals or political parties is an idiotic and pointless tactic - one that many posters on this thread regularly participate in . Unless you are a Washington insider , you DO NOT KNOW the agenda of our elected officials , and to make assumptions is a waste of intellectual energy . Instead of whining all the time , why not use your resources to initiate change in our political system that might help to create a better situation in your community . Thankfully , C-SPAN always makes a huge effort to provide the truth about what policies our government are trying to enact .

ron_rlw
1
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ron_rlw 01/07/10 - 10:09 am
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3q ... except right now it is

3q ... except right now it is Obama and the democrats that are hiding behind close doors. Pointing this out is just fact ... not assigning blame.

butler123
1
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butler123 01/07/10 - 10:15 am
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Cloward-Piven Strategy/Obama

Cloward-Piven Strategy/Obama

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 01/07/10 - 10:33 am
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I don't see alot of liberals

I don't see alot of liberals defending these lies and all the hopey changey nonsense they were promised.

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 01/07/10 - 11:11 am
0
0
Reading 'Atlas Shrugged'

Reading 'Atlas Shrugged' might give you a clear picture of what is happening to our country and who is delivering it. Be informed. If you're not concerned - You're not paying attention...

TheFederalist
1
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TheFederalist 01/07/10 - 03:28 pm
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Once elected, as earlier

Once elected, as earlier stated in another thread, the Enlightened One, gets a free pass on everything. He can do no wrong. The lamestream media stands mute, complicit and in bed with the liberals who have made a career of making excuses and covering for him. Remember the "Teflon Don"? Well, this president makes that cheap hood look like a piker in that regard. Nothing will stick, until we all wake up some morning and find that the rest of the world has stopped taking our worthless currency, or a nuke is detonated in one of our urban centers. Then it will be way too late. Sadly, we have become a nation of sheep, with a muttonhead as commander in chief.

gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 01/07/10 - 04:29 pm
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Riverman1 at 7:02 - I'm

Riverman1 at 7:02 - I'm saying we're going to be forced to change our priorities. America will still be a great nation but instead of mucking in everybody business, keeping troops everywhere in the world and building the biggest collection of weapons on earth, - well spend more on healthcare, the environment, our nation's infrastructure and we certainly need to do something about our education system. We're ranked just 21st in the world.

bushwhacker
39
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bushwhacker 01/07/10 - 05:10 pm
0
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republicans only preach doom

republicans only preach doom and scare tactics, it's a good thing they're omitted from health care as they have nothing constructive to add. obama and the democrats will make america stronger and more competitive for generations to come.

TheFederalist
1
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TheFederalist 01/07/10 - 06:56 pm
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0
Hey Bushwacky! Democrats only

Hey Bushwacky! Democrats only preach fiscal irresponsibility and Nanny Government. You can't add something constructive if you are not allowed to participate, can you? The dems have already significantly weakened our country, and it's getting worse by the day. Fortunatly, after the next election they will be a thing of the past, and then we can omit the Dems.....bet you start squealing like a little piglet! ROTFL!!!

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