Referring to the health care summit on Feb. 25: I listened to most of it and I noticed the media seized on a "testy" exchange between Sen. John McCain and President Obama as the highlight of the discussion.
I was struck by one Republican saying we want the President to succeed. "When he succeeds, we all succeed," he said. Everyone present knew he didn't mean what he said. I sat wishing I could put words in his mouth.
What if the Republican had gone on to say: From a business standpoint we can't afford this costly health care bill. In the past nine years we have borrowed our country into such a huge debt. At this point our government can't afford anything. But, life goes on and decency must prevail. So, Mr. President, I stand in support of your health care bill. I'm not willing to continue with my colleagues, sitting on my already sore butt, doing nothing until our party gets back in power. So let's move on and pass a bill that grants every citizen the same health benefits that all of us at this table enjoy.
If just one Republican had been willing to cooperate in this way, millions of troubled families would have been given some hope. Thousands of hesitant companies, especially small companies, would have begun hiring needed help and millions of new jobs might have developed.
As I see it, the health care summit was more a failure than a success. The childishness of the Republican leaders still goes on, and we are left still pondering: What if?