Note--livestream moved to thread above this one--Chris
Drudge thinks the health care summit is boring:
He isn't wrong. The discussion has been pretty boring up until now. And, if a political junkie like me is bored, I can't imagine that the average voter is exactly sitting on the edge of her chair.
Still, just because a summit is boring does not mean it is unimportant. There are some big impacts of a much-hyped summit being boring:
Both sides seem reasonable. The main reason the summit is boring is that the discussion has turned to esoteric policy proposals. This makes both sides appear reasonable. In turn, that makes charges of "communism" or "obstruction" seem a lot less credible. It looks like well informed people are discussing substantive legislation, rather than throwing bombs at each other.
Deflates urgency. Lower rhetoric means less drama and less urgency for reform, or for blocking reform. With the breathless, desperate rhetoric that has characterized the health reform debate so far weakened by a boring policy discussion, the urgency of passing or blocking health reform is also deflated.
All in all, the summit is a huge net positive for the possibility of passing health reform this year. Democrats were losing the rhetorical battle on this bill, and a boring summit largely helps them. Also, after the Massachusetts special election, health reform has largely dropped from the news and seen activist support take a hit. The build-up to the summit changed all that.
While a boring summit won't make Republicans look like obstructionists, it should still ultimately be a bonus for the prospect of passing health reform.