The President appears to be doing a victory lap of sorts from the Health Care Summit. Kicking off his weekly message with a congratulatory message to the Winter Olympians, Obama raises their accomplishments as examples for the Congress:
…if we want to compete on the world stage as well as we’ve competed in the world’s games, we need to find common ground. We need to move past the bickering and the game-playing that holds us back and blocks progress for the American people.
The Health Care Summit seemed to verify that the “process” can use strong mediation. Perhaps the President should be more involved in the framing of key issues that are beneficial to the country and will in time define his/her own presidency.
Pundits described the summit as either an exercise with benefits for the President, or a huge waste of time for the Republicans. Both, and, perhaps. But for some critics, they had special affection for describing the event as “Kabuki Theater.” I guess they like the syncopated rhythm on the tip of their tongue like a precocious child who’s learned their first three syllable word.
I’ve seen The Grand Kabuki here the in the United States. Kabuki evolved from the ground up. It was the theater of the merchant class in Japan. Though the early Kabuki (around the 17th century) was more music and dance in the beginning, audiences craved something more. Kabuki dramas focus on justice, duty, revenge, and moral conflicts. Perhaps our aristocratic pundits would rather not to associate with the classes that enjoy Kabuki Theater. In fact, I wonder whose side are any and all television pundits are on as they chuckle and lean back in their chairs while passing the ball on whether health care reform will pass, the public option is dead or on life support, and the front runners of the 2012 Presidential election cycle less than 18 months into a new administration. There are times when I think these pundits could use some Kabuki drama.