Step One in Negotiating with the GOP
Max Baucus, before you sit down with Chuck Grassley to talk health care reform . . .
Henry Waxman, before you sit down with Joe Barton to talk health care reform . . .
Harry Reid, before you sit down with Mitch McConnell to talk health care reform . . .
Nancy Pelosi, before you sit down with John Boehner to talk health care reform . . .
Democrats in the House and Senate, from the most junior to the most senior, before you sit down with any of your GOP colleagues to talk about health care reform, you need to do one thing first.
Greet your colleague at the door to your office, and in the presence of the rolling cameras, ask your friend from across the aisle a simple question: "Do you believe that the provisions of the Democratic plan under consideration call for creating a government panel that will pull the plug on Grandma?"
If the answer is "No, of course not," invite your colleague in and continue your health care conversations.
If the answer is anything else — "I haven’t read the whole thing" or "I don’t know" or "Some have said . . ." — then thank your colleague for his or her candor, and shut the door in his or her face.
If you want to talk about health care, and your GOP colleague can’t tell the difference between a conversation about advance medical directives and an order for involuntary euthanasia, there’s no point in even having a conversation.
Give. It. Up.