There’s very little chance of anything remotely like an honest discussion occurring here. The event is hosted at the White House; no health care policy experts opposing the Obama plan are invited; and the Obama team is probably busy planting supporters with soft questions with the town hall attendees even now. ABC, mindful of the ratings, isn’t going to pose anything that will threaten their White House access. After all, there’s going to be another opportunity for this sort of shindig over the Obama Energy Tax bill. Even without the planted questions, there are very few folks with the fortitude who are going to be able to sit in a meeting at the White House, and prose hostile questions to the President in that setting.
After all, just take a look at what happened to Joe the Plumber in his own town, after he dared to question Obama.
I hope that ABC will surprise us, but I’m expecting a good old fashioned Quislingesque bootlicking. Sure, there might be a “tough” question or two, but most will probably follow this sort of script:
“Mr. President, please tell us how your totally, unbelievably cool health plan will save America from the ravages of evil insurance companies?”
“Mr. President, Thank you so much for the fierce moral urgency of your inspired leadership on this issue of tremendous concern to all right-thinking Americans. What can we do to become more worthy of your presence?”
“Mr. President, May the sun never set on your beneficence. Now that the dark night of BushMcChimpyHitler has passed, and we journey to the sunlit uplands of peace and tranquility, how many children will sleep better tonight because of your plan?”
“Mr. President, The reactionary forces of the evil, dastardly, running dog Republicans, doctors, drug makers, and small businessmen are gathering forces to defeat your wise, fair, and just plan. How do you respond to those who say that no Americans should have health care, and that millions of the poor children must resort to back alley tonsillectomies?”
Update: A BC is refusing opposition ads during their Obama bootlicking. Good thing that they’re impartially presenting both sides.
Update II: Obama has now officially bought off Tom Brokaw. No word yet on Katie Couric; her ratings may be too low.