How To Read Republican Ransom Notes

Terrance Heath

What kind of people respond to an invitation with a list of demands?

John Boehner and Eric Cantor have responded to Barack Obama’s invitation to sit down and talk health-care reform. They answered in the form of a ransom note. Here are their demands:

1) “Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over?”

2) “Does that mean he has taken off the table the idea of relying solely on Democratic votes and jamming through health care reform by way of reconciliation?”

Well, now we know. This goes on for another 6 items.

While I disagree with Ezra’s advice that the White House accept these terms in exchange for straight, up-or-down votes in the House and Senate, I agree that it amounts to a ransom note from a party that’s holding health care reform hostage, which should read something like this:

Republican Ransom Note 1

If nothing else, it’s much more honest and straightforward.

Maybe that’s how the GOP should have spelled out their demands. But that’s not how the Democrats should read this particular ransom note.

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