Holy FSM. Is George Stephanopoulos auditioning for a spot on the Fox News Channel line up? It's the only thing I can account for this ridiculous and intelligence-insulting framing:
STEPHANOPOULOS: One year later, the president's economic plan has passed, but with no Republican votes in the House, only three in the Senate. It sure looks like right now no Republican support, the health care bills, as they are going forward in the Congress.
And our polling shows that this partisan divide persists on issue after issue after issue. Why has that core promise of the president's campaign, healing the divide, gone unfulfilled?
JARRETT: Well, you should ask that question to the Republican Party. I mean, frankly, just listening to the president's words again, it brought back terrific memories, and I think his message was a profound one. And he has stayed true to that message. He has reached out. He has listened. He has reached across the aisle.
Just recently meeting with both the Democrats -- the Republicans and the Democrats in both the House and in the Senate. His effort has been sustained throughout the year. And the fact...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So the president bears no responsibility for the failure to get Republican votes?
JARRETT: Well, I think -- I think what we look to the president to do is to lead by example. He has reached out. He has listened. He has included very helpful advice from the Republicans when it has been forthcoming. But the fact...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But not their ideas in the legislation..
JARRETT: Well, actually, that's not true. There have been examples of where he has included their ideas. And ultimately whether they vote for a piece of legislation or not, doesn't mean that it hasn't been an open and fruitful process.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So the president doesn't feel he needs to change the way he does business at all, to reach out more to Republicans, to get more Republicans buy-in?
JARRETT: Oh, George, listen. He is constantly reaching out to Republicans. Both he and his team. And he will continue to do that. But ultimately it's up to the Republicans to decide if they want to be a constructive force and come to the table and work with us in a positive way.
We want to hear good ideas. The president is known for listening most closely to those with whom he disagrees. So the door is always open.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that mean, for example, that Speaker Pelosi should give the Republicans a vote on an alternative in health care?
JARRETT: I'm not going to in any way comment on what the speaker should do. She is an extraordinary leader and she is going to continue to do that. And she is going to reach out in a way that she deems appropriate. But your question is what is the president's leadership about it, and hearkening back to the message from last year, and I think he has been consistent not just here, domestically, but also around the world in the way he has reached out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, to follow through, shouldn't he ask the speaker then to give Republicans a vote?
JARRETT: To give them a vote and give them a voice. It gives them an opportunity to contribute constructively. That doesn't mean that you actually have to change what you think is in the best interests of the American people simply to get a Republican vote. What you do is you reach out, you listen, you collaborate, but ultimately, the president is accountable to the Republican people -- to the American people, sorry.
Head. Bangs. Desk. Normally, I criticize these bobbleheads for not asking follow up questions, but Jeebus, FIVE questions in a row framing the lack of bipartisanship on Obama from Stephanopoulos???? WTF is that?
George, is there something they give you in the Kool-aid you've so obviously been chugging that wipes out your memory? Most Democrats are frustrated by Obama's constant calls for bi-partisanship.
Because as Obama keeps extending his hand to the Republicans, let's look at what the Republicans give back:
Obama gave the WATB Republicans the tax breaks they insisted upon in the stimulus package (even though economists said they would hurt-not help-the stimulus). How many Republicans voted for the stimulus bill? Bupkis.
The Republicans have also put holds on the Surgeon General nominee in the face of the H1N1 pandemic, as well as blocking 19 of 22 appointees to the courts, as well as complaining about Obama not being a sufficient enough cheerleader for American exceptionalism abroad, not moving fast enough on Afghanistan, too fast on health care reform, and most pathetically, the number of pages in the health care reform bill.
So tell me again, George, who exactly is being divisive? Who exactly is smacking down the hand of bipartisanship? Who exactly is responsible for the culture of divisiveness in DC?
I've been sickened by ABC's bizarre attempts at equivalencies before, but this is ridiculous. Stephanopoulos owes Valerie Jarrett and the American people an apology for this series of questions.