These people can't stop lying. Peggy Noonan carries some water for the Republicans and pretends that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress haven't reached their hands out to Republicans again and again only to get them slapped, like accepting 160 Republican amendments on the health care bill without a single vote to show for it. She says that the President needs to piss off his base, as though she does not know how badly he's done that already. She also thinks we need more "seriousness" in Washington. Well maybe we'd get some of you and your fellow Villagers quit remaking reality for them Nooners.
MR. GREGORY: And--but here's--one of the big questions that came up this week is what is--do Americans listen to these two congressmen and say, "This is petty politics," or do they say, "This is sincere ideological division. What you really need is better leadership in Washington to cut through all of that."
MS. NOONAN: Well, I think it probably would have helped if the president, when he came in so strong having won by 9.5 million votes just more than a year ago, if he had come forward with more centrist ideas and very bravely reached out to Republicans, even to the point of alienating or frightening or putting off a little bit of his base. I think that didn't happen.
Overall, though, I think Washington is not broken. Bipartisanship is very possible, but we see too much bipartisanship in terms of passing bad things. There's always--the bastion of unity in Washington is the Appropriations Committee, also. They're always coming together to spend. Other issues that are not so easy spending have less unity.
And, look, overall we need more seriousness. Both parties have to remember they are here during a crisis, an ongoing crisis for serious reasons. They all get together, the Republican conference and the Democratic conference, once a week for lunch, and I know from people who are at those lunches that they spend 98 percent of the time talking about how to trip up the other guy and 2 percent of the time on policy.
MS. NOONAN: Quickly, it, it--if what is produced after the big Thursday meeting is an--a comprehensive omnibus bill of 1,000 or 2,000 pages it's not going to work again. The past year, I think, has told us two things. One is that this omnibus comprehensive stuff is yesterday, it's over, the public doesn't trust it. If you can break health care down to proposals, agendas and then a few pieces of the agenda, say "This small thing, can you do it?" Republicans and Democrats might be able to do some business.
MR. DIONNE: You know what the problem--could I just say quickly...
MR. GREGORY: But E.J., E.J's--but, but...
MS. NOONAN: Republicans and Democrats might be able to do some business that way.
MR. GREGORY: But E.J....
MS. NOONAN: They will not trust this 2,000-page thing. They also don't trust the tinkering in stimulus bills where you can always claim, "We have 475 tax cuts." Nobody ever sees those tax cuts.
MR. DIONNE: But if you can't tinker and you can't do a comprehensive bill, what do you do?