HCR Summit Reax: Much Ado About Nothing?

04/28/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It was awesome, awe-inspiring, amazing, and... boring? In the 24 hours since President Obama sat down with Congress, we've all had time to reflect on the Health Care Summit at the Blair House, and with the knowledge we have now, do we still want all sausage-making in DC streamed live on C-SPAN? And did John McCain just get slapped on live TV by President Obama?

Join us for today's Wilshire & Washington as hosts Ted Johnson and Teresa Valdez-Klein discuss the ins-and-outs of the summit. A lot of people came away bored or confused, but is that a good sign? Or is it just indicative that nobody - not Democrats, not Republicans - is going to yield even one iota on his or her agenda? But some interesting things did come up: Senator Coburn talked health care fraud and how reducing that could cut health care costs tremendously. Fantastic! Stick it in. And Paul Ryan calling the President when his budgetary numbers didn't line up? Excellent. Make them work then!

The real problem with the summit was that the public doesn't have a clue as to what's in the bill and what isn't. Polls have repeatedly shown that the public is against the bill as a whole but in favor of most of the ideas it holds, even the public option. So in the end, it comes down to branding: The Republicans have succeeded in making the majority of the public think health care reform is a socialist plot, in the same way that the Republicans have placed claim on that rose-eyed identifying phrase "real Americans."

Finally, we address the John McCain question: Was it really disrespectful for the President to remind the Arizona Senator that they weren't campaigning anymore? Ted recalls an incident long ago when Reagan told a Congressman to shut up (Video, please!) So, basically, suck it up, Johnny Boy.

Listen to the show here, subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or use the Blog Talk Radio player:

Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; conservative blogger Teresa Valdez Klein (, and liberal blogger Maegan Carberry ( The show airs every Wednesday at 7:30am PST on