So the summit will be both show and showdown. Obama will make it appear he is reaching out to the Republicans. The GOPers will try to depict the president as stubbornly moving ahead with a lousy plan. Each side will contend the other is being more partisan than bi.
Yet the time for bipartisanship is done. The Republicans think their opposition to Obamacare is a winning ploy. They're not going to abandon it. And Obama's not going to trash his signature issue. So once the summit concludes, it's back to the real show: power politics. If Obama and the Dems want major health care reform legislation, they will have to run over the not-dead bodies of Republicans. To do so, they will likely need to employ reconciliation, a legislative procedure that allows the House and Senate Democrats to resolve the differences between their already-passed bills on a majority vote (and duck a Republican filibuster). This is a slightly complicated maneuver -- but quite feasible -- and Senate Democratic aides say they are close to rounding up at least 50 D's. But they're not there yet. Consequently, the real challenge for Obama is not conjuring up a last-minute bipartisan breakthrough at this summit, but getting his own party lined up and ready to roll. (my emphasis-SP)So this "summit" is just the second act of this three act drama. We have seen the first act play out over the last year. The third act is yet to come! The Epilogue will be in November! -SP