This whole things smacks of a show for the American people by a remarkably media savvy administration. The Democrats are attempting to look reasonable and willing to compromise. If the republicans refused the meeting, they would look surly and partisan. Unfortunately, accepting is just as much of a trap, because now they will be harangued, browbeaten and used as political cover for the mess of a bill that democrats are single-mindedly trying to ram down our throats. Republicans requested starting from scratch and the Democrat's response is to bring their 2000 page nightmare of a bill (public option included) to the table, along with the hollow threat of reconciliation.
It's incredible that they are still talking about reconciliation - if this is possible, why haven't they done it? Why bother with this meeting? This whole exercise is pure propaganda, in my opinion.
Obama saying he will look at any options the Republicans bring to the table is more empty talk. Sure, he'll look at their proposals - and then discard them for the behemoth public option he is so desperate to pass. This isn't about reconciliation and compromise - it's about the Republicans bending to Obama's will and passing the 2,000 page nightmare Pelosi and Reid have cooked up and can't get enough of their own people to vote for.
This is just a dog and pony show to try to make the Republicans look like the party of no yet again.
Personally, I think the 'party of no' designation is a good thing. They have been staunch in their denial of all things socialist. They have been united in their condemnation of the insane spending policies of this administration. They have held the line and refused to bend to pressure, bribery and threats. They listened to the millions of Americans protesting the actions of this administration and tried their best to do the will of the people. They said no to the radical agenda being pushed on us, and I, for one, am grateful, because it seems like those in power just aren't listening. So, please 'obstruct' away!
This whole 'summit' idiocy is a desperate ploy by the Democrats to place the blame on the Republicans for health care reform not passing, because they realize the American people know that the only thing holding them back is themselves.
Democrats are great at shifting blame - after all, they managed to blame all of Nancy Pelosi's spending and deficit inducing policies on George Bush (oh, and Pelosi refused to approve a 2009 budget from Bush, so the whole "budget for the entire  fiscal year was largely set in place while Bush was in the White House" argument is a load of hooey). The President may suggest the budget and spending policies, but Congress holds the purse strings.
We were finally bouncing back from 9/11 and Katrina and bringing down the deficits when Pelosi took over. In 2007, the year Pelosi became Speaker, the deficit was $163 billion - down from a high of $413 billion in 2004. In 2008, Pelosi's agenda started to affect the country. The result? A $455 billion deficit, which has been blamed entirely on Bush. But that wasn't enough. They have also tried to blame the staggering $1.3 trillion deficit of 2009 on Bush and the Republicans as well. They blame TARP for most of the deficit - a bill they voted for as well, including Pelosi, Reid and then-Senator Obama. But TARP wasn't what blew up the deficit - Stimulus, the omnibus spending bill and a $3.6 trillion budget did that. They increased spending by about 18%, and are still trying to blame the resulting deficit on a man who hasn't been in office for over a year.
Over and over again this administration has proven themselves to be duplicitous, conniving, hyper-partisan and willing to stoop to any low to further their socialist agenda.
I personally hope the Republicans boycott this sham of a summit. It's a trap, pure and simple. I suggest they embrace the title 'Party of No' and say no to this summit and this health care plan. They are in agreement with more than 60% of the country if they do.
UPDATE: Via HotAir' s Quote of the Day:
“And then when unemployment numbers started proving to be much, much tougher and it started becoming more clear that the stimulus package hadn’t worked properly, they just kept plowing ahead on health care. And this isn’t a communications problem. This is a reality problem. And I think they just made some grave miscalculations and as it became more clear that they had screwed up, they just kept doubling down their bet.The exit quote for Cook's interview is fantastic:
“And so I think, no, this is one of the biggest miscalculations that we’ve seen in modern political history.”
But if I had a choice of the Republican Party's problems right now or the Democratic Party's problems, I think you could triple the Republican Party's problems and I'd still rather have their problems than the problems facing Democrats.