Health Summit Bares Hopeless Chasm
Compromise looking more distant than ever
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2010 1:22 AM CST
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, walks back to the White House after yesterday's summit.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – President Obama's health care summit left pundits from across the spectrum feeling more pessimistic than ever about the chances of crafting a bipartisan agreement on reform.

  • "It was a talking-point festival," writes Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal. The Republicans put forth seemingly unconnected statements, and the "boorish" Democrats appealed to sentiment in an effort to win support for a bill that they obviously plan to "bully through Congress."

  • The "incoherent" Republicans had plenty of time to prepare but they didn't "bother making a case that could withstand even minimal fact-checking," complains Paul Krugman at the New York Times.
  • No progress was made and it was plain to see that the gap between the Democratic and Republican visions of health care reform cannot be bridged, writes James Surowiecki in the New Yorker. "If Democrats want what they say they want, they’re going to have to pass a bill on their own."