Two startling events have occurred.
One is that the New York Times has written a news story that is almost objective.
"When Republicans take President Obama up on his invitation to hash out their differences over health care this month, they will carry with them a fairly well-developed set of ideas intended to make health insurance more widely available and affordable, by emphasizing tax incentives and state innovations, with no new federal mandates and only a modest expansion of the federal safety net."
Thus, the Times -- home of Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman and Frank Rich, who favor a government takeover of the health insurance industry -- acknowledges that the conservative party has viable ideas about improving health care.
Then, President Obama says he will consider some of those ideas.
According to Fox News, Obama said he is open to "starting from scratch" as long as three major goals are met: reducing costs, curbing insurance company practices such as coverage denials, and expanding coverage to millions of people who buy their own policies or work for a small employer.
"I will be open to any ideas that help promote these goals," Obama said.
Americans know by now that what he says is not what he does, but just for the words to come out of his mouth is a change from the Chicago-style "my way or the highway" attitude of the past year.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Dodd acknowledges that Democrats already know what the GOP would like to do to improve health care, which makes Obama's proposed "summit" on the subject moot.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal today offers a piece by Newt Gingrich and John Goodman outlining solid, workable ideas that would help do what Obama says he wants to do.
The ball is in the liberal court.