It's been a bit of a rough ride for the Obama administration the past few months. Unemployment remains high and the Democrats have suffered multiple special-elections losses.

It's been a bit of a rough ride for the Obama administration the past few months. Unemployment remains high and the Democrats have suffered multiple special-elections losses.

But despite President Obama's troubles, he still took time to join the GOP for lunch, sitting down with House Republicans in Baltimore last week. We assumed they'd speak candidly behind closed doors - the kind of stuff Americans don't get to see. But this time, the cable news networks carried the exchange.

Here's a snippet of what went down:

"What were the annual deficits under Republicans have now become the monthly deficits under Democrats," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. "The national deficit has increased 30 percent."

Obama's response: "The fact of the matter is that when we came into office, the deficit was $1.3 trillion. So when you suddenly say I've got a monthly deficit that's higher than the annual deficit left by Republicans, that's factually just not true. And you know it's not true."

Holy crap! This is gonna be awesome!

Obama moved on to the topic of his health-care bill. "If you were to listen to the debate, and frankly how some of you went after this bill, you'd think this thing was some Bolshevik plot.

"You're calling for across-the-board tax cuts, and then on the other hand saying that we're somehow going to balance our budget. I'm going to want to take a look at your math," Obama said.

Obama insisted that by painting his programs as destroying America, Republicans have made it impossible for them to engage in meaningful problem-solving with the president. Otherwise, they risk being seen by constituents as accessories to that crime.

But what about the programs that Republicans are behind? For instance, some Republicans believe that to control health-care costs, we only need one big fix.

"We need tort reform. The president wouldn't even consider that in the bill," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina.

The president's a tort lover. Obama and torts sitting in a tree ... you know what they're doing.

"I'm told that the solution to dealing with health-care costs is tort reform, something I've said I'm willing to work with you on," Obama responded. "But the Congressional Budget Office or other experts say to me, at best, this could reduce health-care costs ... by a couple of percentage points. ... You can't make the claim that that's the only thing that we have to do."

It's like he's seeing their talking points in bullet-time. And he wanted them to know it, too.

"You know, I'm having fun. This is great," said Obama.

Why should I leave? I'm dunking on you. You cannot stop me. I'm in the zone.

This kind of give-and-take between the president and his political rivals is somewhat unprecedented in our pre-staged kabuki political culture.

CNN carried it live from start to finish. So did MSNBC (and more than likely they replayed it at home, with their pants off, using the slow-motion button).

Fox News carried it live as well ... for a while. They had to cut away, because it's against the narrative they present.

I don't know exactly how Fox News is produced. But I imagine at some point they realized this event violated the prime directive, causing what I can only assume is a typically sedentary network exec to pack a year's worth of exercise into one feverish run down the hall screaming, "Cut the feed!"