Skeptics Convinced

The Washington Post engages in a bit of light cheerleading for President Obama’s speech south of Cleveland this week:

It is difficult to judge, amid one of the most intense political battles in recent memory, whether Obama is moving the needle toward greater acceptance of his health-care ambitions. But his reassurances about Medicare and other issues found support among skeptics in Strongsville.

“I was against it. I feel more positive for it now. Hopeful,” said Mary Jo O’Toole, another local retiree, after Obama spoke at a community center here.

Forgive me if I suggest the possibility that the sort of Ohioan who attends an Obama rally and believes his platitudes after more than a year of audaciously broken campaign promises was never much of a skeptic.

Still, not everyone has a firm opinion, and many admit they have a limited understanding of the details. Voters often say they are not sure whom to believe, offering a version of a comment by Patrick O’Toole, Mary Jo’s husband: “You hear this from one side and that from the other side, and you don’t know what’s right.”

We cannot afford the Democrats’ health care plan. We can’t. If you’re an optimist or have had few interactions with elected officials, I can understand leftist policies sounding good. Until you compare them to existing entitlements (bankrupt) or ask how we’re going to pay for them (taxes, taxes, and more taxes). President Obama saying we can get something for nothing doesn’t suddenly make it possible to get something for nothing.

…Obama’s task is tough. After Patrick O’Toole thought about it overnight, he had second thoughts. “He’s a great salesman, but I still would’ve walked out of the showroom without a car,” he said.

I think the car salesman analogy is appropriate – unfortunately, not all Americans are as reasonable as Mr. O’Toole. When Rep. Pelosi, Senator Reid, and President Obama sell a car, they go right to the flagship model; and don’t worry about the price! They’ll arrange for the fat cats in the corporate office to foot your bill.

Mary Jo O’Toole summarizes the problem for small-government proponents:

He sounded convincing.”

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