Obama's soaring rhetoric fails to change minds

I know what you are thinking.  Of course Obama’s speech didn’t convince those right-wing crazy’s who disrupt townhalls and yell things during presidential speeches; they’re close-minded yahoos.

But it seems the president’s strident insistence that action be taken has failed to convince the very people he needs to win over: Blue Dogs or Democrats in districts worried about getting re-elected.

John Boccieri, for example:

U.S. Rep. John Boccieri, D-Alliance, praised President Barack Obama’s speech on health care Wednesday night, calling him “clearly a good communicator,” but saying, “I don’t believe the president has shifted any of my opinions.”

“I still have concerns about some of the ideas that’ll be on the table. Concerns about how this will affect some of the small businesses in my district,” he said. “The question is will the House create a bill that looks like what the president said tonight.”

Boccieri said he has not yet decided if he would support the establishment of a public option, or a government-run health insurer to compete with private health insurance companies.

Wait.  So everyone who is holding up instant sweeping health care “reform” isn’t a deceptive, paid lackey of the powerful insurance lobby?  You mean people might have real concerns about the impact on small businesses and the economy?  You mean people aren’t just playing politics while people suffer?

Hmm, maybe the president should have acknowledged that in his rhetoric and demeanor last night instead of acting as if only selfish partisan interests are preventing his plan from being passed.

Obama always pretends to be the calm rational centrist on every issue and it grates after a while.  Particularly when it is the moderates in his own party who are balking at the more leftist direction of his policies; rightly worried that voters won’t appreciate their dedication to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Zach Space pretends Obama’s speech reflected this, but I think it is more of a message – a plea – than a reality:

The president’s speech tonight reflects exactly the sort of move toward moderation I’ve been calling for – we should not undergo a ‘radical fix’ of our health care system, but we must build on what we have. As I’ve said before, we must make sure that any final bill protects rural health care in Ohio, our seniors, our businesses, and our working families. There is no question that we must address the enormous crisis that is dragging down our economy and hurting our families, but we must undertake this reform in a way that is responsible, sensible, and measured.

But the reform is not “responsible, sensible, and measured.”

They keep insisting that abortions aren’t paid for with government money in the bill and pro-life Democrats keep pointing out that is not true.  The CBO points out over and over that this monstrosity will blow up the already bloated budget and Obama pretends he can still cut spending.  The president calls people liars when the facts are against him.  On and on it goes.

Obama is going to have to decided what he wants more, government controlled health care or a Democratic majority in Congress.  Because if he, and his cheerleaders on the left, insist on pushing leftist policies then these vulnerable Democrats are going to be picked off for voting with their party and against their districts.

Obviously, I am all for beating Democrats, but not at the expense of saddling the country with a health care system that torpedoes the economy and gives the government more control over our lives.

But if Democrats insist on a “we won, you lost” mentality I have a feeling that they will find the ground shifting under their feet come 2010.

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