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OFA: How to Make Thanksgiving a Timeshare Seminar for Obamacare in 4 Easy Steps

Picture it. Your entire family has just gotten together for its big annual reunion over Thanksgiving dinner. All of your aunts and uncles are there and you've had a delicious meal. As the tryptophan floats through your system the whole scene takes on a drowsy, languid air.  And then, suddenly, your mom announces that she has joined a cult.

As you listen in horror, you realize this talk isn't even spontaneous. It was planned. In fact, the entire dinner was a pretext for this pitch. If it were anyone else you'd walk out, but the unwritten rules of hospitality force you and your siblings to pay polite attention. As you do it gradually dawns on you that mom is doing this at the behest of some distant third party. Like a puppet, she is being made an apostle for a strange new gospel called Obamacare.

Supporters of the President's own Thanksgiving turkey have been asking people to "pledge" that they will raise the issue of insurance with family members over the holidays in a scenario only slightly less creepy than the one I just described. There's no cult exactly, though the level of devotion to partisanship over family is certainly disturbing.

"Take advantage of downtime after meals or between holiday activities to start your talk." the website recommends. But it's not enough to give advice, OFA wants people to close the deal before the potential enrollees leave the premises. "You can start your conversation anywhere, but to shop for health coverage, you will want a more quiet, private place" the website advises.

The reference to a quiet place reminds me of a timeshare seminar I once attended. A salesman promised my wife a free cruise if she (and I) would come listen to their pitch for 90 minutes. As expected, it was a miserable experience. After listening to the pitch with other couples we were split up and brought into a quiet sales room. A young salesman whisked in and out of the room to speak with his manager, each time offering us a slightly better deal and asking if we really cared about our family. Because, it goes without saying, if we didn't buy a timeshare in their new development, our commitment to family was dubious at best.

We finally got out of that hellhole with our voucher for a free cruise. The woman who handed it over let us know she was very disappointed in us and said the company didn't appreciated being "aced." To "ace" apparently was shorthand for those who refused to succumb to the sales pressure. Come to think of it, that bit of sales jargon was probably the most honest thing we heard that day.

Given this vivid experience, it's more than a bit creepy to see OFA advising people to have a quiet room ready for the final sale. And so is this advice, "Make it personal: Be honest about your feelings and why this is important to you." But as with the timeshare seminar, the personal angle is just another lever for the salesman to pull. Ultimately it's about closing the deal. OFA even offers a list of documents people need to bring with them in order to sign up including a recent "W-2 tax form."

It's incredibly obnoxious for any politician to tell you how to spend your holiday with family but the ugly premise underlying OFA's pledge is that if you really love your family, you'll do what Obama asks. And if you don't do what he asks, well, maybe the President just cares more than you do.

Obama's tenure has been one long timeshare seminar for progressivism. America's only choice for the next three years is whether to give in to the high-pressure sales tactics or keep saying no. If recent polls are any indications, a lot of Americans seem increasingly inclined to "ace" him.


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