We have entered uncharted territory in the fight over national health care. There’s a new tone in the debate, and it’s ugly. At the moment the Democrats are looking like something they haven’t looked like in years, and that is: desperate.
They must know at this point they should not have pushed a national health-care plan.[….]
You know what would happen if he did this (nixed health care legislation)? His numbers would go up. Even Congress’s would. Because they’d look responsive, deliberative and even wise. Discretion is the better part of valor.
Absent that, and let’s assume that won’t happen, the health-care protesters have to make sure they don’t get too hot, or get out of hand. They haven’t so far, they’ve been burly and full of debate, with plenty of booing. This is democracy’s great barbaric yawp. But every day the meetings seem just a little angrier, and people who are afraid—who have been made afraid, and left to be afraid—can get swept up.
This is a variation on Douthat’s argument that Americans should surrender their reproductive rights if they want pro-lifers to stop murdering people. It’s setting the stage to blame Obama if the teabaggers do something terrible. It’s part death threat and part snake oil about how REAL AMERICA feels.