Anyone who believed that the battle over health-care reform would be waged on facts, logic, reason, and concern for the less fortunate—46 million uninsured—probably also scoffed at Lyndon Johnson's daisy ad.
It never ceases to amaze me that Democrats fail to anticipate this sort of visceral reaction in some of their opponents. It happens every time they're in office.
Do you know why left wing emotional outbursts are always minimized in effect and made into the punchlines of jokes? Because the GOP knows exactly who will come after their plans and what they will say, and they usually have a response set up before they work on any policy. Dems are always caught by surprise by the right wing, which is like getting caught by surprise that the sun will rise in the East.
Luckily, there are still plenty of Americans who get turned off by screaming, emotional fever pitch, hyperbole and being made fools out of. For everyone who feels vindicated by a grown adult's face flushed with rage bellowing at another human being, there are two or three who left their temper tantrums back in grade school. For every nagging soccer mom who prattles on about fake "death panels," there are two or three staying up nights to figure out how the family will pay for the baby's last visit to the specialist or what to do now that grandma's getting worse.
Reform will still happen. It should still happen. We get there with a little bit of pointing out the obvious and lot of sharing the crushing burden of reality.