The left, broadly speaking, has been attacking conservative talk radio and all it allegedly represents for the better part of 20 years now. When Bill Clinton needed a convenient villain, he attacked Rush Limbaugh. When Bush emerged victorious from the Florida recount, liberals concluded that what they really needed was their own version of Limbaugh. In March, at the first sign of resistance from congressional Republicans, Obama complained that the GOP was Limbaugh's lap dog, and both the White House and much of the press corps went into anti-Limbaugh campaign mode.
It's funny how these supposed champions of the Enlightenment can't grasp that people can disagree with them for honest reasons. Instead, we simply must be Limbaugh's automatons, which is to say racist, fascist thugs.
In addition to the slander, such complaints are monumentally, incandescently lame coming from a party that controls Washington. According to liberals themselves, these evil-mongers are a tiny minority, a bunch of "AstroTurf" frauds. So why not ignore them and get on with the work you were elected to do?
Well, because they can't -- or won't.
One of the reasons the term "ObamaCare" has become a journalistic convention is that there is no bill. You can't talk about Obama's actual health care plan because there isn't one. There are a bunch of competing bills, proposals, ideas swirling around the halls of Congress like flotsam in a sewer. As even Robert Reich, Clinton's Labor secretary, recently conceded, the failure to put forward a concrete proposal allows opponents to pick from a menu of scary ideas and possibilities, all of which can be labeled ObamaCare.
Suspicion of bad motives is only reinforced by Obama's determination to steamroll to victory. Indeed, Democratic dudgeon that the town hall protesters don't want civil debate is hysterical, given that Obama wanted this over before the August recess. No wonder the president who thought the time for talk was over long ago now doesn't like the talk he's getting.
Some might say the real story is to be found in the eroding support from independent voters and Blue Dog Democratic congressmen. Or in the panic among seniors that Obama will raid Medicare. Or in his inability to get progressive Democrats to agree to a bipartisan approach. Or maybe the real story is Obama's manifest inability to sell a program he's invested his presidency in.
But no. Obama wants the debate to be about angry white men. And, as lame as that is, that's what's happening. It won't make ObamaCare a reality, but it will shift the blame from where it rightly belongs.