In one way, the article is refreshing: At a time when many liberals have been describing the protests at the health care "town halls" as an unprecedented event, even as a sign of incipient fascism, Perlstein reminds readers that flare-ups like this actually happen fairly frequently in American history. But the article is aggravating, too, and not just because it casually conflates the bona fide kooks with anyone who happens to protest at a tea party or a town hall. Reading the piece you get the impression that the crazy tree grows only on the right, and that the health care battle is a simple case of hysterics attacking enlightened reform.
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