Ezra wades through the paranoia:


I remember listening to the debate the night the House passed the Senate bill and the reconciliation fixes. There are a lot of critiques I could imagine folks on the right making of the legislation. "Regulations to define a minimum insurance benefit will impede innovation in low-deductible plans." "Congress doesn't have the will to stick to the cost savings, and until they prove able to do so, we can't pass a new health-care entitlement." "The health-care system is broken, and adding a new benefit doesn't make sense outside the context of radical reform, as it will just create a new set of stakeholders who will resist the necessary changes." 

 But totalitarianism? Death panels? The end of America as we know it? These critiques aren't just wrong in their description of a cautious, compromised reform that uses private insurers and spends only 4 percent of what we spend on health care in an average year. They're shocking in terms of what the speakers believe their colleagues and representatives are willing to do to the American people. Nunes, for instance, has served with Democrats for decades. He might believe them too willing to tax society's most-productive members to fund social benefits. But does he really believe them friends of totalitarianism?

I haven't said much about this--or the racism and homophobia on display Saturday--for fear of exaggerating what's actually happening. The truth is that I don't know what to make of any of it. Moreover, I'm wary of being drawn into a tit for tat over whose side is more likely to take to demagoguery. Is it all just talk? Am I totally convinced that my side is better?

Most revealing to me is that at the end of Ezra's post, he revisits his comments about Lieberman, standing by the math, if not the phrasing.

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