In his column in this morning's New York Times, Paul Krugman takes a clear-eyed look at the recent disruptive behavior and intimidation by right-wing zealots and its implications for Obama's efforts to reform health insurance.
You probably heard that Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, got shouted down at a recent town meeting by a bunch of wingnuts intent on disrupting the event. What you may not know is that this is part of a larger, concerted strategy on the part of wingnuts to disrupt local events aimed at educating people about health-insurance reform. See here. Sebelius is only the most notable example of a federal official shouted down at such a meeting. Here we see the same thing happened to Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas. These crazed conservatives (probably "birthers") have no interest in civil discourse. They're so stupid in their reactionary response to the possibility of greater federal involvement in health insurance that they say "Keep your hands off my Medicare," as if that were a private plan. Good lord.
The notion, shared by many conservatives, that the Obama White House is rushing health-care reform is absurd. As Luckovich's cartoon points out, comprehensive reform of our health-care system is something that has reappeared on the political agenda periodically for more than six decades, defeated each time by conservative alarmists. Those same alarmists are working their evil magic now, chipping away at public support for change by scaring people about the consequences of reform.