t used to be different. You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to "debunk" claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president's program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn't adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of "conservative claims" to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims. Back then, a more confident media unequivocally labeled the civic outrage represented by such discourse as "extremist" -- out of bounds.
The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America's flora. Only now, it's being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest. Latest word is that the enlightened and mild provision in the draft legislation to help elderly people who want living wills -- the one hysterics turned into the "death panel" canard -- is losing favor, according to the Wall Street Journal, because of "complaints over the provision."
Good thing our leaders weren't so cowardly in 1964, or we would never have passed a civil rights bill -- because of complaints over the provisions in it that would enslave whites.
You have to know you are right and do the right thing. The Republicans have no intention of bargaining in good faith. Here is Digby
Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak were interviewed yesterday at NN by Susie Madrak and Ari Melber. Specter made some news when he revealed that from the beginning the Republicans had circulated among themselves that they were going to "break Obama" --- and it didn't originate over health care, but even before the stimulus. They never had any intention of acting in good faith. This didn't surprise me either. But it certainly seems to have surprised the administration, or at least they thought they could win them over anyway. But they can't.