This is all a bit academic for me, as I live in a civilised country now (where the mainstream conservative parties are...you know, conservative and disagreeable, but in the main sane), but I liked Ezra Klein's comment:
This is something broader then a reaction to particular provisions in particular pieces of legislation. This is about how the conservative movement reacts to progressive change. My colleague Steve Pearlstein got it right this morning. "Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society," he wrote. "Whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off."
That doesn't mean Obama's bill. It could mean a compromise like Wyden-Bennett, or something else. But what's going on out there isn't about a specific bill. It's about the fear of change. It doesn't really allow for negotiations and counter-offers. And it is very, very ugly.
Yes it is.