The true nature of the opposition to health care reform was exposed on national television Wednesday night for all the world to see.
A South Carolina Republican leapt to his feet and shouted "You lie!" to the President of the United States during a special session of both houses of Congress.
It was an unprecedented breach of civility for such an occasion -- and a perfect demonstration of the tactics the Republican right wing has used over and over again to turn the public debate on the most important national issue of the day into a hate-spewing shouting match.
Joe Wilson was simply following the playbook.
The media bought, hook, line and sinker, the "spontaneity" of the shouts at the disrupted town hall meetings, where similar uncivility was directed at congressmen and senators. At that same time, the media ignored what was happening at free, public health clinics all around the country: the uninsured, and the under-insured, camped out and stood in line for eight to 28 hours, just to see a dentist or get a prescription for Grandma. There could be no more powerful case for significant health care reform -- now.
Yet it went unreported.
And we are left to realize that the president's eloquent and cogent and detailed message for health care reform is not carrying the day.
Joe Wilson is carrying the day.
To our everlasting discredit.