An interesting poll you can check out here on TPM shows that the biggest Democratic health care proposals is not what is in them, but an ongoing campaign of disinformation against them.

So this is the point where I’m supposed to rail against the big, bad Republicans for being lying liars and and using scare tactics and political bogeymen and bullying and shouting down opposition. But here’s the thing: of course they did! This is American politics – no holds are barred, and every ludicrous lie you can make up is fair game if people will buy into it. And when you’re dealing with a system in which 39% of people in one poll think the government needs to stay out of MEDICARE, it is not, in point of fact, all that difficult to fool some of the people all of the time.

If health care reform goes down in flames because Dems and progressives were unprepared or unwilling to push back against it, then frankly, we’ve got no one to blame for that but ourselves. If your opponent is making something into a shouting match, and you keep talking softly, then yeah, you might be the more mature person and have the better points – but if no one hears what you’re saying, then you have lost that argument in a public sphere. Passing any sort of meaningful health care reform at this point – even if a bi-partisan bill is as dead as disco, which seems to be the sentiment coming from the white house today – is going to be a fight. And the left can either gear up to win it, or keep playing Mr. Nice Guy and end up swallowing their teeth.

Is that a pleasant notion? No. But it’s the reality of the situation, and progressives better get used to the idea that they can’t stay out of the muck forever if that’s the only place that anti-reform advocates are willing to fight.

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