I've been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes, it mobilizes supporters -- but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead.
Now the overheated talk is about to get worse. Over the past 48 hours, I've heard conservatives compare the House bill to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 -- a decisive step on the path to the Civil War. Conservatives have whipped themselves into spasms of outrage and despair that block all strategic thinking.
Or almost all. The vitriolic talking heads on conservative talk radio and shock TV have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination.
When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say -- but what is equally true -- is that he also wants Republicans to fail.
If Republicans succeed -- if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office -- Rush's listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less and hear fewer ads for Sleep Number beds.
So today's defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it's mission accomplished.
For the cause they purport to represent, however, the "Waterloo" threatened by GOP Sen. Jim DeMint last year regarding Obama and health care has finally arrived all right: Only it turns out to be our own.
There you have it folks, Rush wins when everybody loses. How about a little less 'pseudo' information and more real talk? It personally isn't worth my time to spend 70 to 80 percent of it here batting down misinformation.