A full defense of the public option requires moving beyond the basic arguments for reform. It requires reform proponents to take seriously the fears of opponents, even if they make up only a minority of the American public.
Dean deserves much better from the left than what he got after calling for the health reform bill to be killed. His concerns as a physician and a progressive politician are worthy of serious attention.
The real head-scratcher for serious media-watchers right now is what the "war" between the White House and Fox News was meant to distract us from this week. The "war" itself is laughable, for a number of reasons.
Let's look at the poker hand we've been dealt on health care reform. Democrats have now officially gone from "pot committed" to "all in." The stakes, to be blunt, have been raised until they are as high as they can go.
At some point we have to break our emotional silence and get down to what is really going on. Don Draper has yet to do that, and it looks like he will never be able to fully. Gregory House has at least made a start.
The progressives and Blue Dogs are going to have a showdown. It is going to culminate not in statements to the press (or the lack thereof), not in some whispered whip count, but rather in a very public vote.