Jeff Zeleny reported that Democrats were avoiding town hall appearances to avoid "voter rage." Is it true? Well, your definition of "avoiding town hall meetings" would have to be "holding a lot of town hall meetings." So: no.
Gay marriage and our increasingly obvious interconnectedness present threats to traditions and ways of doing things that many of us think should change. In that regard, health reform is the new gay marriage.
Appeals by politicians or pundits for protesters to be "reasonable" and pay attention to the actual facts fall on deaf ears. The only scenarios that seem plausible are those commensurate with their level of anxiety.
How many town hall meetings have gone peacefully, constructively and without a hitch? We don't know. What we've heard about again and again are these scattered incidents cherry-picked for their shock value and presented as genuine and meaningful patterns.
What we're seeing from the health care town halls and what we've seen from the "birthers" is essentially what I call the Tyranny of the Tantrum, which many parents encounter during the "terrible twos."