The Washington Post wasn't hiding its contempt for tea-party protesters on Monday morning. Right at the top of the front page, they ran a commentary from Dana Milbank, who described the protesters with their Kill the Bill signs and Don't Tread on Me flags, and then declared:
It was a hideous display, capping one of the ugliest and strangest periods of the American legislative process: the town hall meetings, the death panels, the granny killing, the images of Nazi concentration camps, the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, Joe Wilson's "You lie!" moment, the middle-of-the-night and Christmas Eve votes, the Massachusetts special election, the Stupak Amendment, the Slaughter Plan, the filibusters, the supermajorities, the deeming and passing.
Fifteen months of episodic battles over health-care reform has often ended, as the finale did, with epithets and shouts.
Milbank began the article by saying the road to reform "has been long and gruesome," making it clear which half was gruesome. Democrats, by comparison, were the saintly victims of rhetorical assault:
Democrats, to show they wouldn't be intimidated, had staged a march to the Capitol from their office buildings, covering the ground where on Saturday African American Democrats were called racial epithets and spat on by protesters. Pelosi, carrying the speaker's gavel, linked arms with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who was harassed Saturday but is no stranger to abuse from his years in the civil rights movement.
Police ringed Lewis, Pelosi and other Democrats while the conservative activists formed a gantlet and shouted insults: "You communists! You socialists! You hate America!"
It's always odd to see journalists, who you might think would enjoy debate, being so upset that anyone would stand in the way of Saint Barack. On the other side of the front page, reporters Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery sounded thrilled:
House Democrats scored a historic victory in the century-long battle to reform the nation's health-care system late Sunday night, winning final approval of legislation that expands coverage to 32 million people and attempts to contain spiraling costs.
A Post reader might think that the "spiraling costs" being contained are government spending, instead of this being a massive tax-and-spend bill.