Today I have been reading and watching coverage of the goons organized by the insurance industry to disrupt public meetings about health care reform between Democratic congressmen and their constituents. It happened just down the road from me with my own congressman, Lloyd Doggett. I've also noticed that mainstream, elected Republicans basically laugh about this and urge the goons to keep up the good work. Some of them also suggest that health care reform is a secret plot to euthanize old people or that President Obama is an illegal alien. Meanwhile Democratic officials by and large still talk of "educating their colleagues on the other side of the aisle" and refer to their opponents using the archaic mannerisms of a long-gone era ("I respectfully disagree with my esteemed colleague from Alabama," etc.). In short, the Republicans seem determined to stop health care reform -- at least the public option aspect -- by any means necessary, while the Democrats seem stunned by the intensity of these attacks and unsure of what to do. But I don't think that's true at the grassroots level. I'm sure I'm not the only American in favor of a public option who saw footage of the mostly middle-aged, mostly fat white men shouting down a Democratic congressman, and chuckled at the thought of rounding up some pals from the local union hall or biker bar and meeting verbal intimidation with physical intimidation. For the first time in my life I think there's a slim chance that we could see actual fighting in the streets over political principles in this country -- the kind of thing we're used to seeing in other countries and shaking our heads in disbelief that they could care so much. Anyone else think so?