Anyway, I'm glad that Sullivan finally called out Yglesias for his strained justification of Alan Grayson's vicious ad hominem against Republicans on the floor of Congress.
Yglesias's defense amounts to: "'So what?' Republicans engage in this kind of abusive rhetoric all the time. That's the real issue."
This seems to be the same moral logic that I used in grade school, when I tried to convince my mother she should overlook my cookie-stealing habit because what I had done was relatively less offensive than some of the things my friends had done.
They were the real problem children, after all . . . .
Update: There is another aspect of this controversy that's been bothering me. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Grayson called congressional Republicans "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals."
What I mean is they [Republicans] have got no plan. It's been 24 hours since I said that. Where is the Republican plan? We're all waiting to see something that will take care of the pre-existing conditions, to take care of the 40 million Americans who have no coverage at all.
I've been hearing a lot lately that health care reform has been stalled by Republican "obstructionists." But are Democrats really waiting for the Republican plan, or is Grayson just posturing?
Right now, there are three bills floating around in committee: the House tri-committee bill, the Senate Finance Committee bill, and the Senate HELP Committee bill.
One major sticking point here is the public option, but there are many other points of contention (Ezra Klein offers a good summary of the main disagreements here). In the Senate, the Finance Committee bill (the "Baucus Plan") does not include a public option, while the HELP Committee bill does.
It's true that the virtually all Republicans (with the possible exception of Olympia Snowe) have refused to support either of the bills in the Senate, but the House Blue Dog Coalition is also largely opposed to a public option. More importantly, Blue Dogs seem to strongly favor the deficit-neutral Baucus Plan. The Democratic leadership, on the other hand, seems to be leaning toward the HELP Committee bill.
If the Democrats could unite on a single plan -- and perhaps convince Snowe to come on board -- they could easily pass health care reform. The problem is that they can't.
It's not Republican "obstructionists" who are holding up health care reform at this point. Most Democrats have already abandoned all hope for a bipartisan compromise.
The central conflict is now within the Democratic party.