Josh Marshall probably has known this for some time, but writes it today, citing the now famous video of teabaggers mocking a sick man.

Pay particular attention at the :50 second mark, where anti-reform protesters yell and throw a few bucks at a man holding a sign claiming he has Parkinson’s.

Those guys screaming about “handouts” would be perfectly at home at a rally in the 1990s, or the 80s, or the 70s and so on. This isn’t new, and it’s not original. The social and cultural currents running through this debate exist independent of the debate, and the anger can’t be tempered or avoided by procedural figleafs that few people inside Washington understand or by better messaging. At the end of the day, even abandoning reform won’t calm that kind of anger.

None of this “debate” was ever about health care.? Not for one second.? The Republican Party, their cheap hookers on the hard right, and their progeny the Tea Party, have watched their ideology proven spectacularly wrong by events, and they are in panic.? With American economic power lying in tatters at their feet, brought down by their own hand, and their ignorant adherence to the ideology that destroyed it, they know that they have no more leg to stand on, no more legitimacy, and nothing to offer the majority of voters of this country without those voters laughing in their faces.? And the election of a black man to the White House has merely been gasoline on the fire of their rage.

It’s a shame that Democrats in Congress have bought into this rage, letting it affect every vote they cast, despite that rage being completely irrelevant to the matter at hand at any given moment.? It says a lot about our discourse that such a lack of leadership, even in the face of incoherent babbling rage about fantastical myths, can still be counted upon to make cowardly congresspeople cower in fear of it.? What a crying shame.? When this health care bill passes, perhaps Democrats in Congress will finally find the courage to stand up to a whirling machinery of fictitious hysteria, on this issue, and every other issue.

The myth peddlers’ heads will now explode further.? If you thought health care reform brought out the psychosis, wait until immigration reform.? DADT.? DOMA.? The bad news is that fact has lately been drowned out by fiction, in a media environment that rewards not fact but fiction.? The good news is that their hysteria is now itself a proven fact, and health care reform may now become reality in spite of it.? Perhaps this will mark a corner turned.

But make no mistake – the rage will get louder.? The seething seedier.? The myths deeper.? The hate harder.? They will twitch at an ever increasing pace, sweat heavier beads down their red faces, as the long march of history inexorably leaves them and their tired world view behind forever.? It’s going to be a long road, but it carries on forward to the horizon without regard for their myth.

This country will keep moving down that road.

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