Lawrence O'Donnell's interview with a town hall protester provided one of the most revealing moments in this whole foofaraw. He gets at an essential truth: Most of the protesters and tea-partyers are responding to a generalized angst. Many of them, like the young woman being interviewed, are clueless about what's at stake. All they know are slogans.
Disarmingly, O'Donnell admits that Medicare and Social Security are "socialism." Gasp! We on the left need to remember that ideas we take for granted are completely alien to a large part of the populace. And too long we have left the task of educating people to economic and political reality undone, allowing people to fall into the hands of the Limbaughs and O'Reillys and Glenn Becks.