How can right-wing extremists retain even the smallest shred of credibility when they characterize pre-arranged disruptions of town-hall meetings as legitimate forms of protest? How did hysteria become the norm at a time when only prudent deliberation can make sense of matters that affect the lives and fortunes of main-street Americans? And when did imbecilic rhetoric based on misinformation and deceitful political maneuvering become the standards by which ordinary folks are encouraged to decide their futures?

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