Hunter puts his whole hand on something I've been struggling to put my finger on:
The hostility goes back to what I was pondering in my Sunday essay: that the aggressive, furious attempts to even shut down the possibility of a political discussion is reminiscent of the anti-desegregation movement, a point that becomes noteworthy when you aggregate the motives of the "birthers", who loudly deny Obama's citizenship, the "teabaggers", who loudly declare that the same taxes they paid under Bush are tyrannical under Obama, the "deathers", who loudly assert that healthcare reform is secret plot to euthanize seniors and others that the government deems unproductive.
Emphasis mine. The irrationality and rage and the arguments that don't reflect anything to do with the situation remind me EXACTLY of the way people talk about busing and school boundaries and the old neighborhood. In old movies you'll see the signs: "We Love Our Children! We Hate Busing!" Which love of your children has about as much to do with the question of segregation as Hitler has to do with health care; it's all about resistance to the idea that things are going to change.