Let me remind you again: They can pass any bill they want any time they want. Conservatives can scream their heads off at these things and there’s not an ounce of good it’ll do if Democrats are united. This whole partisan “war” Obama and Axelrod have concocted is kabuki theater against an enemy they’ve already (momentarily) defeated; it’s the Blue Dogs’ fear that they’ll be thrown out of office if they vote for this travesty that’s put the left in the predicament they’re in. The cowardice they’re showing in not wanting to face their constituents is actually obscuring the deeper cowardice of the the party stalling on a landmark bill they finally have the numbers to pass for no better reason than that doing so will jeopardize their hold on power next year. They want ObamaCare and they want their permanent majority, and if the only way they can get both is by calling conservatives Nazis then that’s what they’re a-gonna do.

Top White House aides gave Senate Democrats a recess battle plan on Thursday, arming the lawmakers with tips for avoiding disastrous town hall meetings while showing them polling on popular aspects of the reform effort…

They showed video clips of the confrontational town halls that have dominated the media coverage, and told senators to do more prep work than usual for their public meetings by making sure their own supporters turn out, senators and aides said.

And they screened TV ads and reviewed the various campaigns by critics of the Democratic plan.

“If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard,” Messina said, according to an official who attended the meeting…

“They are just helping us understand the fringe that is trying to mess up our meetings,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

What does Reid mean by “fringe”? It’s come to this:

Instead of appearing in person, where “extremists” would have “the chance to shout and make YouTube videos,” Baird said Wednesday, he’s holding what he calls “telephone town halls” instead.

Baird said he’s using the new system because he fears his political opponents may be planning “an ambush” to disrupt his meetings, using methods Baird compared to Nazism.

“What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics,” Baird, D-Vancouver, said in a phone interview. “I mean that very seriously.”…

Pam Benson of Larch Mountain, 62, said she realizes Baird disagrees with her on health care reform…

“He’s supposed to be our representative,” said Benson, a purchasing manager for Portland Cascade Architecture and Engineering in Portland. “He’s supposed to listen to us, whether he’s on our side or not.”…

“We are not nut cases that disagree with this issue,” she said. “There are a lot of very well-informed people that are against this health care thing.”

Luckily she won’t have a chance to face down Baird and then be “punched back twice as hard.” Exit quotation: “Despite the legitimacy of the public’s concern, demonizing democracy has become pretty common these days for the left… By dismissing the anger of conservatives, moderates, libertarians, conservative democrats and independents the administration looks out of touch and appallingly arrogant. In fact, it will hurt them even more because Obama promised to listen to the concerns of the citizens, not operate with a tin ear.”