There’s a lesson here for both parties. Healthcare isn’t failing because of Obama’s weaknesses or his opponent’s strength. It is failing because the proposal misapprehends the American character. On a moral level, there are sacrifices of both liberty and responsibility that the American people aren’t willing to make. And on a practical level, citizens who enjoy a world of instant convenience in everything from their music downloads to their airplane tickets aren’t willing to entertain a debate about whether it’s better to ration health care on a Soviet model or a Canadian model.

A revolt is afoot in the nation. The media and the political class might not understand the appeal of the Ron Pauls and Glenn Becks of the world. But even many of those who disagree with Paul and Beck on the specifics understand the draw. Something is resurfacing. Americans are increasingly unafraid to say the word “liberty”. Politicians who don’t share that trait may want to start updating their résumés.