The young grass-roots army that swept Obama into office has yet to mobilize now that the fight is about something complicated rather than a charismatic hope-monger. No, they can’t?

Instead of a multicultural tableau of beaming young idealists on screen, we see ugly scenes of mostly older and white malcontents, disrupting forums where others have come to actually learn something. Instead of hope, we get swastikas, death threats and T-shirts proclaiming “Proud Member of the Mob.”

President Obama has proven quicksilver instincts, but not in this case. You would think that a politician schooled in community organizing and the foul balls of a presidential campaign would be ready to squash this kind of nuttiness. (Like it or not, Speaker Pelosi, that’s democracy in action.) Instead, the president’s overconfident Harvard Law Review side, expecting a high-minded debate, prevailed.