I guess you get an idea of just how far out the wingers and Fox News are getting when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is considered a voice of reason and promoter of civil discourse.
When an audience member said that she believed the false claim that the new health care reform law meant that the IRS “can put us in prison” for not having health insurance, Coburn cut her off, saying that despite what they may have heard on Fox News, “the intention is not to put anybody in jail”:
COBURN: I want everybody else to get answer a question, ask a question, so let me. The intention is not to put anybody in jail. That makes for good TV news on Fox, but that isn’t the intention. There is the intention, though, to use the Internal Revenue Service to hold you accountable and you have to prove that you have bought health insurance.
He then went on to defend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “a nice person,” which got boos and gasps from his audience.
I’ll ungrudgingly give Sen. Coburn props for his moderate tone (I hope he doesn’t feel insulted by using the term “moderate” to describe him) and taking on Fox News. It may also be a sign that even he is beginning to see that the GOP is on the losing end of the argument and it’s not doing anybody much good to get people riled up just so a TV network can boost its ratings. And it’s also a sign when it’s news that someone is calling for civil discourse and saying something like “[j]ust because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t mean that they’re not a good person.”