I’ve made this point previously, but I think it’s worth repeating: these town hall protests (why do they continue?) are not about the country debating health care reform. They’re ideological hissy fits, orchestrated by the Republican party and their corporate cronies.

Their purpose: to vent about "SOCIALISM!" — which for the Teabaggers is everything from the stimulus to Medicare and Social Security – and fatally wound a Democratic President in the process.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to them.

It’s about Obama.

If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.

It’s about partisan politics.

We have an opportunity to realistically kill Obama’s agenda.

It’s about paranoia.

I don’t believe this is just about health care…this is about the systematic dismantling of this country.

It’s about extremism.

Kostric was also carrying a sign that said, "It is time to water the tree of liberty," an apparent reference to this quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

And yes, it’s about race.

While [Georgia Rep. David] Scott acknowledged the legitimate concerns that many Americans have when it comes to overhauling health care, the congressman also expressed worry about the debate’s undertone. Scott e-mailed me a sampling of some of the rougher health care mail he’s received — the ones with variations of the n-word.

“You were, you are, and you shall forever be but a ———-,” one fax to his office reads. The missive includes a mug of President Barack Obama with a hammer-and-sickle stamped on his forehead.

“The folks are not going to stand for socialized medicine even though most Negroes refuse to stand on their own two feet,” says another.

People are watching. And as Ambinder notes, these town halls have exposed the putrid underbelly of the conservative movement — to the GOP’s detriment.

There were boos when Specter reaffirmed his president’s Americanness.

That’s the problem when you mobilize your base for the cameras and it’s full of black helicopter lunatics. Ask John McCain how that worked out for him.