Let me add a sort of larger point: aside from the essentially circular political arguments — centrist Democrats insisting that the public option must be dropped to get the votes of centrist Democrats — the argument against the public option boils down to the fact that it’s bad because it is, horrors, a government program. And sooner or later Democrats have to take a stand against Reaganism — against the presumption that if the government does it, it’s bad.Well put.
This is how far America has sunk. Where once people wondered whether or not capitalism was going to survive, we've now seen the resurgence of anti-government kneejerking, as if the government didn't have to rescue the market from itself less than a year ago. Were it just the Republicans, it wouldn't be so much of an issue. But now all are seeing just how deep the Ronnie Rot goes within the Democrats as well.