Rep. Steve Cohen went onto a mostly empty House floor late Tuesday night to compare Republican rhetoric on Obama-care to Nazi propaganda. But after almost two weeks of lectures from the Times on the need for conservatives like Sarah Palin to cool their political vitriol in the wake of the shooting in Tucson, a Democrat making a Nazi comparison wasn't even worth its own story in the paper.
The incident earned two short paragraphs near the top of a Thursday story deep inside the National section by Jennifer Steinhauer, buried under the highly misleading headline, "Approaching Civility (if Perhaps Falling Short of Eloquence) in Debate ."
Steinhauer treated Cohen's provocation as an exception to the overall comity of the debate, though she admitted most of the controversial statements came from Democrats.
The Webster-Hayne debate it was not. But in the end, the floor fight over the bill to repeal the health care overhaul - predetermined both to pass the House and ultimately fail to become law - by and large demonstrated the ability of Republicans and Democrats to debate a public policy matter civilly.
The exceptions and the more openly provocative statements came mostly from the Democratic side. Late Tuesday night, Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, denounced Republican talking points on the law as akin to Nazi propaganda.
"They say it's a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels," Mr. Cohen said. "You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That's the same kind of thing."