Call it a case of bite and run, but a 65-year-old man opposed to health care reform struck another man who was trying to reach a pro-reform rally of 100 participants — and had half his pinky finger bitten off in return. And, in a dramatic tour de force of socialized

medicine, the victim was sent home by doctors after they tried, unsuccessfully, to reattach the digit

— all covered by his Medicare policy.

As the Ventura County sheriff's department told KTLA, which broke the story, the two unidentified men got into it last night on Hillcrest and Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks. The details remain murky, but apparently the man trying to reach his

pro-reform group either walked past a pocket of opposition protestors or

tried to confront them. In any event, he got punched and after he bit

the top half of the man's pinky off,  fled into the night. The story got picked up by the Washington Post and is already becoming the stuff of legend in this epic debate.

On-scene bloggers from both the Right (who're making the bite victim their movement's Horst Wessel) and Left have posts on the incident. This evening a group of young Christians called  Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust

plan to show up in Los Angeles' Corn Field Park to protest a pro-reform

rally featuring Congresswomen Jane Harman and Diane Watson. For the

sake of everyone's fingers, let's hope the gloves stay on tonight.

LA Weekly