September 12, 2009

Should Joe Wilson, on pain of admonishment, apologize on the floor of the House? I say yes.

That's the proposal. And I say yes, but with an important condition. What Wilson did was to appropriate a solemn occasion — a presidential address to a joint session of Congress — to insert his own partisan political statement. He should apologize, but what I want in addition is an apology for the masses of presidential supporters who repeatedly interrupted the speech with partisan applause, cheering, and standing ovations.

Either it is a solemn occasion not to be interrupted by partisan distractions or it is not. As a citizen TV-watcher, I was willing to listen to the President lay out his argument for us, but I would not watch a political rally. The Democrats who took advantage of the occasion to cheer the President on created an atmosphere that made Joe Wilson's 2 syllables of dissent a welcome pushback. If they had been decorous throughout, what Wilson did would have been appalling. But his behavior seen apart from that context is unacceptable. Let him then apologize, if all the others who wrecked the solemnity also apologize, and let us have future Presidents' visits to Congress be polite, respectful affairs.

If that can't be done, then let the President drop the pomposity and submit to Question Time:



***

According to the article linked above, Wilson is accused of violating House rules:
House rules and precedents provide substantial guidance on how a House member can and cannot refer to the president while speaking on the floor, and the guidelines state that it has been found impermissible to call the president a liar. The House was in formal session at the time of the speech.
This sort of viewpoint discrimination is unAmerican. Can members yell out "You're the One" and "I love you, Barack" and "Amen!"? It's fine to have rules, but I want to attack them for having a rule like that.

It has been found impermissible to call the president a liar.

What a crazy thing to say! Step up and defend it if you dare.

79 comments:

rhhardin said...

I'd go for admonishment.

A "has bad attitude" evaluation was always a high honor at work.

edutcher said...

Hell, no. He's already apologized twice, as I understand it. This is the Lefties wanting a full-court grovel. As for it being a solemn occasion, it was a political stunt - and solemnity didn't stop the Demos from booing Dubya at the 05 State of the Union. I'm not saying their churlishness justifies a tit for tat response, but this has nothing to do with decorum and everything to do with politics.

As I said earlier, if he believed what he said, he should stick to his guns. If the Waxman-Frank crowd want to make him a martyr, so be it. I think they'll come to regret it

bagoh20 said...

Are they saying this President is less able to handle the pressure of this office already? Others seemed to take it, and much more, and still move on. Is he less able than the rest? Sounds a little racist to me, unless they are saying he is just too inexperienced.

Bissage said...

Both sides should be satisfied if Representative Wilson issues his apology on the floor of the House through his tweeter.

J. R. said...

Establishing a "rule" like this seems to have been the point of the speech. Obama came offering bait. He wanted someone in the so-called opposition to do something, anything, that could be turned into political points for him. The health care details just provided a cover story.

Sometimes, when dealing with strategic issues, it's not apparent what the purpose of an action is until after-the-fact. But when you look at what a participant emphasizes throughout the process, it can become clear what his or her real intentions are.

Obama could have just told the Democratic machinery to let it go. "It was nothing and I'm glad to be challenged. Here's why Joe Wilson was wrong." And then Obama could walk away confident that it was settled. He's the f-----g President after all! He ought to be the adult in the room if there is one.

But of course this whole way of doing business is nothing new. Bush II did the same thing throughout his reign, always looking for someone to label as "unpatriotic" or whatever, in the hope of getting a political benefit from the resulting work-up in the media.

tarheel said...

Ann, I agree 100% with your comments. If the President's speech to Congress is to be a partisan political rally, Wilson's "you lie!" is consistent with the overall tenor.

LilyBart said...

No. He has already apologized and acknowledged that his outburst was inappropriate.

Peolsi and her gang are just interested in making political hay.

Ann, LOVE your comments / conditions.

Kansas City said...

Ann's sentiment is logical, her proposal is not. It obviously has been a long recognized custom that supporters get to applaud, while it similarly is a recognized custom that opponents do not shout out liar.

The funny part to me, and of course ignored by the MSM, is that when Wilson spoke Obama had just got done calling his political opponents liars with respect to "death panels," in a manner that clearly was designed to castigate Sarah Palin (and others). How can Republicans and Wilson not make that point?

As to the demand for an apology, Wilson should RUN to accept that offer. He will have the attention of the entire country to make his point, putting the apology in as part of a longer statement that proves he was correct and points out that Obama changed his position upon being challenged. It is the kind of opportunity that should make republicans drool.

Methadras said...

You see, at this point, the leftists just want to rub Joe Wilsons nose in it as a means to smear the rest of the conservative wing if not the entire Republican Party and in doing so try to disarm the millions of voices that call Barack Obama, President Barely, a liar. What they want is abject supplication at this point and if I was Joe Wilson, I'd tell the Democrat Leadership to go fuck themselves. And if the Republican Leadership doesn't like that response, he should tell them to go fuck themselves too.

What part of 'I'm sorry' don't these fools understand? However, what part of 'Your lying' don't they understand?

former law student said...

From here on, applause and cheers will be out of order? What about cries of "Hear, hear!" What sanctions should they receive? What about those who remain silent when polite applause is appropriate, at the end of the speech?

Methadras said...

I've seen many many sessions of British parliment and it's good to see this kind of vigorous debate, however, if this is what has led the UK into the current state that it's in, then I would say it's a failure.

former law student said...

What part of 'I'm sorry' don't these fools understand?

Wilson apologized to the President. However, his behavior embarrassed the House, and the House is demanding an apology on its own behalf.

If you were punished in school for some misbehavior, did your parents decide that that punishment was sufficient? Or did they inflict their own punishment on you, for embarrassing the family?

Invisible Man said...

The funny thing with even the false equivocation with "Question Time" in Britain, is that if any of you had ever watched it you would know that part of even their decorum is to treat the speaker's words in good faith. Wilson's, "You lie", would be considered just as disgusting to their forum as it is now being considered here. If you want to make an argument, make an argument. Don't just heckle like some thug in the stands at a football game.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No. He should not apologize since he already did it in person.

If forced to make an apology on the floor of Congress....what he should say is something along the lines of this:

I apologize for calling the President a liar on the floor of Congress. That was in inappropriate place to make such a statement. I should have waited to call him a liar AFTERWARDS on the steps of the Capitol building in a separate news conference statement.

traditionalguy said...

This kind of show trial intimidation of free speech is appropriate for our new politboro. In truth their playing a shell game with with Americans using a nearly non-existant pea is THE act of deception. Wilson was right to call that out by his response that "You lie". He did not say President Obama is a Liar, but he stating that the teleprompter feed of a cover-up speech that Obama was reading was all a Big Lie. That has become the only defense possible when bold men who love truth are faced with an Alternate Reality continually pumped out by Big Lie practitioners, like the Demo-Socialist Party has been doing about Nationalising Health Care, with total cover-up given by the Government Media. I just wish that good German men in 1933 had boldly yelled out You Lie at Herr Hitler's charismatic Big Lie speeches that blamed a conspiracy of Jews for always betraying the German's will to power.

dbp said...

One must always be careful to respond respectfully when being lied to in a formal setting.

former law student said...

Herr Hitler's charismatic Big Lie speeches that blamed a conspiracy of Jews for always betraying the German's will to power.

I love this guy's shtik. Tradguy is the Jesus' General of Althouse commenters

HT said...

For once I agree with Ann.

Unfortunately I have lost all patience for speeches before Congress. I can no longer watch any president.

bagoh20 said...

DBQ, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that or something similar. I think he also has to tactfully slip in that the President was calling millions "liars" throughout the speech.

Is the political class leading or following on this stupid foray into trivial distraction. I think we have to look especially silly around the world right now, and not because of Wilson's outburst - that's the norm.

Yes, I realize I'm part of it for commenting here, but I'm in my underwear right now. I don't expect to be taken seriously. In fact, I usually get outbursts of laughter if I say anything without pants.

Maguro said...

The left loves nothing more than the spectacle of a public forced confession. Wilson would be wise not to indulge them.

LilyBart said...

"President was calling millions "liars" throughout the speech."

EXACTLY.

former law student said...

Here are some pictures of Health Care Reform opponents with legitimate concerns, raising the level of discourse:

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2009/09/12/the-patriot-act-warrantless-wiretapping-black-sights-torture-extreme-rendition

Big Mike said...

I think that Joe Wilson should apologize if and only if those members of the House and Senate who are still serving and who booed President Bush apologize as well.

Furthermore, I think that Wilson's apology should take precisely the form DBQ stated.

It's called "sauce for the goose," FLS.

justthetruth said...

I do not believe that he should apologize because he has already apologized to the president for his breach of decorum and the president has accepted his apology.

Indeed, I hope that Speaker Pelosi follows through with her plans to hold a vote of censure against Rep. Wilson. Such a move will expose the fact that Congress is more interested in decorum than it is in the truth.

The facts are provided by a recently published Congressional Research Service (CRS) report. A copy of the Congressional Research Service Report Treatment of Noncitizens in H.R. 3200 can be accessed at http://media.sfexaminer.com/documents/noncitizens.pdf

From page 4 of the report:

Under H.R. 3200, a “Health Insurance Exchange” would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option. The Exchange would not be an insurer; it would provide eligible individuals and small businesses with access to insurers’ plans, including the public option, in a comparable way. Individuals would only be eligible to enroll in an Exchange plan if they were not enrolled in other acceptable coverage (for example, from an employer, Medicare and generally Medicaid). H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange. …

Also from page 5 of the report:

Some have expressed concerns that since H.R. 3200 does not contain a mechanism to verify immigration status, the prohibitions on certain noncitizens (e.g, non-immigrants and unauthorized aliens) receiving the credits may not be enforced. However, others note that under §142(a)(3) of the bill, it is the responsibility of the Health Choices Commissioner (Commissioner) to administer the “individual affordability credits under subtitle C of title II, including determination of eligibility for such credits.” Thus, it appears, absent of a provision in the bill specifying the verification procedure, that the Commissioner would be responsible for determining a mechanism to verify the eligibility of noncitizens for the credits.


Given that Congress has voted down at least two amendments that would require eligibility verification via the Systematic Alien Verification Enforcement (SAVE) act that is currently employed in approximately 70 other federal entitlement programs, then it is rather apparent that the law will not be enforced. Specifically, I believe that any Commissioner mandated eligibility verification mechanism will be largely ineffective and meaningless by intent.

Thus, Representative Wilson’s accusation that the president lied is accurate even though it is certainly a breach of decorum.

bagoh20 said...

"Indeed, I hope that Speaker Pelosi follows through with her plans to hold a vote of censure against Rep. Wilson. Such a move will expose the fact that Congress is more interested in decorum than it is in the truth."

Yea, I hope they keep going ape shit about it. It's fantastic to see this hyperbole on the left. The Health care protesters are getting very outraged about 1/6 of our economy and their lives and the left is outraged over some guy yelling "you lie". It's a fantastic story. Pump it up everyone.

Thanks for doing your part FLS. More please.

daubiere said...

and then wilson will have to chop down the mightiest tree in the forest wiiith... a herring!!!!

SteveR said...

The fact that Congress exempts themselves from most of the rules they impose on us and otherwise has a crappy history of following a lot of the rules regarding "corruption" however narrowly or broadly you wish to define it, this is naked politics.

LarsPorsena said...

FLS:
"..Wilson apologized to the President. However, his behavior embarrassed the House, and the House is demanding an apology on its own behalf..

Embarrassed the House??
Barney Frank, John Murtha, Charlie Rangel. The House is beyond embarrassment.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Spot on.

The Emperor’s new clothes.

OK, three cheers for decorum, but my recommended Joe Wilson’s Congressional non-apology apology would read or sound something like this:


“Arguably, my remark the other night at the Presidential address was found by some to be in poor taste. Republicans should not act like Democrats at Presidential Addresses when the President is a member of the other party, specifically like the time numerous Democrats booed then President Bush at his 2005 state of The Union Address. I formally apologize to anyone who was offended.”

The Republicans are too dumb or insecure to do anything like that, of course.

AJ Lynch said...

What DBQ said.

We don't need a phony tenor in Congress. They keep trying to divert our attention to these BS issues.

Pelosi herself should STFU - she and Reid are the worst offenders of good mnnners.

Joe said...

Good God, Charles Rangel is a lying tax cheat. Murtha is robbing the treasury, and Wilson is getting threatened with censure?

(Oops, someone just posted this, but it's worth repeating.)

Oh, and I like Ann's idea.

Sofa King said...

The very idea of Joe Wilson apologizing to Charlie Rangel for sullying the honor of the House is just so obnoxious as to be offensive. It's not just an injustice, it's a mockery of justice. It's taking a big fat steaming dump on justice and then setting it on fire.

Joe said...

Wilson's, "You lie", would be considered just as disgusting to their forum as it is now being considered here.

That is complete and utter bullshit from a person who obviously never watched more than five seconds of question time, if that.

BJM said...

@AJ - Over a million (or as the AppallingPropagandist reports "thousands") of us aren't being diverted by the Wilson dog & pony show.

Father Martin Fox said...

He shouldn't have done it. I was shocked. But let's drop all this guff about this being "unprecedented" as if the opposition (D or R) has been a bunch of angels up till now at these events.

This was unseemly, as was the booing of President Bush, as was some of the conduct of Republicans in Clinton's presence.

But then again, all these pompous windbags getting the vapors over "incivility"--well, there aren't too many pols who legitimately can complain about it, because most of them play tough, or cheer on their allies doing the same--only to get all weepy when the other side does the same.

Father Martin Fox said...

...after all, how "civil" was it for Speaker Pelosi to label ordinary Americans "Nazis"...and "unamerican." A lot of people's mouths dropped open on that one; when will she apologize, or be admonished?

BJM said...

@fls - Pelosi and the House Majority should be lot more embarrassed by Rangel's brazen tax evasion than what has proven to be a rude, but true utterance.

That the House would spend time on etiquette while employment languishes and the debt mounts is more than foolish partisanship, it's insanity and the voters are beginning to notice.



wv: coonabby = what my cat is.

former law student said...

Embarrassed the House??
Barney Frank, John Murtha, Charlie Rangel. The House is beyond embarrassment.

I'll see your Frank, Murtha, and Rangel, and raise you Duke Cunningham, Tom DeLay, Istook, and John Doolittle.

...after all, how "civil" was it for Speaker Pelosi to label ordinary Americans "Nazis"...and "unamerican." A lot of people's mouths dropped open on that one; when will she apologize, or be admonished?

Padre, please get your facts straight. Pelosi never called any health care reform protestor a Nazi; she merely observed that some HCRPs were carrying swastikas to the town hall protests. These protestors were implying that Obama was a Nazi -- an insult that somehow troubles no Republicans.

If Rangel broke a law, I'd like to see a priest explain how Cunningham's sin was also the sin of scandal, that might have led his fellow Congressmen to sin.

former law student said...

Pelosi and the House Majority should be lot more embarrassed by Rangel's brazen tax evasion

Republicans should be painfully embarrassed to watch the indicted Tom DeLay prance and cavort on Dancing With the Stars. Fortunately for them, they lack both a sense of shame and a sense of irony.

BJM said...

fls, nice try, but no banana.

Joe said...

Republicans should be painfully embarrassed to watch the indicted Tom DeLay prance and cavort on Dancing With the Stars.

Why? The man's a buffoon and is on a show made for such.

(FLS, bringing up Republican dicks only supports our point--the attitude you see is pretty much disgust at all the assholes in Congress, many of whom have done, and are doing, far worse things than anything Wilson said. That said, Rangel and Murtha are, even by Congressional standards, pretty extreme scum.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Republicans should be painfully embarrassed to watch the indicted Tom DeLay prance and cavort on Dancing With the Stars

I would hazard a guess that few Republicans actually watch dancing with the stars.

I would be painfully embarrased to watch Dancing with the Stars no matter WHO was on the show.

Same thing goes for every other reality show out there.....with the exception of Project Runway, which I watch because I am an avid sewer/seamstress and make my own patterns.

MayBee said...

Republicans should be painfully embarrassed to watch the indicted Tom DeLay prance and cavort on Dancing With the Stars.

Indicted 4 years ago, but the prosecutor has yet put a case together to bring him to trial.

Who should be embarrassed?

Methadras said...

former law student said...

Pelosi and the House Majority should be lot more embarrassed by Rangel's brazen tax evasion

Republicans should be painfully embarrassed to watch the indicted Tom DeLay prance and cavort on Dancing With the Stars. Fortunately for them, they lack both a sense of shame and a sense of irony.


Seriously, you should stop trying to be a magician. Your misdirection skills need serious work and frankly you can see the underpinnings of this trick from across the room. Fail.

Methadras said...

former law student said...

What part of 'I'm sorry' don't these fools understand?

Wilson apologized to the President. However, his behavior embarrassed the House, and the House is demanding an apology on its own behalf.


No it didn't. It embarrased Joe Wilson and his weak-spined Republican leadership. You want to interpret embarrassment then you go right ahead and do that, but you are off the mark. It was rude to do that to the president, but not an embarrassment and you are confusing the two.

If you were punished in school for some misbehavior, did your parents decide that that punishment was sufficient? Or did they inflict their own punishment on you, for embarrassing the family?

Let's deal with the world of adults instead of children shall we? The two are distinctly different in how behavior is treated. You don't punish adults for rude behavior outside of an apology or a possible period of time of ostracism, but to punish them twice for the same offense is even worse than the initial offense.

Dogwood said...

Don't have time to read all the comments, but just wanted to throw my "No" into the ring.

Obama released a document Friday night admitting current legislative proposals needed to be changed to prevent illegal immigrants from taking advantage of the proposed system.

In short, Joe Wilson was right, Obama was wrong, and they both knew it at the time Wilson said "You Lie".

Finally, civility toward those who lie is not a virtue.

Shanna said...

I think it's ridiculous of them to demand this when the guy has already apologized to the president, who is the one he was rude to. That said, he should totally use DBQ for his speechwriter and throw in the bit about the president calling american citizens liars. And if they censure him anyway he can say, oh well, I did apologize.

Shanna said...

Also, it's nice how they let people cheat on their taxes and do all sorts of illegal shit, but yell "you lie" and oh no! The breach of decorum! Idiots.

But by all means, congress, waste your time on stuff like this. The more time you spend doing this, the less time you have to do permanent stuff.

JAL said...

There are such a great bunch of scenarios here.

Wow.

Wilson could say "Thanks for the opportunity, but I think I'll pass." And go home and count his war chest.

He could say "Oh, Madam Speaker. I am soooo sorry if I offended the House (how does one offend an entity?) I need to tell them all (in case they haven't been watching CNN) how sorry I truly truly am IF I OFFENDED ANYBODY." (See -- he doesn't say he's sorry for what he said -- only sorry for *others* feelings about it. Ha!)

He might even say "On Madame Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to let people know that I don't think President Obama was reading lies and that I should not have let those words cross my mind, much less my lips in such a sacred place as a joint session of Congress, {full of crooks and liars as it is}."

He could say "Okay Madam Speaker. I sinned. Please, please, please, don't throw me in the briar patc... {oops, wrong story -- but hey ....} And then, as she tosses him into the briar patch he should, much as DBQ and others have mentioned, use it as an opportunity to clarify how the President of the United States was attempting to mislead people including while denigrating by name calling those who opposed to him.

Not to mention this is a teaching moment (that's popular with this administration, isn't it?) wherein he could point out that millions of the citizens (not subjects) are distressed with the laissez-faire attitude that Congress has about Democrat breaches of law and ethics.

I mean -- give him the stage -- and maybe Joe Wilson is talented and shrewd enough in these Democratic provided more than 15 minutes of national coverage.

Speaker Pelosi is proving to be an amazingly uninsightful person who seems to have an elevated sense of how smart she is. Good.

JAL said...

Oh FLS -- none of those guys are even in office anymore -- because WE THROW THEM OUT.

Besides which their questionable and / or unethical practices pale, absolutely PALE, in comparison to the Democrat crooks and liars.

Score keeping will kill you. (That's what I tell my clients.) Because it does.

JAL said...

Oh yeah -- did you listen to the content of the House of commons back and forth (or whatever iot was)?

They talk about how the WAITING TIME FOR TREATMENT under the NHS has decreased. AsS of that hearing there were 400,000 fewer people on waiting lists for treatment/care. (!!!!1!!11!)

He says the waiting time for cataract and heart surgery is less ....

My mother did not have to WAIT for her cataracts surgery.

My mother did not have to WAIT for her stent.

My husband did not have to WAIT for his back surgery.

And this is what the reformers want? Fie on you.

bearbee said...

If Obama is lying then he should be called out for it.

If the media won't then others need to.

In a different forum I believe Reid called Bush a liar.

If presidents lie call them out. Same for lying congress critters.

dick said...

Do you also think Zero should be called on to apologize to the House also for his lying to them in his latest campaign speech to the nationa and the Joint Session of Congress? If you think Wilson should apologize, then so should Zero. In fact Zero should apologize first because he was the one who was telling the lies.

Kirby Olson said...

Wilson is a patriot. That's the only reason he said what he said. He should get a medal for it. He thinks what he said is the truth. I'd like to hear his evidence for what he thinks to be true. Why doesn't the media interview him and try to understand his viewpoint instead of merely silencing him? Maybe he has an important and valid point to make that will save our government from being given over to the illegals and to ACORN.

Joe Wilson is like Joe the Plumber. Get all the Joes together and we might have a Republic again.

Big Mike said...

@FLS, I realize that this is a bit late and could look like piling on, but the difference between your list of names and LarsPorsena's list is that Republicans got rid of the people you identified, and the Democrats have promoted theirs to leadership positions.

Game, set, match.

PatCA said...

I agree with you--apologies all around, and for heckling W in the 2005 SOTU speech.

This tempest in a teapot shows how weak the Dems really are. Millions of people across the country protesting their reign of fiscal terror? Make Joe Wilson (who?) apologize again...and again...and again!

veni vidi vici said...

I heard yesterday (Friday) that Wilson's office reported having taken in over $200k in contributions in the wake of his "breach of decorum".

The Democrats are a little full of kool-aid if they're doing anything other than dropping mention of this guy fast as possible. Next thing you know, he'll be in the GOP primaries in '12 if they insist on making him a hero/martyr.

Idiots.


wv: "emeni" -- An astronomically satisfying colonic.

Freeman Hunt said...

Sure, he should apologize.

"On behalf of the House, I apologize to you, the American people, for having a government so full of ignorants and liars."

I think we have that one coming to us.

montana urban legend said...

"but what I want in addition is an apology for the masses of presidential supporters who repeatedly interrupted the speech with partisan applause, cheering, and standing ovations."

I am so shocked to hear, on this blog, a point of view that equivocates between deliberate distractions and less disruptive forms of audience participation. Shocked, I tell you!

Actually, I take that point of view to be a metaphor for the blog's editorial content and how it (mis-)understands the purpose of effective social/political commentary generally.

The blurring of lines between cogent, effective dissent and sideshow circuses is something that is not working for the president's opposition, and it is kind of sad that da Prof not only doesn't seem to understand that, but continues to employ a style of commentary and encourage a tenor of audience participation that reflects that fact.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

Also, booing is the negative complement to "applause, cheering," etc., and in case one didn't know that, such behavior is tolerable and accepted. Shouting out "You lie!" is not.

There is a reason that house members, and the public, were shocked. Wilson's outburst was an unprecedented, and therefore, shocking thing to do.

What an incredible sense of distortion is required to mutilate such obvious, well-understood considerations.

Jason said...

"I bark at no man's bid. I will never come and go, and fetch and carry, at the whistle of the great man in the White House no matter who he is."

-Davie Crockett, Congressman, c. 1833

scinfinity said...

I find it endlessly amusing that, if the offender is a Leftie, a single apology is all that is needed and to continue being upset is just stupid.

If the offender is a Rightie, no apologies are sufficient.

I mean, Obama makes a jokes about retards and a single apology is sufficient, right?

Cedarford said...

THis was a very good, insightful post by Althouse that cut right through the thousands of statements by Wilson's defenders and his Leftist demonizers.

This sort of viewpoint discrimination is unAmerican. Can members yell out "You're the One" and "I love you, Barack" and "Amen!"? It's fine to have rules, but I want to attack them for having a rule like that.

The practice has gone on a long time...and it has gotten worse. Reagan had many of his Joint Addresses take on the trappings of camapign rallies, and he and his handlers invented the use of the "exemplar". Meaning the ordinary Joe that parachuted into Grenada and got a silver star popping up out of the crowd in full dress uniform to demonstrate the correctness of Reagan's invasion...Or the man who became a millionaire in his ghetto, proving Reagan's belief government needs to help business, not people.
And I remember Clinton's sophistry in those addresses and Democrats shouting out "Amen!" "That's the Truth!"
And Bush?? Well, I remember Teddy and several Dems around him hissing like snakes as Republicans gave him standing "O"s and taunting chants of "4 more years!!" at the SOTU Address in 2005 after the election.

tarheel said...
Ann, I agree 100% with your comments. If the President's speech to Congress is to be a partisan political rally, Wilson's "you lie!" is consistent with the overall tenor.


Yes! Well said. Especially since Obama himself was in the midst of making partisan hay out of what he called his political opponents "lies and myths".

If Dems keep it up, Joe Wilson, in an entirely safe SC District, can only gain further job security from West Coast liberal Jew Waxman and East Coast liberal Jew Frank bashing him - with his own voters.

And beyond the usual hypocrisy! charges, people looking at this Obama rally and many past Presidential addresses to Congress will have myriad examples of the addresses being used as capaign rallies to benefit one Party while the rules of decorum somehow allow numerous cheers and shouts of affirmation - while the opposition is expected to simply shut up and "respect rules against speaking if they are detrimental to the Wise Leader".

former law student said...

He could say "Oh, Madam Speaker. I am soooo sorry if I offended the House (how does one offend an entity?)

Ask the Giants how Barry Bonds managed it. Or ask the Falcons what Michael Vick did to offend the team.

Let's deal with the world of adults instead of children shall we?

When Joe Wilson learns rudimentary self-control, then we can start treating him as an adult.

Apparently his parents never held him to the standards one expects of adults.

Richard Dolan said...

"what Wilson did eas to appropriate a solem occasion -- a presidential address to a joint session of Congress -- to insert his own partisan poltical statement."

Insert his own partisan political statement? If that's what he was doing, then he fit right in with the occasion. These presidential speeches are always a "partisan political statement" from beginning to end. The only issue is how well the president pulls it off, and how cleverly he hides the more grossly parrtisan nature of his spiel. reagan and Clinbton were both masters of these occasions, because they could say the most partisan things while appropriating the memes of the opposition. Bush the Younger tried to rise above the (obvious) partisan shtick by appealing to generalized patriotic notions. O-man isn't so subtle -- he just says the opposition is a bunch of liars.

While the occasion was solemn, it was sacralized in any relevant sense. Wilson behaved crudely, and he apologized for his bad manners. That's all that his boorishness required. All ther rest is just an attempt to keep a non-event alive for whatever political mileage the O-team can get out of it.

Cedarford said...

sifinity -

I mean, Obama makes a jokes about retards and a single apology is sufficient, right?

Hey Scifinity, welcome back..if you ever left. Haven't noticed many of your posts.

The difference, obviously, is that a simple apology is declared adequate when a Democrat or Leftist does it..if they do deign to apologize rather than dismiss their critics as the real evil...

Whereas a foe of them is supposed to be demonized and attacked to the point of destruction. Long before Saul Alinsky this tactic was perfected by Jewish Bolsheviks and the Nazi brownshirters that emulated the Bolsheviks. The only difference being that the Jewish Bolsheviks and Nazis frequently sought the physical extermination of or imprisonment of their foes. Not their idealogical descendents practice of limiting the politics of personal destruction to simple disgrace and being driven from office or hounded off the airwaves (Imus).

Aussie in blackface to Tug Speedman:
"Your mistake was going full retard.
Actors who play retards always make sure the retard has redeeming qualities.
But you went full retard."

miller said...

Well, he should apologize. Make it simple and direct:

"I apologize for calling out 'You lie!' during the President's speech to Congress."

That's an apology that doesn't go either way - grovel or zinger.

Nichevo said...

So he gets admonished. So what? He'll go down in history, a future Profile in Courage. Won't change a single vote, he is evidently beyond the dead-girl-live-boy barrier in his district.

What, they refuse to seat him? That's a vote, right? Does Pelosi want to risk LOSING that vote? It would be like a referendum, a vote of no confidence on the President.

What, they allow him to go before the cameras and apologize? Please, O please O Lord, let me write that apology for him. Brer Rabbit, call your briar patch.

I have noticed this about the Left: They don't know when to shut up, they don't know how to shut up.

So sad. Or, not.

Synova said...

"Also, booing is the negative complement to "applause, cheering," etc., and in case one didn't know that, such behavior is tolerable and accepted. Shouting out "You lie!" is not."

Joe Wilson: "Lady Speaker, members of the House. I made a serious mistake and for that I am sorry. In the future I will boo loudly, hiss and catcall, but I will not *speak*."

Synova said...

"The blurring of lines between cogent, effective dissent and sideshow circuses is something that is not working for the president's opposition,.."

Please describe cogent, effective dissent.

I think that Wilson was astonishingly effective. What so many seem to be insisting on as some understood and acceptably civilized mode of dissent is essentially defined as anything NOT effective.

And this suggestion that side-show circuses aren't working for the president's opponents, this is what is termed being a "concern troll" right?, this assertion that a subdued approach, all intellectual and decorous would be more effective... well, if everyone behaved themselves and didn't make waves I suppose there would have been three million people marching in Washington, wearing funny hats and picking up their own trash?

montana urban legend said...

I was originally going to comment about this on the thread devoted to it, but...

this assertion that a subdued approach, all intellectual and decorous would be more effective... well, if everyone behaved themselves and didn't make waves I suppose there would have been three million people marching in Washington, wearing funny hats and picking up their own trash?

Hey. No one said that a coalition of the mentally ill, the paranoid, the forlorn, and the otherwise disaffected couldn't make an impressive showing!

And, oh yeah Synova... It was two million, not three million. Sorry to get all intellectual and "decorous" on you with things like "numbers" and "facts". I guess us pointy-headed intellecshulls tend to find those things to be pretty important. What can I say?

Synova said...

*sigh*

It was probably less than two million... perhaps someone will actually count.

But clearly a pointy-headed intellectual would have seen that I clearly was saying that a more *effective* strategy would have brought in significantly *more* than the reported two million to the march.

Effectiveness being important and all.

Speaking of largish numbers. The last one I saw for Wilson's fund raising after his counter-productive and ineffective outburst... was well over a million dollars...

I shudder to think of what he could have raised if he'd done something that *worked!*

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

State of the Union Address, by GWB. Even Barak interrupted by applauding when Bush mentioned Democratic obstructionism.

Why do liberals, and even so many RINO's, expect conservatives to fight by the rules while libs are allowed groin shots and pool cues?

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

This is all about the underlying, hideous factor of the racism that is so deeply ingrained in the American character. The attempt to portray this president (Of all people!) as a socialistic, left wing extremist doesn’t even pass the giggle test for people who have bothered to pay attention to their times and their history. Let’s face it - Franklin D. Roosevelt, he ain’t! They can’t obstruct his agenda with a manufactured scandal regarding his personal life, as they did with Bill Clinton. eleven years ago. Their only hope is for enough of the American people to become really frightened by the Big, Bad Negro Commie. An ironic description when one takes into consideration how boringly moderate Obama really is.

Think about this: In the last presidential campaign only one of the nominees of the two major political parties was born in the United States - Barack Obama - John McCain was born in Panama. Do you find it as revealing as I do that it was the black guy had his citizenship called into question? How much more proof do we need of the overt racism that is inherent in that party - or in our own country for that matter? Honestly, this isn’t rocket science, folks!

But wait! It gets better! Now Glenn Beck is slated to become the Martin Loony King of the Far Right thanks to his stupid “March on Washington” yesterday.

Isn’t life interesting?

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

miller said...

Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

Father Martin Fox said...

FLS:

I stand by my criticism of Speaker Pelosi.

Her comments clearly linked demonstrators to Nazis, and thereby smeared them as a whole. And she did call them "unamerican" in a newspaper article.

So what if some protesters chose to link President Obama to the Nazis? I don't agree with it--but it's called free speech.

Besides, anyone who has been to demonstrations over the years, from one end of the ideological spectrum to the other, will inevitably see someone who thinks it's clever to make such a link; it's usually clumsy and always ill-advised. I have been to a lot of demonstrations and I've seen it, left and right.

I don't recall Speaker Pelosi making this exact point about the anti-Bush demonstrators who did this very thing. (If she did, and you can link it here, that would be helpful.)

So by choosing this moment, to make this point about this group of protesters, Speaker Pelosi was smearing these folks with the "Nazi" label and that is despicable.

Freeman Hunt said...

Joe Wilson: "Lady Speaker, members of the House. I made a serious mistake and for that I am sorry. In the future I will boo loudly, hiss and catcall, but I will not *speak*."

Heh.

Synova said...

Thank you, Tom Degan, for that timely example of "If you disagree politically with Obama you are really a racist."

Danke,
Gracias,
Arigato.