I’m sure not whether Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) should have apologized for his outburst of “You lie!” during President Barrack Hussein Obama’s address Wednesday to the joint session of Congress. Specifically, the President was ticking down supposed “lies” of detractors of his socialistic, government controlled health-care plan. When the President said his plan wouldn’t insure illegal immigrants, Wilson responded and a whole new sage unfurled.
Time Magazine called it “the heckle heard ‘round the world.”
Rep. Jim Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, stated: "I thought the governor [Mark Sanford] had embarrassed us enough, but Mr. Wilson has gone even lower."
In a CNN interview following the Joint Session, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wilson's outburst was "totally disrespectful -- [there's] no place for it in that setting or any other and he should apologize immediately." "
I was embarrassed for the chamber and a Congress I love," Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "It demeaned the institution."
And on and on and on go the quotes, pundits, side-stories and rants.
I can’t help wondering myself whether Mr. Wilson crossed the line. But that wondering has gotten lost in other feelings that protrude more strongly into my being.
The first is the hypocrisy. Do you remember the President’s address. During the controversial section when the frustrated South Carolinian blasted forth, President Obama said
Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible.It is a lie, plain and simple [my emphasis].
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.
I suppose one could argue that the President, in those two paragraphs, a) didn’t direct his accusation to any one specifically, only the generic “it” is a lie; and b) used more innocuous language like “bogus claims” “a charge…cynical and irresponsible” “false” and “misunderstanding”. But I think it’s quite clear the President was calling these detractors “liars”.
So, is it acceptable for the President to call “prominent politicians” liars if he doesn’t do it directly? Is that what this controversy is about? That it was the President’s speech and his time to do what he wanted? There is some truth to that in my mind. But the vitriol that’s out there against Wilson seems to overlook the President was doing the same.
Second, and I only have my memory, but Democrats were very disrespectful to President Bush during his several of his speeches. For example, here’s ABC Nightline host Ted Koppel with his round table guests following President Bush’s February 2, 2005 State of the Union address:
“When the president talked about the bankruptcy of Social Security, there were clearly some Democrats on the floor who thought that that was taking it too far. And they did something that, apparently, no one at this table has ever heard before. They booed." [ABC, Nightline, 2/2/05]
I won’t take the time (right now anyway) to show just how President Obama is lying. Ooops, strike that…of how President Obama is enunciating verbage that may not best reflect what some perceive as the reality of a truthful outcome of his health care proposal. But here’s just one quick grab for “Exhibit A”:
“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”
Go here for the video.
"I have not said that I was a single payer supporter...."
on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 in a town hall meeting in New Hampshire
In the end, Representative Wilson’s outburst was unfortunate because it deflected attention away from Obama’s true lies. The President is intentionally trying to mislead the American people to embrace this nightmare.