Thursday, September 10, 2009

"You lie!"

With those two words, Congressman Joe Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, summed up the rallying cry of the anti-health care reform crowd. In that ugly moment during President Obama's speech to Congress last night, an elected official lowered himself into the political slop that has garnered so much media attention at town hall meetings about health care reform. It is no wonder that so many people at those town hall meetings have refused to even listen about potential health care plans or offer solutions. Instead, they have turned them into cage match brawls by shouting down their elected representatives and causing disruptions.

It is a sad indictment on our country that the days of civil discourse and discussion about important issues are gone. Congratulations, Rep. Wilson, for epitomizing everything that is wrong with our system today. Americans look to their elected leaders for guidance, and I will not accept this type of behavior from one of them.

UPDATE: 5:54 p.m. - The Associated Press interviewed some of Wilson's constituents in South Carolina, and they're overwhelmingly supportive of him and his statement.

"He's the only one who has guts in that whole place," said John Roper, an insurance agent in Columbia, S.C. "He'll get re-elected in a landslide."

Most of the other people interviewed for the story regretted the fact he shouted at the president in that forum, but still plan to vote for him next year. If that's what the Republican Party wants, then it can have him.

(Photo by Getty Images)


  1. Doesn't it suck, that with our system of geographical representation, that you have no say in the *****s that the other 434 districts get to elect?

    Joe Wilson represents his constituents in SC... but last night, on the world's stage, the charge of "You Lie" came from simply a representative of America.

    Rather than put "(R) S.C." after his name, they should be very specific:

    "REPUBLICAN who represents a tiny little fraction of a backwater, undereducated, embarrassing constituency between a Peach Farm and a Furniture Store who really isn't a big deal, despite what that vein in his forehead would have you believe."

    That's a lot to put in the crawl on CSPAN, but at this point, I think it is necessary.

  2. He is now the poster boy of the town hallers (or should we call them town hollers?), and did more damage to their cause in those two words than anything Obama could've said in his speech. Without that, it would have been a stirring speech that might have motivated some on the left to get health care reform. Now, most of us are energized to make sure the vocal few do not undermine much-needed reform.

  3. Over on the forum, I just recently posted:

    "Ha! I never thought that self-immolation would make my predictions about a super-duper majority come true... I'd have thought we'd have to earn it :-)"

    Even though his opponent has raised 200k since the outburst, I don't expect the great state of South Carolina to hold this against him... sigh, frown, sad panda

  4. Even
    worse than Wilson's outburst is the fact that he had to tell the truth
    to make changes. Suddenly, those who are drafting (Party of Six) the
    bipartisan legislation realize that the loophole exists for illegal
    immigrants to get Fed health care. Today's news includes a story about
    how those drafting the legislation realize that they quickly needed to
    take steps to make the President's statement true. I agree
    wholeheartedly agree that the disrespect was out of line. The respect
    for the Office has disappeared in the last 10 years (the waging finger
    had so much to do with the down slide, IMO). How to get it back? The
    misstatements, such as the one made on Wednesday night, only
    contributes to the problem. But, this is one of many. The same line
    about immigrants has been made before ("let me be perfectly clear") and
    was clearly wrong. The eloquent speech is now taking a back seat. It
    was an eloquent speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004 that got
    Obama's ball rolling, but I'm doubting that anybody remembers one idota
    of content. Now that the rhetoric as worn thin, content is emerging as
    being important. Because of all the missteps after the reform package
    was introduced, confusion has prevailed. Trust has been lost,
    confidence dwindling. The Wednesday speech was one that should have
    been delivered from the Oval Office. The flamboyancy of the joint
    session only added to the mistrust by the naysayers. All the up and
    down, wild cheering, added nothing to the debate and to the clarity of
    the matter. People are finished with fine rhetoric, and are looking for
    content. Perhaps the best moment of the speech was the laughter that
    came from "need to work out the details" statement.

  5. Illegal immigrants should absolutely be covered.

    In fact, when Wilson crapped out of his mouth, my wife asked what was said... I thought the screamer had yelled "Why?" instead of "You Lie..."

    That's what I was asking... "Why? Why wouldn't you cover illegals?"

    If the purpose is to decrease the cost of health care across the board, then there is no reason to leave millions of people out just because they aren't citizens. It sounds like we are giving someone something for nothing, and maybe that is true... but what's the difference if an uninsured illegal racks up half a million in medical bills that don't get paid or if a recently unemployed twenty-something white guy from Iowa does it? If the actual PURPOSE is to curtail costs, then the numbers favor insuring everyone who may use our health care facilities.

    That said, Wilson is a tool shed.

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  7. There is a time and a place, Roger. Imagine the nuclear fallout if a Democrat had shouted "You lie!" to President Bush when he clearly lied in 2003 about accusing Saddam of acquiring yellow cake uranium from Niger.,9565,463779,00.html

    The problem is that even prominent Republicans like John McCain agree that this plan will not cover illegal immigrants. Let me ask you this. If an illegal breaks his leg and goes to the emergency without insurance, who pays for his treatment?

  8. We fight so much among ourselves it is amazing we get anything done as a nation. We should all try our hands at being good Americans rather than good Democrats and Republicans. And Jimmity, screw him. I still think it was a riveting speech and those who were distracted by it were paying attention to the wrong part of the story. Can't fight with ignorance.