Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Our Nation's President Deserves to be Treated with Respect"

The headline is not my quote, that's Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a fellow partisan of Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), the man who heckled President Barack Obama during his health care speech to Congress and the nation. It was a deplorable act.

No American president should be subject to that kind of disrespect. For a sitting member of the House of Representatives to shout "You lie!" in the middle of a presidential address is beyond disrespectful. It further poisons the toxic atmosphere surrounding the nation's politics.

But perhaps it won't. Perhaps fellow Republicans will be so embarrassed by this breach of protocol and civility that they will reign in the most radical elements of their party. Thankfully, many Republicans lawmakers denounced Wilson's outburst.

Wilson, himself, in immediate damage-control mode, issued the following statement:

"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."

Oh, and by the way, Wilson was the liar, or at least wildly incorrect. The President's bill would not extend benefits to illegal aliens.


msteven said...

Again, you are correct. It was a deplorable act and it further poisons the already toxic atmosphere in our political (and most other) culture.

This reminded me of the partisan response to the GWB shoe throwing incident. One side called for respect, one side enjoyed the political payoff of it. Somehow I think the responses would have been similar if the show had been thrown at a member of the other major party; different people making the same responses.

Wilson’s apology was correct in that his outburst lacked civility and was totally inappropriate (not to mention dishonest). We can only guess whether the apology was sincere. We can only guess whether he would have done that if the speech were not televised. He is, after all, a politician.

DC said...

msteven--yes, I was appalled that Dems dismissed & laughed about the show-throwing incident (and I blogged as much). Is it that hard to respect the president while at the same time disagreeing with him???

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