Representative Joe Wilson yelled at the president last night. His outburst was a departure from the normal etiquette of the chamber, and was rebuked by Republicans almost as quickly as Democrats. He apologized to the President and the President’s chief of staff almost immediately, and was torn to pieces by several columnists and commentators throughout the post mortem.
Representative Joe Wilson is a passionate defender of his constituents and a deeply committed patriot. His outburst represents the norm in today’s idealized debate, and accurately reflects the feelings of perhaps one third of the American public. His actions last night, calling the President a liar when he insisted that he had never tried to get illegal aliens coverage during the health care debate, are a microcosm of the whole process.
Tommy Tomlinson, writing in the Charlotte Observer the other day, led off his column with quotes from the President’s speech to kids. He pointed out that the critics were correct about the speech being all about politics as you can tell from these snippets:
“We’ve been working to take an economy that was in bad shape and get it moving and growing again; take our national defense and make it first-rate again after a long period of decline; and to restore reason, respect and reality to our foreign policy, and I think it’s fair to say that we’ve made a good deal of progress.”
“We want to make your future better, because tomorrow belongs to you. And since you’re the leaders of tomorrow, I wanted to talk to all of you as a friend about the things you’ll have to do to ensure a prosperous nation and a peaceful world.”
Dick Cheney had a hunting accident a few years ago.
I know that isn’t news, but the circumstances seem to be repeating themselves; you see the (former) Vice President wasn’t trying to shoot his hunting partner, and he isn’t as incompetent as many would believe. It is easy to loose your bearings in a wooded area and fire on the wrong target. When you are primed and on the adrenaline rush, any movement in the brush can seem like fair game.
Thus the Teabaggers. Oh I know that their “movement” didn’t draw anything like large crowds; but they are a passionate bunch driven by a legitimate love of country. Polling is not an exact science, but the numbers would suggest that up to 20% of the country may harbor the same concerns as the Teabaggers. In today’s political climate, that number grows as fast as fear spreads amongst the ill-informed…and that is pretty fast.
One of our most famous Presidents won a tough battle against an incumbent who attacked the challenger for his “non belief” in God. The challenger, a man who deeply believed in individual spirituality and considered Jesus the greatest morality teacher in history, was nonetheless beset by statements he made about God and religion….