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Reprimanding Rep. Joe Wilson   September 15th, 2009
Absurd hypocrisy from the left       

 
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It appears Democratic leadership in the House will formally reprimand Rep. Joe Wilson for his "you lie" outburst at Obama's Sale Pitch to Congress. If so, the hypocrisy of the left is again on full display.

The same group of people that booed President Bush en masse in Bush's 2005 State of the Union are now complaining that a single representative shouted "you lie." The only reason Wilson is getting reprimanded is because he was the only person that violated "protocol" rather than half the Congress in the case of the Democrats.

Is calling the president a liar worse than booing him? I can see both sides of that argument, but they're both pretty strong signs of disrespect. If the Address to Congress wasn't the right forum for Wilson to express his displeasure and was an inappropriate expression of disrespect, I'm not sure how anyone can argue that it was the place for Democrats to boo the president in 2005. And, heck, in the case of President Bush it was during an established State of the Union address--not in a partisan sales pitch made by a president who decided to take to the floor of Congress to call his opponents liars himself.

Of course, it's questionable whether a representative should be reprimanded for his disrespect on the floor of Congress by calling the president a liar when the president himself was showing disrespect first by lying himself about a number of topics in his speech to that point, and then by calling some of his opponents liars on the very same floor of Congress. That the president didn't identify by name the people he was calling liars does not excuse the accusation... especially when it is clear that that the president was almost certainly calling at least one private citizen who was not there a liar from the floor of Congress.

It should also be noted that the president of the United States convened a Joint Session of Congress--for a sales pitch in which Congress was little more than a prop. Why? Probably for two reasons: 1) After all the August town halls where opponents had center stage, the president probably wanted to present his arguments to a crowd whose applause would make it seem like the town halls were out-of-step. He counted on a bunch of clapping Democrats. 2) Because it's likely that, with his plummeting TV ratings, fewer national networks would have broadcast his speech in prime time again without the weight of Congress. His overexposure and excessive prime time appearances have so weakened the weight of the presidency that he needed Congress to get his prime time exposure.

The president used Congress as a prop. Talk about disrespect.

And finally, the question has to be asked: How much respect should a president be granted automatically? He's an elected president, not a king. He's one of us and he answers to the citizens of this country and, between elections, he certainly can be held accountable by our elected representatives.

A president that earns respect will receive it without any Congressional rules or protocol requiring it and a president that doesn't lie won't be called a liar.

Maybe if the president and other elected officials were a little nervous about being "called out" on the floor of Congress, fewer presidents and elected officials will have the audacity to lie.

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