President Obama spoke to the entire Congress last night and to much of the American public about his plans for health care. I had to catch a repeat of it as I spent the night at a weekly event I attend.
What I saw was a re-invigorated Barack Obama. This is the man his supporters elected. Where he disappeared to for these last couple of months I cannot speak to. I just know he had disappeared and last night re-appeared.
This was the type of speech that was called for. It covered most of the bases and pointed out some glaring realities. There were many telling moments. The opening and closing statements were so inspiring and emotional that even Karl Rove credited them as positives. He deftly pointed out that his plan for health care would cost less than either war or the tax cuts passed by many of these same Republicans under President Bush.
It wasn’t pitch-perfect as he did sweep tort reform under the rug and glossed over some of the details but it was better than his past efforts. Mainly his speech was an attempt to bring together his own party and tell them the time for bickering is over and it’s now time to get the job done. Bravo.
His speech last night made the Republicans that sat stone-faced during key fundamental truths look like pouting children. The President made it clear that many of the attacks on health care reform have been flat-out lies. It was during one of these exchanges that the crossed line materialized.
South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, in response to Obama’s insistence that the plan he supports does not cover illegal aliens, yelled out for all to hear, “You lie!” This severe breach of respect for our President is unprecedented in my memory and one that all Americans should condemn. Should anyone have done this during a similar even to President Bush the conservative shows would have demanded their head on a platter. Someone clearly got to Congressman Wilson to read him the riot act as he apologized, quite profusely, just 90 minutes after the speech. However, to me this speaks volumes about the degree to which this breakdown in our mutual respect for one another has reached.
To call the President a liar, on national television, during a major joint-session speech is, simply, unpardonable in my view. It’s a breach of ethics that underscores a much bigger problem that needs our attention sooner than later. I’ve said before that I’m done with playing nice any longer with people who claim to be informed only to then tell me their only source of information is conservative radio or TV. Fans of those shows are being duped and I’m tired of being civil about it. Looking the other way while you act like morons is what allowed this low-brow act to happen.
No more folks. I watch Fox News. I visit Fox Nation‘s website. I listen to Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity (and some lessers) on 1210-AM here. I watch Hannity, Beck and O’Reilly on their shows. I catch bits of Fox & Friends when I’m up in the morning. I also watch shows on MSNBC, CNN and enjoy The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. That gives me a pretty wide point of comparison. I’ve got news for you. The only people who can suggest Fox is fair and balanced are those who take it on faith that the other channels aren’t. There’s no way you can tell me this if you’ve spent any real, unbiased, objective time watching the other channels.
Stop with the nonsense. Stop with the hatred for hatred’s sake. Do your own homework and move on. In the last several weeks I’ve been approached by a number of conservative supporters asking me to accept their various commentaries. I’ve listened and responded. When I’ve asked them to comment on hypocrisy I’ve found in my own research on those subjects not even one of them has had the decency or the balls to get back to me. This tells me they don’t have a valid response and prefer to disappear without the humiliation of admitting they’ve been duped. It’s gotten so bad that now a sitting member of Congress thinks nothing of screaming out like a lunatic in the middle of a Presidential speech. His incredulous comment actually did some good. It crystallized the point many of us have been trying to make about the sort of people the President has had to deal with. Your party lost. The poor sport thing is getting old—fast.