You win some, you lose some? South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson threw himself into infamy (No. 1 trending topic on Twitter Wednesday night) by yelling “You lie!” during President Obama’s health-care speech to Congress. The heckling was in response to the president’s assertion that a public-insurance option would not cover illegal immigrants. Sen. John McCain quickly denounced the outburst while being interviewed on Larry King Live, saying it was “totally disrespectful. [Wilson] should apologize immediately.” Looks like Joe was listening: Wilson issued a red-faced apology for his “lack of civility” later last night. “I let my emotions get the best of me… While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable.” Politico notes that Wilson’s outburst violates House Republicans’ rules of decorum, which bars presidential insults “such as referring to him as a ‘hypocrite’ or a ‘liar.'”
I personally don’t mind incivility, it sometimes is appropriate. (I for example wish someone had stood up during the 2003 “State of the Union” to yell “liar!” when Bush claimed Saddam Hussein had sought uranium from Africa). What bothers me is that it was he, Rep Wilson, who was barefacedly lying
The health care reform does not create the reality Wilson claims it would, on the contrary. Uninsured illegal immigrants get emergency care just like any other uninsured person in this country. That is what we have now. If illegal immigrants were to enter the public plan, they would have to buy into it and risk being detected.
This incident is typical of the degenerate state the GOP has fallen into. Unable to come up with proposals to the problems the country faces, they are reduced to purely disruptive tactics. It’s no good for the country when the minority doesn’t do its constructive opposition job, it lets the majority wander on along unrealistic avenues which should be challenged to get the best possible solution.
The first point I will make clear is that Rep Wilson was lying with his outburst. From FactCheck.org:
One Republican congressman issued a press release claiming that “5,600,000 Illegal Aliens May Be Covered Under Obamacare,” and we’ve been peppered with queries about similar claims. They’re not true. In fact, the House bill (the only bill to be formally introduced in its entirety) specifically says that no federal money would be spent on giving illegal immigrants health coverage:
Also, under current law, those in the country illegally don’t qualify for federal health programs. Of interest: About half of illegal immigrants have health insurance now, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center, which says those who lack insurance do so principally because their employers don’t offer it.
The second point I would make is underline this gentleman’s hypocrisy. In effect, the supreme irony that he who made himself a name had himself voted for health care benefits for illegal immigrants.
Finally, I will also point out that if the GOP had listened like David Brooks did, they would have seen there is room to bring in Conservative ideas. Heckling lies however is not the way to go.