Thursday, September 10, 2009

"You Lie" Postscript

SC Congressman Joe Wilson says his emotions got the better of him last night when he yelled, "You lie." He has also apologized.

Count us skeptical. Congresspeople get the text of the President's address before it's delivered. Politicians have emotions, but they tend to calculate political impact.

We think that The Hon. Joe Wilson calculated the impact that his Rebel Yell would have on a constituency in the first state to secede, not to mention his fundraising. There are probably a lot of people who will respond to Wilson's fifteen minutes of fame as does the blogger who posts here.

It'll also energize some opposition, which is fine with Wilson, who will win anyway, thereby siphoning funds from competitive races.

Meanwhile, he will temporarily replace Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin as Most Hated Republicans.

UPDATE: Looks like we were right (as if this were hard to figure out to begin with).


Anonymous said...

That was the only moment during the speech that I felt proud to be an American.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're proud to be an American. Great job on accomplishing that. I bet it took lots of hard work and determination. Me? I'm glad to live in this nation and I'm thankful for it.

Amy said...

I can't believe the inappropriate and disrespectful behavior towards our president.

KevinAK said...

I can't believe the inappropriate and disrespectful behavior of Obama toward Americans.

libhom said...

Emotion based donations this far ahead of an election tend not to drain anything from elsewhere.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Libhom, we will condescend to correct your misapprehension of the situation.

First, like many on the left, you imagine that dollars are infinite. Economics is the study of the distribution of scarce resources. Even in America, which can allegedly fund everything simultaneously, resources are scarce. A dollar spent here can't be spent there. These are words to live by, if you care to test the hypothesis.

Second, we presume that the left remembers its grievances and continues to fund them. The shade of Richard Nixon, if it could speak to us from the deepest level of Dante's Inferno, would certainly agree. We therefore presume that Mr. Wilson will remain a target of you and your peeps until next November.

But Wilson will prevail, just as Rep. Maxine Waters will prevail in her district. He's more a hero in his district now, and nationally funded opposition will only solidify his polarized (i.e., predominantly on one side of the pole) district's support. The difference is that Republicans won't correspondingly waste their dough fighting for South LA. Safe seats are safe regardless of the misbehavior of those who occupy them.

Anthony said...

Kevin, not saying I agree or disagree with Obama's policies, what about his behavior has been inappropriate or disrespectful? He may have a different political ideology, but does that make him inappropriate or disrespectful? If so, then all the other presidents are the same because every president has his own political ideology that's going to be different than other people and thus be deemed "inappropriate" and "disrespectful". Obama is genuinely doing two things: do what needs to be done to help American people (in his mind) and gain popularity from a political and historical basis. As far as he is concerned, those two things go hand in hand.

Lay off the Hannity and Rush my friend. Whatever level of disrespectful and inappropriate behavior you think Obama engages in, then it is the same for Bush, Clinton, Reagan, and all the rest. He hasn't done anything towards the American people that other presidents haven't.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Some would say that Obama's implication that his opponents are misrepresenting his policies is as much calling them liars as he has been called one. The difference, of course, is that Rep. Wilson used the unparliamentary word while Obama did not.

Harry Reid is not Barack Obama, but calling opponents of the healthcare initiative "evil mongers" is not complimentary. Obama has not distanced himself from such rhetoric, even when it comes from official leaders of his own party.

The administration's response to its opponents has been more to insult them than to engage them, albeit more subtly than either Reid or Wilson. Neither side has been distinguished by its respectful discourse. Such is the nature of politics, where respect is hardly a widely practiced virtue.

Still, anyone who has legislative experience knows the difference between the right way in the chamber to call your opponent a liar and the wrong way. Simply avoiding the word "lie" and its cognates is actually about all one has to do. Wilson's move was a calculated, now successful, publicity stunt, akin the Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction." Both are saying "I'm sorry" all the way to the bank.

Meanwhile, notice how every word spent on the subject of who has insulted whom is a word that can't be spent on discussion of the issue. Such is also the nature of politics.

Anonymous said...

Do you think that the Republicans are trying to manufacture something to rally around? I notice that when they focus on "gov't run" aspects the Dems look to drop the language, then once things move on, bring it back. The Dems oft point out the lack of any actual bill, but keep asking people to look at the details of the real plan rather than "myths" and so forth. It seems like the R's are lacking a big rally point since things in "the bill" are so fluid.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We think Wilson is acting alone for his personal political gain, not for Rs in general. But you make an excellent point about the Ds' stealth strategery.

Bryan D said...

reports yesterday indicated he raised $750,000 in a day.

Anonymous said...

In terms of direspect - didn't Joe break House rules? He may have been truthful - but bottom line is that he was disrespectful in his approach.

Matt said...

Given what has transpired, this emphasis on respect is a bit excessive. The D's plan was to have a 1,000 page bill signed without many having even read the bill, much less a chance to debate it, before the August recess. For all of Obama's urgency the bill would not go into effect until 4 yrs from now.

Yet many people rightly question the constitutionality of the legislation in addition to question what it will cost, how it will be funded, what impact the higher taxes will have on (un)employment, whether the merits justify this particular bill, and why we should trust the federal government to 'deliver' when social security, medicare, and the VA are all inadequate and/or approaching insolvency.

To question these things, according to those in power, is to want to do nothing, protect the status quo, and cater to the special interests and the same old politics-as-usual. And I haven't said anything yet about the 30+ bills the R's have proposed but been ignored. Or the fact that the White house has excluded the R's from meetings on healthcare since April (according to John Boehner).

Or that the majority of Americans disagree with the White House on this issue.'s top story right now (just 1 day after 1MM+ people marched in DC) is that Serena Williams' outburst cost her the tennis match. Does anyone know - is she a republican?

Christine said...


Are you suggesting you know the eternal resting place of Pres. Nixon's soul? Are you basing this on inside information?

Just curious.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Christine, since liberals are in charge of the Inferno, they decide where shades reside. The rest is obvious.