Let me be clear. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst was not appropriate during President Obama's address last night. I don't think anyone would defend it. However, I think there are many people who would agree with what he said. In fact, people have been saying for weeks that this Health Care Bill will allow illegal aliens to be covered, abortions to be provided, and health care to be rationed. How the president mangages to continue denying this leaves some scratching their heads. Perhaps Joe Wilson just reached his maximum and blew his top. It's not right, shouldn't have been done, but that doesn't mean he wasn't accurate.
It's the irony of it all that stands out to me. Wilson's out-of-order accusation came only after an out-of-order accusation by the president himself. Perhaps this is a case of simply reaping what you sow, or as some people say, "What goes around comes around."
Did you see Nancy Pelosi and President Obama's faces when Wilson's voice boomed through the room? Pelosi gave him what Neil Cavutto called the Death Stare, and Obama looked to me like he had to remind himself that he wasn't on the streets of Chicago where people sometimes handle such accusations in a less than civil manner.
Joe Wilson's outburst lacked professionalism and respect. But wait a minute. Did the President of the United States not call Sarah Palin a liar immediately prior? Should he not know that the manner in which he referred to her and to others who are not in agreement with his Bill is anything but professional? What was he seeking to accomplish?
Over at the Huffington Post, Paul Begala wrote it this way:
I loved Pres. Obama's speech. It rallied dispirited Democrats, reassured disenchanted independents and intimidated Republicans. He called a lie a lie, and pledged to call out the right-wing thugs if (well, when) they continue lying.
I'm not sure who Begala thinks the president intimidated. Clearly, Joe Wilson wasn't intimidated, and surely Governor Palin is not intimidated, for she came right back with another Facebook note.
The President can keep making unsupported assertions, but until he directly responds to the arguments I’ve made, I’m going to call him out too.
Does this sound like someone who is intimidated?
I dare say that Joe Wilson's behavior, rude as it was, was no worse than the President of the United States using his address to try to scare those who disagree with him into silence and conformity. He not only promised to "call out" those people, but he pinpointed Governor Palin, whom he referred to as a "prominent politican." He coined her concerns about health care as "laughable," "cynical," and "irresponsible." He attempted to put her comments to rest by asserting, "It is a lie, plain and simple." Governor Palin isn't intimidated, but the president certainly sounds like he's guilty of what Begala attributes to Republicans: thuggery.
It is completely inappropriate for the leader of the free world to continue to refer to and attack a private citizen through sneaky back door comments. It is worse to call her a liar, which is exactly what President Obama called Governor Palin last night.
Make no mistake; Joe Wilson did the right thing by issuing an apology for following the president's accusations with "You lie." It's time President Obama followed Joe Wilson's apology with one of his own. I'm sure Governor Palin would graciously accept--and then work with him on tort reform.