Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rep. Joe Wilson shouts "You lie!" at President Obama


NY Times:
In an angry and very audible outburst, Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, interrupted President Obama’s speech Wednesday night with a shout of “You lie!”

His eruption — in response to Mr. Obama’s statement that Democratic health proposals would not cover illegal immigrants — stunned members of both parties in the House chamber.
In my live-blog of the speech, I referred to the associated outburst as "an odious spectacle. Disgusting" --  although at the time I could not make out the words.  It was the loud jeering at the mere mention of the phrase "illegal immigrants" that I found disturbing.   I imagine this kind of spectacle must have unfolded on the floor of the old Reichstag before the fire.

After the speech Rahm Emanuel said: “No president has ever been treated like that. Ever.”

Update 1 (Saturday)

Several thousand Thousands and thousands of Fox News viewers -- they call themselves "tea party" demonstrators -- held a rally in Washington D.C. Saturday.   They seemed to be against a lot of things: Obama, health care reform, government, taxes, etc. One guy many of the demonstrators seemed to admire was Rep. Joe Wilson (see this post for background).

A group of young Joe Wilson supporters (two are pictured in the photo above) were standing outside the White House when an old lady started shouting at them.

"You boys are just like the people who ruined Europe in the 1930s!" she said.  

Tourists looked on bemused.  These kids didn't look particularly ominous in their penny loafers.  No, it wasn't the shirts that I found troubling.  It was the realization that the guys in the baby blue "Joe Wilson" shirts probably had no clue about the events the old lady was referring to.

These days, ignorance about the world and its history is disconcerting.

Update 2 (Monday)

Raven (see comments) suggets that the estimate I first reported above was too low.  I agree. I arrived too late to get an idea of the crowd size Saturday.  Estimates of the numbers range from 3,000 (one news source) to "tens of thousands" (I saw this figure at NY Times, Department of Homeland Security, Fox News). Because I saw so few stragglers, I assumed the correct number was the lower one.  But on Sunday several Obama supporters who had watched the tea party protesters march told me there were "about 15,000."  They said, "metros stations were  full of demonstrators Sunday."   Some sources claim protesters numbered in the hundreds of thousands.


  1. The Bible says "The authorities that exist have been established by God," and "Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." Interestingly, it does not make any allowance for insults being well-founded.

    I really hope this congressman doesn't later take it upon himself to identify himself as a Christian while defending his actions, as is so popular in the Republican party right now. A lot of us really hate being associated with incidents like this.

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

  3. I would suggest you look around a bit on some other sites and reflect on the crowd size- it was huge by most accounts other than the MSM (bought and paid for media.) Very handy to box up into a convienient package those Right wing whacko fox news viewers- the reality is, a lot of people, actual working people who pay taxes, are getting very upset with a seemingly endless expansion of the Federal government at thier expense. I would implore you to do some looking around financial blogs as well, try Denningers market ticker, or Jim Quinns blog, or a host of others- these people are not ideologs, they hated Bush and the two wars also. They see the imminent economic collase of our country and it is not pretty. We cannot spend our way out of debt.

  4. Actually, estimates ranged from 50,000 US MSM) to up to 2 million (UK newpaper.) Overhead views and comparison to previous events would lead me to believe at least 1 million.
    The point is not about size, though, the point is the attempt to demonize these people as part of some organized group, all controlled by some rightwing organization.
    The fight here is no longer about the left vs the right- the fight is about the Statist's vs the people. This country is run by a bunch of New Aristocrats and the two political parties are just tools.
    Obama talks a smooth line, but if you look at what he does he is largely right in step with Bush.
    Think on this. Have you seen or heard one thing about repealing the odious Patriot Act? Are not the same bunch of evil banksters sucking at the taxpayer trough? Do you see any reduction in those "no knock" drug raids? Are we not still at war in two places? The same people are running Obama as ran Bush.
    For a really nice dissertation on this I would reccomend Charles Huge Smiths "of two minds" blog, he is a brilliant guy. Read the "survival guide", a very unique take on society and it's future.
    Don't get too freaked, I am not going to send you to some hard core right wing website,(joke) just a few places where people are starting to ask questions about our society without having to resort to "my side is best, your side sucks", political crap.

    You know what is really wierd? I was over at "counterpunch", a site run by Andrew Cockburn ,and the socialist viewpoint on the financial fraud was exactly the same as what I have seen on some "rightwing" sites. Curious, eh?


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