Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Decorum is Decorum
The unfortunately named Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC (you'll recall a famous liar by that name a few years back) yelled, "You lie!" at President Obama during his speech to the joint session last week. I say it was a most unpatriotic and disruptive action, worthy of a severe reprimand by the House of Representatives. I am unmoved by the recall of the abuse heaped on President Bush; when we are discussing the dignity of our institutions, and of the occasions of their use, we have no place for this kind of thing. The only ground we have to stand on in our moral outrage is simply, We wouldn't do that if the roles were reversed.
It saddens me that this guy is some conservative hero now. Is the only thing left in our politics a hatred for the opposition? In my America, you don't put an unpatriotic cad's words on a T-shirt, celebrating like you "stuck it to The Man." I didn't watch the speech, and I don't support the president's health care plan (as I understand it). But this country's functioning rests squarely on legitimacy, and we do damage to that legitimacy when we break decorum in this way. President Obama could help out a little by not accusing skeptics of bad faith; either way, we all have work to do.

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