One Month, in One Moment

And just like that, the Republican Party became Code Pink.

After a month of propagating vicious falsehoods in childish fashion — “death panels,” for one — Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) felt the need to reduce this American moment to one iconic millisecond. And so we have this:

The effect is remarkable: Obama looks like a bemused parent, and the entire Republican Party suddenly snaps into view as the juvenile malcontents that they truly are (I’m unsure how Wilson’s eventual apology affects that conclusion). Wilson’s little outburst itself, of course, perpetuated a lie — the bill on the table would not fund illegal immigrants (HR 3200, § 246). Attempts at more nuanced constructions — the argument that the bill would bar doctors from asking about the citizenship status of their patients — miss the point. Provisions against discrimination in the bill, e.g. HR 3200, § 152, pose no conflict with § 246’s ban on healthcare for illegals by virtue of their wording (read the damn bill!), and in fact should give comfort to Republicans “concerned” about partisan delivery of benefits.

God willing, the spell is broken. Wilson’s outburst obstructed a fine speech, but revealed healthcare protestors as petty and misinformed. Oh, and the Republican response? Delivered by a birther. Checkmate.

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23 comments

  1. We just discovered your blog five minutes ago. We are on the same wavelength politically. Joe AHole Wilson is a typical ignorant, white racist bigot Southern Republican. He represents the type of person who elected him to office. We just started a blog – Matriarchist Forum which you are invited to visit 3w.registrarsmc.wordpress.com

  2. “…and the entire Republican Party suddenly snaps into view as the juvenile malcontents that they truly are…”

    And in that moment this post jumped the shark.

    Wilson’s remark will be forgotten in about five minutes, meanwhile Obama did not advance any new ideas and the same old criticisms will remain just as valid. But since the liklihood of a public option is about as high as the Democrats retaining all their seats next year…Democrats can claim this victory.

  3. Mike, show me a republican who hasn’t embarassed himself in the last month, and I’ll shoe you someone who hasn’t spoken for the last month.

    1. John McCain for starters.

  4. Yep. Hasn’t substantially contributed to the health care debate, and derided in his own party as too moderate (“rino”). Perfect example of my point.

    1. But it demonstrates your comment is inaccurate. And I haven’t even mentioned the dozens of conservative pundits who have been very level-headed and reasonable in their criticisms of the Democrat’s plans.

  5. I think it proves my point. For his moderation, McCain is marginalized and detested within his own party, to the point that he doesn’t speak for them anymore, truly. And as for pundits, pick one that matters. There are reasonable pundits like yourself, but your microphone is hardly as important as Limbaugh/Beck’s, even though It should be.

    1. McCain was the GOP candidate for President less than a year ago. He’s not a loud voice on this issue because he has never been a major player on healthcare. But to minimalize his opinion as somehow unimportant when you were just applauding him for it a few weeks ago is a bit hypocritical. Certainly he is still visable enough to get through whatever liberal media filter you rely on.

      So to amend your original statement more accurately it should read, “…and the most recognizable members of the Republican Party suddenly snap into view as the juvenile malcontents that they truly are…”

      Except even then it’s kind of silly because Wilson is hardly a well-known member of Congress. And the conservatives who are getting the most media play right now are getting it mostly because their remarks get hyped by BOTH sides of the aisle.

    2. McCain *was* the nominee, but only because Huck/Rom split the moron vote. And I’ll applaud him for breaking with the party line, but it’s still breaking the party line. McCain has always had class – except for a few months last year – but he’s always been an outlier, and always suffered for it.

      1. Yes – but that right there proves that your statement was false. It’s not ALL Republicans that are acting silly. It’s a few misguided goofballs who have large audiences in much the same way that reality shows have big audiences…people like to watch train wrecks. Some conservatives enjoy outrageous commentators. Some liberals, like yourself, enjoy following them for the outrage factor. If the political world was full of civil and intelligent debate none of us would have much to write about, would we?

        The reason I called you on that statement was because it’s a gross and extremely inaccurate generalization. Of course you knew that when you said it, but it begs the question…why? Is it because you want to advance the fictional narrative that all conservatives are hysterical about Obama’s plan and none of our criticism is well-founded? Obviously it helps your cause to promote the idea that ALL Republicans are the kind that call the President a liar on TV (even though he was bagging on them for most of his speech)…instead of pointing out the other couple of hundred Republicans who sat there politely during the speech. But isn’t it kind of sad that you have to sell that kind of Kool-Aid when you control the White House and the Congress?

    1. On another blog one of the posters made a good point which is that liberals, in their predictable habit of trying to paint the Right as mean old meanies, will spend so much time on this silly issue that they ill effectively kill any momentum the speech gave to their healthcare plans. So….please keep talking about this guys.

    2. I just thought it was amusing.

      Democrats did the same thing to Democrats during the election. It was almost exactly the same. It would list mean things Hillary did, and then exaggeratedly awesome things Obama did.

  6. Oneiroi — AWESOME.

    Mike, your few bad eggs are controlling your party. Wake up and smell the Bachmann. I don’t disagree with the idea that not all GOP politicos are fools, but all that is necessary for evil to triumph, etcetera. We’ve been trying to have a civil dialogue for months, an effort of which Obama’s address is the culmination. Your side’s unwillingness to engage in a debate continues to disappoint. You will, I know, but you’re in a minority. It’s like the Democrats want a full on European style, Napoleonic line battle, and the GOP is content to hide in trees and fling rocks at us. You need to fix your party.

    1. The ‘crazies’ aren’t running the party. That’s what you all want to believe and want others to believe so they continue to pull the lever for Democratic candidates.

      The GOP is basically leaderless right now since Steele has turned out to be a joke. But think about the high-ranking Republicans that actually influence policy. McCain, McConnel, Orin Hatch, etc. These are seasoned guys who are prone to hysterics. There was an article I read just the other day, I think in the NY Times, that talked about some of the chatter around Joe Scarborough, who is also far from being a Glen Beck-type.

      While you all may enjoy talking about Bachman and Beck and Limbaugh, none of them are taken seriously in conservative circles. I read dozens of conservative blogs, many of which are high-level stuff, not amateurs like ourselves. None of them are talking about Beck and Bachman. It just doesn’t even come up. You just have a very skewed vision of who is being listened to on the Right. I would suggest you stop watching YouTube clips from Fox News and letting Keith Olberman tell you who is in charge on our side of the aisle.

      There HAS been a debate over healthcare. We’ve pointed out the flaws in the Left’s proposals. They try to explain how those aren’t flaws. That’s a debate. We’re the minority party. We’re not obligated to provide alternative legislation.

      1. That should read, “These are seasoned guys who are not prone to hysterics.

      2. Mike, I agree with you that responsible GOP members and voters do not look to Beck, Bachmann, Limbaugh, and the rest as leaders. Unfortunately, since there is a bell curve to every organization, responsible GOP voters and members are not in the largest part of the bell curve (yes, this does apply to Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, and all other groups, too). The great mass looks to the loudest and most respected (at least on the surface) as the leaders, especially since Steele has not managed to impress many as any type of leader. That means Limbaugh, Beck, and the rest have defined to the general masses what Republicans should say, mean, and think about the Democrats. In today’s world, media access equals power. I enjoy reading Joe Scarborough, and frequent the crew at the Atlantic, but they don’t have the media highlights that Limbaugh and Beck do. McCain’s statements aren’t plastered across the mainsteam (and slightly non-mainstream) media constantly. When Steele apologized to Limbaugh that essentially told the general GOP that Steele was not the leader of the GOP, Limbaugh was. That’s the problem and image that the GOP must fight to become once again a responsible, Grand Old Party.

        Also, I was under the impression that folks in Congress were supposed to represent and work for ALL Americans in their districts. Even if the GOP is in the minority, that does not absolve them of the obligation to work to ensure that the health care reform is the best that it can be. After all, it will affect their constiuents too. If the GOP does not provide alternative legislation because they are in the minority, what does this say about how Congress actually works?

        1. So what kind of policy ideas have Limbaugh and Beck promoted recently? What’s their position on education, for example?

          As for the obligations of the minority, the Left shut down Social Secutity reform in 2005 and never offered alternative legislation. The minority is NOT responsible for setting the agenda.

          1. Waaaaah. We’ve been over this. SS reform was objectively bad, not as urgent, and met on the merits. Beck & co. haven’t led the agenda, but neither has the GOP — they’re just shutting down everything they can, using loud, whiny lies. Even Politico, right leaning worst blog ever, agrees

            http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27015.html

            1. Let’s just simplify this conversation Ames? Why hasn’t a liberal dream healthcare plan already been passed? You’ve had almost 8 months. You have a 60 vote majority. Why are we even still talking about this?

            2. Megan McArdle covers the SS comparison here today:

              http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/09/more_partisan_than_thou.php

              An exerpt: “Democrats were against it because a) this would make it harder to use the system as a progressive transfer and b) scaring the bejeesus out of senior citizens is an excellent, excellent way to take a political scalp. In 2005, you heard exactly the same cry from Republicans that Democrats are raising now: “What’s your plan, bozo?” Democrats steadfastly refused to put any serious alternative forward until private accounts were taken off the table. Kevin’s belief that Democrats would have been willing to compromise if Republicans hadn’t been so damn partisan just isn’t true. They insisted that Republicans give up the one thing they wanted in order to even start talking about reform. That’s not the act of a party that is willing to make a deal.”

          2. Perhaps I should have left two separate posts, since I was responding to the (I assume) two separate points you were making in your post.

            In regards to your second paragraph, is this the tit-for-tat governing that has screwed the US (and us) over for so long? And you believe this is how it should be? How sad.

            1. So you agree that the Democrats were wrong to block SS reform in 2005? Or do you believe that they should have offered alternative legislation, which they didn’t?

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