Tuesday, September 15, 2009

House Hypocrisy Sets Dangerous Precedent

House Democratic leaders will formally discipline Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., today by "resolution of disapproval."

From Fox News: "Democrats say the insult clearly violated House rules of decorum. Therefore, the issue needs to be resolved on the House floor, either via apology or resolution," said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly. The House rules state that lawmakers may not accuse the president of "lying" or being a "liar." Wilson apologized twice after the speech. One was a general, written apology. He also issued a mea culpa by phone to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. The president said Thursday he accepted and appreciated the apology."

So let's talk hypocrisy.

First, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.states "Ignoring the issue sets a precedent for bad behavior." Well I guess he is right, considering this precedent was set during President Bush's State of the Union address in October 2006. At that time, the Democrats, including then Senator Obama, obstructed his speech, and the House ignored it (link to video and photo)

Second, these rules did not apply to Democrat James McDermott, Democrat Pete Stark, or Democrat Barbara Lee:

When ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Democrat James McDermott, "Before you left for Baghdad, you said the president of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war. Do you really believe that?" Representative McDermott replied on foreign soil, "I think the president would mislead the American people." No apology required.

Pete Stark called President Bush a liar and defamed the troops. Furthermore, Stark is quoted as saying " I came here last year & accused president Bush of being a liar. A year later, I feel no reason to apologize or change my opinion. Events have proved that point. CHAIRMAN says: "The Chair would advise the gentleman to refrain from personally offensive references against the President." Pete Stark apologized for his remarks about our soldiers. Joe Wilson apologized to the White House. One will be disciplined. One was not.

Democrat Barbara Lee is also quoted on the House floor. "I have been appalled by the growing evidence that the President may have lied about the reasons for invading and conquering Iraq CHAIRMAN says: "The chair would remind Members that it is not in order to accuse the President of lying.... or stating intentional falsehoods, even by innuendo..." No apology was required to avoid discipline. Even worse, when Lee was given a chance to comment about Wilson, she stated, “I was outraged, shocked and saddened.”

Third, Joe Wilson did, in fact, expose the truth, albeit rudely; while, our President did, in fact, misrepresent, albeit eloquently. Not only did the AP reported in its fact check that the President’s speech was full of “oversimplifications and omissions;” but also, the "gang of six" rushed to close the loophole Wilson exposed the very next day.

So let's talk dangerous precedent.

We have been screaming from the town halls all summer, and all of our effort resulted in a Presidential speech that dismissed us. On the one hand, Wilson exposed the truth. His actions resulted in the issue being resolved, and he has apologized twice for his rudeness (i.e., corrected his bad behavior).On the other hand, the President has accepted the apology, but remained silent on the formal discipline. He has not acknowledged Joe was correct, and he has not apologized once to his constituents for his misstatement.

In his speech, President Obama stated, "If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out." Those are the words, but the actions are much more scary. We have a man who truthfully represented the plan, and the United States Government is calling him out? Are we really okay with the House of Representatives having a rule that, overly simplified, states a citizen cannot call another citizen a liar? According to this, our Representatives could not have called Nixon a liar. Have we elevated the office of the Presidency to infallibility? It would seems so, when you consider that recently the Democratic leadership has called people like me:Nazis, brown shirts, and Astroturf. Furthermore, Speaker Pelosi has said the CIA lied. In2002, Harry Reid said Bush lied. I even found a quote from Former President Harry S. Truman, who called Richard Nixon "a shifty-eyed GD liar." So, our speech is protected, unless we are a Republican House Representative speaking against the President?

Dangerous precedent is being set today. Rude trumps true.