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The Honorable Joe Wilson

So president called unnamed "prominent politicians" liars in his health care speech in a most calculated and misleading way.  That was clearly dishonorable.  The Congressman from South Carolina shouted out "liar" in a most uncalculating and passionate way at a pretty appropriate time. That was, in a way, dishonorable;  the president should be treated with respect in public.  On the other hand, it's characteristic of a man of honor to say what's on his  mind openly, fearlessly, and without calculation.  That Rep. Wilson did.  And then he apologized--with genuine regret--in a most manly way--mainly on FOX, which was honorable enough to give him an appropriate venue.  He went on to explain in a more respectful way why he was basically right--that his excessively impetuous passion was in the service of truth.  So no one has displayed more honor of late than the southern man from South Carolina.
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Discussions - 42 Comments

Very well said. I find it interesting how much MSNBC, CNN, et al focused on this incident. In doing so, they concentrated on one lone congressman's two words at the expense of pushing President Obama's speech. Not good for the President in the long run for his speech was a fairly deft attempt to recast the debate more in his favor. Though I would note the slippery language, the overly careful and thus misleading parsing of words, is getting more and more tiring and infuriating. Also, President Obama continues to show, as you implied, a lack of manly assertion or virtue. He is unmanly and overly calculated, a sad combination that leaves us with the office, but not the man, deserving of honor.

I read that people are sending Rep. Wilson money for his re-election already.

Of course, the distinction between the way Obama called people liars and the way Wilson did was in the matter of passion. Obama was cool about it, and Wilson was hot. The American people have become so inured to lying in politics that public discourse would seem naked without it.

In Obama's case, that he is lying about the health care issue is not at issue with anyone I speak to on the right or left. The only questions seem to revolve around whether he being mendacious or a fool. If a fool, people forgive him his sweet delusions about the logical consequences of his proposals. If mendacious, the question is whether he is lying to us because he believes it is for own good, or for nefarious personal and/or political reasons.

What do you think?

Dictators demand respect. Elected officials should have the skin to take the abuse. If they prefer not to be treated with comtempt they should actually do something consistent with the will of the people and not push a crazy new world order agenda.

Mr. Lawler, are you being serious here? I'm honestly asking because I suspect you're just having some fun here with your readers.

There's room to question some of the statements President Obama made in his speech, but the one which he was making when Wilson interrupted - that illegal aliens will not be eligible for health benefits under any plan under consideration - is quite true. Thus, it's rather puzzling that you would, with any seriousness, claim that Wilson's "excessively impetuous passion was in the service of truth." Far from it.

Only in comparison to the birthers, death panelists, and Glenn Beck's occasionally homicidal fan club does Wilson look relatively "honorable."

Only in comparison to the birthers, death panelists, and Glenn Beck's occasionally homicidal fan club does Wilson look relatively "honorable."

Right, because nobody on the left has EVER been dishonorable on that high a plane.

Wilson was more right than not on the merits of the issue. None of the House Democrat bills that I am aware of have mechanisms for preventing illegal aliens from registering for the public option. This (based on the committee votes) seems to be intentional. Only those steeped in spin would deny that calling the President's statement a lie was at least partly justified.

But having said that, there is something about the some of the conservative reaction to Wilson that bothers me a little. It wasn't that he called Obama a liar. I thought the very same thing at the moment and at several other points during the speech. I don't mind calling Obama a liar on tv, facebook, in speeches of one's own - especially when it is justified. It was the interruption and some of the defense (or at least desire to mitigate) the wrongness of the interruption. Time and place matters a great deal because the norm that one does not interrupt or heckle makes political conversation easier. Some will take advantage of it to be dishonest, but I think the underminig of that norm tends towards chaos. Those who have truth on their side will not be the only ones to avail themselves of the right to heckle. So will those who honestly believe untruths. So will those who want to cynically silence their opponents. I also believe that the truth has a better chance where there is respectful hearing and then firm responding than in chaos.

Mr. Scanlon, of course Mr. Lawler is being serious. When our Republican heroes do bad things, we just change definitions of good and bad to fit with the situation. It's very convenient and avoids those nasty problems that arise from having inflexible ethics and too rigid a moral code.

Wilson apologized for the outburst.

Yes, Pete, context matters. I stopped watching televised presidential speeches when I found I could not stop myself from shouting "Liar!" at the TV screen during Clinton's speeches. That was silly and ineffective, maybe even sillier and less effective than blogging. I found myself wishing someone who was just sitting there in the audience, even the hall of Congress during the State of the Union address, simply staring at the man would raise some challenge to the whoppers.

Probably, Wilson should not have made his heated comment when and where he did for civility's sake. For the sake of truth, it was a very welcome remark.

Craig, are you saying that indigent illegal immigrants will be left to die on the doorsteps of hospitals? I don't believe you. They are not so ignored now, which is one of the things that makes our medical system wonderful, but also "needlessly" expensive for everyone who pays.

Kate, I have the same problem with many Obama speeches. I find myself going between being annoyed at his misrepresentation, bored with his wordiness, and impressed with both his ability to put his liberalism in the least offensive form and the demeanor that lets him sell his most dishonest and ideological statements to the apolitical. I was especially impressed and disgusted by his attempt to sell Ted Kennedy as no statist liberal

I wasn't wishing someone would yell liar during his speech. I was hoping for a Republican response that was critical (including of his disohonesty), constructive and powerful. Not that I was expecting such, and those responses to presidential speeches are usually unmemorable. But I don't think Wilson's ends of truth telling justified his means or even that his means was a good way of advancing that end. Though it has helped make Wilson something of a sudden celebrity on the Right, I'm not sure thats how you get to the more persuadable voters out there. And even if it were, there would still be good reasons to not try to interrupt the President's speech even when you believe the President is speaking untruths. Republican might instead try to do better when they themselves are speaking or by nominating a presidential candidate who has and manages to sell a coherent and compelling domestic agenda.

I know nothing about Rep. Wilson, but presume that is why he apologized. I am not saying he was right to interrupt the president's speech. I am just saying I understand the impulse, if it was impulse.

Yes, as we were saying a year ago and more, the Republican Party needed a presidential candidate who could argue conservative principles clearly and compellingly. Without that and faced with the consequences, folks will make a stir as they can. My husband is in DC, along with several members of our church. They are participating in a protest march tomorrow. Some of the people going have never been to Washington in their lives, and they are going now, because they do not know what else to do. Honestly, it comes to about the same thing as shouting "Liar!" at the president, but has the benefit of tradition behind it.

"it's characteristic of a man of honor to say what's on his mind openly, fearlessly, and without calculation. That Rep. Wilson did."

It's also characteristic of the drunkard at the local bar, or the less impressive elements at any given protest (be it anti-war or anti-Obama). It's also commonly referred to as "diarrhea of the mouth." But I guess, following the logic of IOKIYAR (It's OK If You're A Republican), such rude, shallow outbursts must be reframed, so that Wilson can be the new Joe the Plumber or whoever.

Kate, if you need to acquaint yourself with Wilson better, try this:
http://www.alternet.org/politics/142563/14_things_you_need_to_know_about_obama_heckler%2C_rep._joe_wilson/?obref=obnetwork

Here are some other profound, respectful quotes from the ever-honorable Addison Graves Wilson (hey, is name isn't really Joe, either!):

"With the death of Strom Thurmond, South Carolina has lost its greatest statesman of the 20th Century." - Wilson on June 27, 2003.

"That's offensive to me that they would take my heritage and make it into a Holocaust era type description." - South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, back in November 1999, when he was still a state senator, regarding African Americans being upset that the Confederate flag was being flown over the statehouse.

"[W]e have a dictator, Saddam Hussein, who has chemical and biological weapons, who is developing nuclear capabilities." - Wilson, now a U.S. Congressman, on CNN, September 28, 2002.

I also thought these highlights were telling:

"When Thurmond's bi-racial daughter, fathered out of wedlock with an African-American teenage girl, came forward in 2003 -- after Thurmond's death -- Wilson castigated Thurmond's daughter, saying he did not believe her story. Essie Mae Washington-Williams was conceived of a union Thurmond had with his family's 16-year-old maid. Thurmond was 22 at the time. "It's a smear on the image that [Thurmond] has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina," Wilson said, according to TPM. Wilson later apologized to Washington-Williams."

and

"A large percentage of Wilson's campaign contributions come from the health sector, according to OpenSecrets.org. Over the course of his eight-year congressional career, Wilson has collected $414,000 from the health sector, topped only by contribution from what OpenSecrets calls the "finance, insurance & real estate" sector, from which he has gleaned $455,000."

and

"When Thurmond's bi-racial daughter, fathered out of wedlock with an African-American teenage girl, came forward in 2003 -- after Thurmond's death -- Wilson castigated Thurmond's daughter, saying he did not believe her story. Essie Mae Washington-Williams was conceived of a union Thurmond had with his family's 16-year-old maid. Thurmond was 22 at the time. "It's a smear on the image that [Thurmond] has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina," Wilson said, according to TPM. Wilson later apologized to Washington-Williams."

And of course, in his C-Span discussion with Filner, he had to employ that standard, right-wing tactic - when one runs out of ideas, accuse your opponent of hating America.

I also highly doubt that Wilson's outburst was without calculation.

I'm actually pretty surprised at your twisted defense of this guy, Mr. Lawler. I've come to expect a bit more from you than some of the other bloggers here.

I think he did the right thing...the Left seldom "respects" the Right, and as we are finding out with the "Tea Parties," we have to fight fire with fire. Take the damned gloves off and lets get to it. I for one am SICK of fighting this war with stupidity every half-generation or so.

What was misleading about the way Obama called certain prominent politicians liars?

Spirited discussion--the floor is soaked with manliness. I said nothing to justify the outburst. Like a good social scientist, I was explaining it. Honor is not quite a virtue, after all, although I usually like it when I see it. I agree with Pete on the president's truthfulness. But as an experienced social scientist, I know that studies show that presidential speeches aren't usually noteworthy for their veracity. So I'm not all that outraged. Nor do I think that speech will have legs. I will admit that president's "lack of specificity" was a clever way to give his supporters an opening to exaggerate his veracity.

Mr. Lawler, you said nothing to justify the outburst? Sorry, but "YOU LIE!!" (might as well jump on the bandwagon for that catchphrase before it gets old, which I predict will occur around... tomorrow). You said that Wilson shouted at "a pretty appropriate time," you gave some lip service to the idea that the shouting was dishonorable "in a way", but then further trivialized it as an on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand sort of matter, and finally concluded that he was not only right (which he was not), but the most honorable guy around lately. It's like you gave him five stars, took one away, and then announced that four stars was now the highest possible rating. That's a justification alright. (Although, to your minimal credit, you have seemingly backpedaled a bit in the comments)

Kate, it's very hard to know what you're getting at with your query about illegal immigrants & emergency room care. It reads like you're going in circles, and you can't bring yourself to say what you want, what you're thinking, but I'm not sure...

In any case, if THAT aspect was the thing that was sending Addison Graves Wilson (aka "Joe the Heckler") into a hissy fit, it seems odd since he voted in FAVOR of just such a thing back in 2003. See here (and, as a bonus, it contains a further debunking of the notion that he was accurately calling out Obama on a lie at that "appropriate time" in the address):

http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/1219-Joe-Wilson-Voted-to-Provide-Taxpayer-Money-for-Illegal-Immigrants-Healthcare

I highly doubt, Kate, that you want "indigent illegal immigrants ... left to die on the doorsteps of hospitals", but perhaps I shouldn't be too quick to assume that. This tea partier - a leader of Glenn Beck's fantasy militia, if you will - strongly hinted that he would be agreeable with just such a scenario.
http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/tea-bagger-mark-williams-thinks-we-should

As for the fallout from this Congressional equivalent to some putz yelling "Freebird!" from the back of the crowd, thus far Wilson's challenger in the next election, Rob Miller, has raised a cool million in campaign funds just since the outburst. How much has Wilson raised?

As much as I enjoy watching England's Parliament on C-SPAN on Wednesday and Saturday nights... I did not enjoy watching Joe Wilson shout out at the President. Whether appropriate or not, I am inclined to respect the decorum of the institution because I believe in at least the notion of a higher power and as such a thing, it deserves clear and distinct level of respect. I do not think that there is any question about whether or not we want our congress turning into the english parliament and as such i do condemn his action based on the fact that, while it may have been a justified outburst, it demeaned the institution.

How much has Wilson raised?

According to this-- http://www.postchronicle.com/news/business/article_212255809.shtml--Wilson was trailing Miller badly until the past 48 hours, when he caught up.

Craig, I think you confuse honor with justice. Though you do give a godd example of why the norm of not interrupting is a good one, since when it goes, the use of the right to yell "you lie" and otherwise distrupt would be appropriated by the confused, and/or deluded, and/or cynical.

Scanlon says:

1) "It's also characteristic of the drunkard at the local bar"

2) "I also highly doubt that Wilson's outburst was without calculation."

Therefore, drunkards at the bar are highly doubted to speak without calculation.

Kate - Wow, your husband is/was in DC for the Glenn Beck 9/12 event?? Or something else?

Here are a couple of good collections of photos from the event(s) on the (socialistic, publicly-owned) National Mall. This one has 82 pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/42448313@N03/sets/72157622224474669/show/

The other just a choice few:
http://thepoliticalcarnival.blogspot.com/2009/09/photos-current-state-of-republican.html

I'm wondering if your husband happens to be in any.

Some really classy signs and shirts to be seen there. These were my favorites:

The paranoid gun guys were there with "Come and take it!"

The birther crowd had a presence - "Where's the Birth Certificate?" - c/o WorldNetDaily, apparently... and "Undocumented worker" - with a pic of Obama (tee-hee!)

The absurd healthcare b.s. - "Obamacare is eugenics" and "Obama Lies, Grandma Dies"

At least one "Joe Wilson for President" sign.

The "Go Galt" crowd - "Ayn Rand was Right!"

The Glenn Beck/Fox fans had a large following. various version of "Thank you/God Bless Glenn Beck" and others from Fox, plus a "Fox News = 21st Century Paul Revere" (yeah, I'm serious)

The angry and the angrier - "Waterboard Obama" and "We're Angry Because You're Not Listening" and

"The cure for Obama Communism is a new era of McCarthyism." (I'd guess some here at NLT would be all for that!)

The theorists - Obama is the "anti-Christ".

and my Grand Prize goes to:
"Stop Him Before It's To [sic] Late!... When We Smell the Burning Flesh from The Ovens, It Will be To [sic] Late For Us All --- Socialism"
(looks like America's most ignorant are lapping up Jonah Goldberg's "book" with relish!)
--
Anonymous, you've ignored the significance of the word "also" and thus, drawn the wrong conclusion.

Drunkards can ALSO behave as Wilson did - rudely and inappropriately - but without Wilson's likely calculation and premeditation. The guy who makes outbursts like that, without the excuse of drunkenness (such as Wilson) is also known as an a-hole (or, as the former prez and VP would say, "a major-league a-hole").

--
Mr. Lawler, I'm not sure what you're referring to as my good example - perhaps it's a jab at me - but you don't automatically trump what I've said just by tossing the words "honor" and "justice" into your post. I haven't confused them at all. I did not interrupt you, as Wilson did the President. Isn't it sort of impossible to do so in this blog/comment format?

Craig, I'm not Peter Lawler.

I know you did not interrupt anybody, but I was using the example of saying you lie when you believed Lawler to be lying when he wasn't, and how the conclusion that someone lied could be made from confusion, delusion or be plausibly asserted by the cynical. Thats why I especailly dislike the interruption by Wilson.

Craig, are you mendacious or only foolish?

Sometimes I think you must really be someone on the NLT staff who writes intentionally outrageous things to provoke comment on the back pages.

You are correct about one thing in your screed. My husband tells me the variety of people, of signs, of points of view, were stunning and staggering. He said there were tea-naggers, but also bikers and country club types, parents with children (crazy in the massive crowd, he said) lots of young people and many people so old you would have thought they could have felt excused from the extertion. All races, all ages, all types, all of varieties of America represented in one massively polite and well-behaved crowd. So packed together that every move brought an "Excuse me" or "Pardon me," which were probably the most chanted phrases of the day.

If either you or Glenn Beck think he was the impetus for that mass of Americans come to the capitol, then you are both fools. If it is true, then he really should run for president, starting today. But it is not true.

My disorganized church was typical of the kind of group that went. Only the pastor has tie to listen to Glen Beck and he didn't go because he can't walk that far. No one organized the group, but two people who own SUVs drove all the people who could pack into the two cars, so only twelve people went,

I have to go to church now and hear more about it.

Kate,

I utterly fail to see how the truly abhorrant signs carried by some of those attending the rally - 'Waterboard Obama,' for example, or 'Bury Obama with Kennedy' - tally with your husband's report about the 'massively polite' crowd. There's something distinctly troubling about the almost hysterical reaction of some to the fact of Obama's presidency, a reaction that finds its pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-rational counterpart in the postings of some on this website.

I truly wish I could understand what it is that motivates people like you, Julie and that lovely man with his "Oppressive Bloodsucking Arrogant Muslim Alien' sign. There's a level of vitriol here that's breathtaking. To say nothing of profoundly troubling.

AO

P.S. Maybe instead of appealing to a constitution almost none of of them have read, some of those charming people might like to read USC Title 871, section 14.
"Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

@ Another one:

These folks might like to see USC Title 871, section 14 too:

http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621

I utterly fail to see how the truly abhorrant signs carried by some of those attending the rally - 'Waterboard Obama,' for example, or 'Bury Obama with Kennedy' - tally with your husband's report about the 'massively polite' crowd.

I happened to be in DC in March 2003, and I went to see a peace protest by those opposed to the Bush administration's plans to invade Iraq. Most of those present behaved politely, and their signs were perfectly reasonable (even when I disagreed with their content). However, there were also a significant number--nothing like a majority--who carried signs expressing the same sort of vitriol against Bush, Cheney, etc. as what's being cited in this thread.

What can we take away from this? Any political rally is going to attract a cross-section of people, including raving nutcases. However, it's the nutcases that attract the cameras.

Kate, why should you take offense that I asked if your husband went to "the Glenn Beck 9/12 event - or something else?"?? Certainly he has been the primary public face for the 9/12 event(s):

http://www.the912project.com/

Even "Joe" the "Plumber" hasn't been a major personality in this...

And why should you take offense that I wondered if your husband was in any of the pictures? Surely it's possible. Would he not want to be identified with any of those possible 82 exceptions within the "massively polite" crowd?

And do you really know that none of the 12 people from your church who journeyed to DC are viewers/followers of Beck?

Why should you even feel a need to put distance between Beck and this event and your fellow churchgoers? After all..... (yep, again!) he was given the honor of being the keynote speaker for the annual Ashbrook Memorial Dinner in 2006 [Peter Schramm described him as the "distinguished speaker" for the event, who is "inspiring," "informative," and who "tells it like it is" and "cuts through the fog."]
http://www.ashbrook.org/events/memdin/beck/home.html

It's not as if it were difficult to find Glenn Beck fans at the demonstration. Could they somehow be Beck's fans but NOT know of the 9/12 Project?

But, yes, I know, there were other groups, other sponsors. Dick Armey had an army there, I'm sure...

So, what did your fellow churchgoers have to report about the event?

BTW, before anyone perpetuates Michelle Malkin's absurd crowd count of 2 million people at DC's 9/12 rally, let me shoot that down, pre-emptively, so to speak. It was 75,000 - max.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/09/size-matters-so-do-lies.html

Thus, the anti-war protests of 2003 were, at rock-bottom minimum, at least 10 times as big. Those people were also (to quote a 9/12 sign from the pics I linked to) "angry because you're not listening" - and nobody here at NLT - bloggers or commenters alike - took issue with Bush's casual dismissal of them as akin to a "focus group".

--
Pete - sorry, I forgot that there's a Pete, in addition to two Peters here. My comment still stands, though...

--
John Moser - Yes, "any political rally is going to attract a cross-section of people, including raving nutcases" - the question is what percentage of them are "raving nutcases" and to what extent can we agree on how that's defined. Having examined hundreds of pics from the 9/12 demo, from both those supporting and those opposing the event, I think it's entirely fair to say that this particular "cross-section of the people" is more of a cross-section of fringe-right America, and contains a significantly higher percentage of raving nutcases than the anti-war protests of '03 - not including Kate's husband, of course.

Yeah, they're all nutcases who want to protect American freedom. That's why Obama's going to send them to reeducation camps. He'll say its for their health like all tyrants do.

Craig, your contempt for ordinary Americans oozes on your every post.

How shocking that you present the anti-war protesters as a group of rational intellectuals who were peacefully and without insult against Bush while presenting these folks as essentially all fringe nutcases. As someone who creates all sorts of links seemingly to create evidence for what you're saying, this line of reasoning is completely without basis. Moser presented a much more reasonable generalization.

Still angry that ordinary Americans hate Obama's progressive welfare state liberalism and is slipping in the polls, huh? Gotta get your frustrations out by (shockingly) presenting those folks as conservative nutcases. I understand.

Try this, Craig. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzUrv3SdJdo as my counter-link. I like it better than yours.

I was just saying that Glenn Beck was not the point of the march. However, I openly confess that I learned on Sunday that one of the guys who went does watch Beck on Fox. His brother described him as "becoming a political radical" since he has never been interested in politics until the last couple of years.

The man who gave the report spent more time talking about America's traditions of freedom than he did about the march. He began by talking about the Declaration of Independence and the history of the ideas that went into that. Maybe he gave more credit to God than I have heard in my history seminars at Ashland University. Other than that, the facts were the same. He owns a company that builds and cleans chemical and other manufacturing plants. Reading history is his hobby.

He worked his way around to suggesting that if we lose our economic freedoms, that our religious freedoms will probably go, too. Is that crazy? I don't think so.

The big news the guys reported from the event was the size of the crowd. Craig, you say 75,000 and there is no way the crowd was that small. Look at the photos of down the Mall to the capitol. The Mall was mobbed, packed, with people. From a DC block away from the speakers, as close as our guys could get, (and they arrived early) it took an hour for them to escape the crowd when they decided to leave at 12:30. There was no place for anyone to move out of the way to let anyone pass. The guys knew they were being a nuisance, but no one gave them an angry word or complained at the inconvenience. It was just hard going because there were so many people. They wre all angry at Obama and Congress, but not in the general angry way of your usual angry nutjobs.

If just American folks are raving nutjobs, and if the fear that America will lose its liberty is an expression of angry madness, then I guess you have a point, Craig, and the other one, too. Maybe it is crazy for people to spend their own money to cross the country to swell the ranks of such a protest. They leave their homes and

Actually, one of the reasons my husband went was because no one else who was going had ever been to DC before. They were a little afraid of getting lost. He is familiar and comfortable with the city. His going was a financial sacrifice for us. Now, he is glad he went. Does that mean he is moving to the radical fringe of right-wing politics? He is just a guy who wants his children and his grandchildren to live in freedom.

The prevailing sentiment among those who went to the march seems to be a fear of expanding government. Why is that nutty? Actually, what I don't get is why anyone would not be bothered by that. .

To expand on what I wrote previously, any honest observer should concede that the 9/12 protests were at least several times smaller than both the anti-war demonstration of 2003 and - it's important to remember - Obama's inauguration. Using generous estimates for your 9/12 crowd and restrained estimates for the anti-war crowd, let's say it's 250K vs. 750K - still, that's 3X as many people - and, again, Bush likened them to a "focus group." Where was the non-partisan politeness then? And comparing 9/12 to the Kenyan Communist's inauguration, it's 250K to at least 1.6 MILLION.

In any event, even if you take your incredibly improbable crowd estimate of 250K (I asked a DC friend about it last night, who went inside that crowd, and he chuckled at that number), that doesn't mean that Obama owes such people anything more than a respectful hearing (to the extent that those people are respectful of him, which isn't much at all). He won the election by a margin considerably larger than Bush did in either election (controversies aside; remember by the POPULAR vote, Gore bested Bush in 2000 by more than 500,000 people - that's twice the generous allowance of your 9/12 crowd. Obama won the election, and elections should have consequences. He campaigned on change, and that included health care reform. If they would've wanted health care reform that would've handed the reigns and money completely over to the private healthcare industry, they would've, appropriately, voted McCain and Your Sarah in. But, they didn't. As it stands, a very significant portion of people who voted for Obama are dissatisfied with the degree of leftward change (that is, barely any) that Obama is proposing and pushing.

Kate, your YouTube link must be dismissed immediately, because it has a Hollywood celebrity spouting off for their "cause" - Steven Baldwin!! Hasn't FoxNews warned you about those Hollywood elitists? (Also, Jim DeMint (South Carolina!) got more face time there than any charming American "folks" did!)

And that's where Tony Williams doesn't get it. What the polls aren't getting at is WHY Obama's numbers are slipping and WHY more people are disapproving of his performance. I'd contend that at least as many people feel that he's not being progressive enough as there are who feel he's being too radical (and that term, along with socialist, communist, stalinist, fascist, etc. is a JOKE - read Steven Hayward's latest post here; credit to him for a touch of honesty there; actual socialists knew before the election that he wasn't one of them)

Nice try, too, Kate at depicting the 9/12 protestors Sarah Palin-style, as "just American folks." Here's some of your "just American folks":

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mukulr/3914469206/in/set-72157622226622571/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mukulr/3913684469/in/set-72157622226622571/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mukulr/3915931213/in/set-72157622226622571/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mukulr/3913471009/in/set-72157622226622571/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mukulr/3916610580/in/set-72157622226622571/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mukulr/3921970860/in/set-72157622226622571/

"The prevailing sentiment among those who went to the march seems to be a fear of expanding government."

That's interesting, but why have they just now chosen THIS particular point in time to take to the streets about it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDebt.png

It was expanding enormously from 2001 to 2008. Glenn Beck and his minions were pretty quiet then on the issue.

Tony Williams said, "As someone who creates all sorts of links seemingly to create evidence for what you're saying, this line of reasoning is completely without basis. Moser presented a much more reasonable generalization."

John Moser's generalization is flawed.

"...any political rally is going to attract a cross-section of people, including raving nutcases"

Even KKK rallies are political rallies. Do Klan rallies attract a "cross-section of people"? No. Am I comparing the 9/12 protests to Klan rallies? No. I'm just noting that even rallies of large groups of people can be composed primarily of a fringe group, especially in a nation of 300 million people. With enough organization, I'm sure that Rushdoony-influenced Christian Dominionists could gather 50K people on the streets of DC, but that doesn't mean that the group would represent a good "cross-section of people" - even among American Christians.

Ok, Kate, I'll see your video (actually I HAVE seen it), and raise you a thousand...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUPMjC9mq5Y&feature=player_embedded

"This wouldn't have happened without Glenn Beck."

(among other fun gems!)

We used to burn politicians in effigy. What is an acceptable sign? Obama, while a good man, great speaker, and father; is wrong about healthcare based on the facts I have gathered. Political signs have always and will always be over the top. I really think people underestimate how many poeple believe or are open to the ideas of the so called nutcases and conspiracy theorists. Rural people have never and will never trust the government and big changes will always be fought against wright or wrong.

Brutus, what do you make of the recent poll showing that 73% of American doctors are in favor of a public option for healthcare?

Kate, where did you go? What did your church group report back from the 9/12 rally?

Did they see any of these "real Americans"??

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42406957@N04/sets/72157622225596987/

(Sorry, they just keep flooding in!) ;)

Craig, I told you about it, above. You response was a tour de force of linkage that I have not got time nor the patience to even look at.

We have been having friendly arguments for years, but you seem to me to be raving on this one. I will agree with John Moser, above, that political rallies can bring out the worst in people, and any gathering of 1-2 million people is liable to bring out the nutcases, too.

"...political rallies can bring out the worst in people, and any gathering of 1-2 million people is liable to bring out the nutcases, too."

- except for that little problem that the Glenn Beck rally did NOT get even HALF a million people. That's okay though, don't despair. It was an impressive turnout, just not nearly as impressive as the anti-war rallies or Obama's inauguration (that's when a president is sworn in after he's elected by "we the people").

When the truth hurts, time and patience are at a premium, I see... ;)

Why would anyone care what Craig Scanlon thinks about conservatives? He's a known enemy of America and supporter of Arab terrorism. When he says he's for something like socialized health care its because he knows it will destroy this country. You all want to have an intelligent conversation with him when he really needs a good punch to the face at least.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009
CONTACT: Dan Cassidy (803) 546-4955
Jeffrey Denounces Inglis for Supporting ‘Political Theater’
GREENVILLE/SPARTANBURG -- Christina Jeffrey, Republican candidate for Congress in South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District (Greenville/Spartanburg), has sharply criticized Congressman Bob Inglis for once again siding with the Democrats in supporting a resolution condemning Congressman Joe Wilson.
Jeffrey points out “this was the first such resolution in over twenty years, and all but 7 Republicans refused to aid and abet the Democrats’ highly partisan political theater.” Jeffrey adds that while Bob Inglis and the Democrats were ignoring the urgent business of the American people, they also moved to kill an investigation of serious, criminal allegations that Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. may have attempted to buy a United States Senate seat.
According to Jeffrey, “Bob Inglis has not only lost touch with the people of the 4th Congressional District; he has become openly hostile to their values.”
Jeffrey, a Constitutional scholar, professor at Wofford College, mother of five and grandmother of eight, notes that “Inglis has provided Democrats with the key vote needed to deny protection to “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, has voted for corporate bailouts, opposes the exploration and drilling for oil in US waters, and has told constituents to ‘turn off Glenn Beck,’ while also criticizing conservative icons like Sean Hannity and Pat Buchanan.”
Christina Jeffrey announced her candidacy earlier this year. She is committed to restoring respect for the United States Constitution, decentralized government, states’ rights, and individual liberty.
For more information, see the Christina Jeffrey for Congress website.

I have zero faith in polls. I saw one saying X amount of doctors would consider quiting if it passed. Polls show over 50% of people believe in some sort of 911 coverup, 90% were against the bank bailouts. Roughly half the people aprove of the president and far less approve of congress. Even if the polls are accurate they are meaningless because the expressed will of the poeple via polling is rarely a motivating factor for government action.
Is the above post any different than the guys selling runescape gold?

Even though we know the claim is all but a joke, doesn't it conflict with Ashbrook's status as a "non-partisan" academic center to allow political candidates to post their press releases in the comments section?

(I note in passing that Christina Jeffrey, a GOP candidate, is a college professor. Always a shock to the NLT reader...)

I apologize for posting a press release - I was so tired last night, I couldn't think - normally, having survived many "nonpartisan" academic settings - I even earned tenure in a conventionally liberal setting (with help from Peter Lawler), I know better. If the moderator wants to "take down my words" I will not be offended.

Let me suggest instead that people take a look at the Washington Examiner's post this a.m. on Jimmy Carter's Racist Campaign for Governor in 1970. There is no white guilt like Southern white guilt and he has it in spades, and for a reason. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Jimmy-Carters-racist-campaign-of-1970-59499482.html

Candidate Jeffrey - I wasn't trying to suggest that you chose an inappropriate site to post your press release. Far from it. Usually, though, the political promotion at this site doesn't actually involve candidate press releases. They're slightly more subtle than that!

I also see you use your opponent's telling people to "turn off Glenn Beck" as a point against him. Again, good call. The Ashbrook Center had Glenn Beck as the keynote speaker for their Ashbrook Memorial Dinner back in 2006 - so you're definitely campaigning to the converted here!

So, I guess you're one of those intellectually serious, moderate, respectable, dignified conservatives, who distances herself from any fringe characters, (Such as Buchanan, Hannity, Beck, etc.), right??

Good times.

For those who care about how the telephone-game-style b.s. that Michelle Malkin & Co. took on a life of its own in promoting the ridiculous numbers for the Glenn Beck 9/12 protests, this is an excellent look at how this particular turd blossom took root and flowered:

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200909140039

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