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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Truth, Lies, and a Presidential Address to Congress

A rare thing occurred last night. President Obama addressed Congress and a truth was delivered. Of course, not by Obama, but by South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson when he blurted "you lie" after the President falsely asserted that Obamacare will not cover illegal aliens.

Wilson's outburst drew the evil eye, that "how dare you challenge me" glare from Obama. Undoubtedly, it will draw more criticism from Obama defenders in the days to come.

Indeed, President Obama has reason to be upset. His nationally televised Address to Congress will be remembered for Joe Wilson's decorum violating outburst. Obama was counting on his oratory skills to mesmerize political opposition into submission, but he was upstaged by a lowly congressman's rude interruption.

Facts weren't important to the President's speech writers, all he needed was to deliver the words in his soothing, "you can trust me" tone. It has worked before. It got him elected. He's never been challenged on national TV for the content of a speech, he has only been praised for the power of his performance. Until last night.

President Obama was counting on last night's speech to save his ailing attempt to nationalize the health care industry. But his effort was torpedoed by two words, "you lie", uttered out of frustration from Rep. Joe Wilson.

With two barely audible words, Rep. Wilson succinctly summarized the President's speech and it hurt. Last night's address will forever be remembered as the "you lie" speech because Wilson was right.

The President's effort to pass so-called "healthcare reform" has been sold with lies and deception. Last night's address was no different. If Wilson's outburst was unfounded, it would have already been forgotten. But it hurts because its true.

In the days to come, Democrats and their liberal defenders in the media will attempt damage control by demanding that Wilson be punished for violating decorum during a nationally televised Presidential Address to Congress. They will ignore the truth behind Wilson's utterance. After all, its the performance that counts and Wilson interrupted Obama's delivery.

Arguably, President Obama, himself, violated decorum by calling for nationally televised Address to Congress just to boost an ailing political issue. Such events are generally reserved for annual State of the Union speeches and times of national crisis – such as a terrorist act of war that kills a few thousand citizens and topples two towers.

Was Rep. Wilson wrong for his violation of Congressional decorum? Maybe. But, his crime was no worse than the numerous outbursts of boos from Democrats attending President Bush's State Of The Union speeches.

Last night, President Obama grossly misrepresented the health care reform debate. He lied about key elements within the Democrat plan, he misrepresented solutions offered by Republicans, he tried to dismiss critics with partisan attacks, and he used fear mongering to gain public support. This was no Address to Congress from the President of the United States, it was a rhetorically charged stump speech from an extremely partisan politician. It is hard to criticize Rep. Wilson for his brief departure of decorum in responding to the President's deception – particularly when Wilson spoke the truth.

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