“There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
“YOU LIE!” shouts a member of the audience, Republican Joe Wilson of North Carolina.
Such was the scene at the President’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Jeering which hadn’t even been seen at Obama’s town hall meetings came from an elected official during one of the most formal meetings ever held by our legislature.
What does this mean for the future? How long is it until another break in decorum so gouache comes up again? What walls have been broken?
Historically, Congress was the scene for one event equally crude, and quite a bit more painful than Wednesday’s spectacle. In 1856, in the midst of a fierce debate over Kansas’s status as a free or slave state, Senator Andrew Butler beat Senator Charles Summers with a cane, knocking him unconscious. Fortunately, we haven’t seen a re-occurrence of anything so violent on Capitol Hill since, and such I feel is the fate of outbursts like Wilson’s.
Still, I’m pushing for censure. If the House doesn’t reprimand Wilson for ignoble behavior, then others may take follow in his path. And Wilson hasn’t issued an apology directly to congress, giving them a right ti censure.
When a child misbehaves he is given a Time Out, and told not to do it again. Such should be the same for Wilson.