I have neither the time nor the temperament right now for a big political debate, but I would like to pose a question:
What do you suppose would've happened a couple years ago if a Democrat had interrupted a major policy speech on the floor of the Senate by President George W. Bush to call him a liar, as Republican Representative Joe Wilson did to President Obama last night?
I'm pretty confident that Democrat would've been denounced as an unpatriotic, disrespectful boor, if not accused of outright treason. He would've been shamed into making multiple and ever-more humiliating apologies, because the first one would not suffice for the grievous offense he had committed against the very foundations of our Republic. Ultimately, if the right-wing talk-radio types had their way, that incautious man would've been hounded from office and sent back to wherever he came from with his tail between his legs.
But we all know that's not going to happen to this Wilson jackass, don't we? I admire President Obama for being a bigger man than myself and accepting Wilson's half-assed and obviously insincere apology, but I've got to tell you, I'm extremely frustrated with the Republican double-standard right now. Or don't they believe any longer that the presidency demands respect, even if you don't like the president himself? Isn't that what we kept hearing all through Dubya's eight years at the helm? And if that's no longer the case, what happened to change their minds?
Oh, I remember... a Democrat won the election. And in Republican minds, a Democratic president is never, ever, under any circumstances legitimate.
Look, I know a lot of people agree with Wilson, probably including some of my own readers. You're wrong if you do, but you're entitled to be wrong here in our great country. So go ahead and be wrong. Tell your friends what you think; write about it on your blog; shout it from street corners; call your Congressperson and tell them; hell, stitch it into a sampler and hang it on the wall, if that's your sort of thing. But when you're sitting on the floor of the Senate while the President is speaking, show some manners and some freaking class and hold your goddamned tongue.
And before anyone reminds me that the Dems booed Shrubbie during his 2005 State of the Union, yeah, I know. They were rude, too. The difference there is that they hadn't spent eight years yammering on about how the president's political opponents needed to show respect and deference to a man they couldn't stand, only to turn around and do the same damn thing when the shoe was on the other foot. And anyway, doesn't anyone remember the Repubs booing Clinton? Seems to me the truly bad manners started right around the time Newt Gingrich and his buddies swept into office and decided they were going to hold their breath and stamp their feet until they got they way.
All of which is much more than I intended to say when I started this. As I noted, I'm very frustrated with all the bullshit right now, and with the Democrats' perennial inability to effectively counter it...