Selective memory, glass houses, and all that.

I didn’t watch the President’s speech last night. But apparently Joe Wilson, a Republican representative from South Carolina shouted “You lie!” when the President claimed that Democratic health proposals would not cover illegal immigrants.

That is classless, tacky, unprofessional, disrespectful, and stupid. Wilson has since apologized, as he should have. As a human being and as the President, Obama is entitled to respect and civility, and elected officials should have the self-control to act like adults on such an important occasion. (Now I have been known to raise my voice at the TV when the President speaks; if I met him in person I would show greater restraint.)

That said, it’s hilarious to see the New York Times’ account of the incident. The article notes that “members of both parties were trying to recollect such a pointed attack from an individual lawmaker at a presidential address,” then goes back to the Clinton years for an example:

When President Clinton addressed Congress in 1993 to push his health care plan, “both sides of the aisle received the President warmly,” according to a report in The New York Times at the time.

“But when he began talking about raising taxes on tobacco to pay for the plan, or the need to cut Medicare and Medicaid, many on the Republican side of the aisle began snickering, shaking their heads skeptically and making faces at each other,” the article said.

Oh, those childish Republicans, up to their old tricks. But I was trying to remember– wasn’t there another president between Clinton and Obama? Oh yes, that’s right. His name was George W. Bush. He was booed and shouted at, oh, about every single time he addressed Congress. I’m sure the New York Times was appalled at such juvenile behavior at the time.


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