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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  September 20, 2009
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Topic category:  Other/General

Enough apologies.

Rude, crude, offensive, and way out of line.

That’s what I thought when I heard Representative Joe Wilson shout “You lie” during the President’s recent address to both houses of congress and a nationwide audience.

My maternal grandmother, Cora Wells, would’ve probably added that “he’s been raised better than that and should know not to act the fool in front of everyone.”

She’d have been right.

I don’t care what you think about President Obama, the things he was saying that night, or the way this entire health care fiasco has played out over the past several months, you just don’t do something like that. It simply isn’t right. And, if you ask me, that simple concept - “doing what’s right” - is something that’s fast disappearing in our society these days.

So, if you’re a member of congress and you have a disagreement with someone - say, the president - you marshal your arguments, you head for the proper venue, and you speak as passionately as you can to rebut the points he made. What you don’t do, however, is behave like an ill-raised boor.

Here, though, we should also remember when the democrats booed and hissed while President Bush gave a State of the Union Address. All of the above applies to them too because such behavior was every bit as crude and boorish. And, do note, they didn’t bother to apologize.

In this case, though, an apology was called for and was given.

It was timely and appropriate.

It was public and published.

It was received and accepted.

From there, our beloved betters in congress should’ve acted like adults rather than school kids, drawn a lesson from it, and then - to coin a phrase - “moved on.” But, alas, they went ahead and passed a resolution of disapproval against Representative Wilson last Tuesday afternoon which, basically, brings to my mind a bit of advice I first heard when I was a kid.

“Consider the source.”

The House of Representatives that rebuked Joe Wilson for losing control of himself and his emotions would be the same House of Representatives:

- That recently very publicly and with high dudgeon and buckets of sanctimony scolded the CEO’s of The Big Three Automakers for flying into D.C. in private jets to give testimony. Then, they tried to spend a half-billion dollars on private jets to whisk their pampered little butts hither and yon.

- Whose Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee is currently in a bit of a pickle over an alleged long-standing failure to report income to the IRS.

- That’s recently seen former members such as Randall “Duke” Cunningham (R) end up in jail for getting a little too cozy with lobbyists and their money and William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson (D) convicted for accepting bribes and payoffs.

- That once had a “bank” that never seemed to call in loans that some members frequently helped themselves to.

- That has certain exalted and not-to-be-bothered personages taking cell phone calls while supposedly listening to points being made by their constituents.

- That has members stricken seemingly speechless when asked the simple question of whether they would place themselves under the same health care plan they’re busily cobbling together for the rest of us.

- That has brought us, in my memory, the Savings and Loan crisis, the Keating Five, endless earmarks, pork by the barrel, ever increasing deficits, the mismanagement and lack of control over the costs of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Amtrak, the Post Office, etc., etc.

- And, whose long-standing record of questionable behavior, shady doings, and sweetheart deals has changed the meaning of the words “contempt of congress” from a legal term to a dead-on description of a very strongly held public sentiment.

I could go on, but the thought of this crowd of preening poohbahs demanding another apology was questionable at best and poorly played political theater at worst. Poorly played theater because it was simply designed to distract us poor yahoos from the more urgent matters at hand.

Representative Wilson acted like an ill-mannered boor and apologized for his behavior. The only better outcome would’ve been if the whole incident had never happened

As for the “resolution of disapproval,” well, again, consider the source.

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.


Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2009 by Larry Simoneaux
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