Rep. Joe Wilson apologizes after shouting at Obama as he talked about insuring illegals. | VIDEO | FULL TEXT
Notice the wording they choose:
"...as he talked about insuring illegals."
So not only is Fox News fueling the effort to make Wilson a right-wing folk hero, they're also giving the impression that Obama said the exact opposite of what he actually said. Some news outlet.
The president took important time out of his speech to debunk the actual lies that opponents of health care reform have been using to try to derail the whole process. First he addressed the Republican lie that health reform will "set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens." Then he said:
"Now, 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."
That's when Rep. Joe Wilson interrupted the speech, before the highest assembly of our government, by yelling out and calling the president a liar.
Let's face it, the president was kicking ass at that point in the speech. He had already laid out his own vision for reform, and now he was peeling back the layers of lies one by one. Obama has a way of making his fiercest opponents seem pretty small and petty--and rightly so. I wonder if at that moment the Republicans sitting in the chamber felt like things were slipping away from them. After all, the lies are important to Republican prospects for regaining power. "Death panels." "Tax-payer-funded, forced abortions." "Free health care for all 'illegals.'" If the president stands before the American people and exposes each lie for what it is, he also exposes the liars for what they are: members of a desperate, vitriolic, and shrinking party. I wonder if some of the Republicans thought, in terror, "Oh my God, he is actually going to pass sweeping health care reform. This is going to be like Social Security and Medicare. People are going to love it, and it's going to permanently shift the country toward the left, as people realize that government in the peoples' hands can actually solve big problems."
Whatever they were thinking, it was too much pain for old Joe Wilson from South Carolina, so he shouted out, "You lie!" Maybe he was actually shouting at the voices in his head, constantly whispering about death panels, abortions, and "the illegals." I don't know. But this is what the Republican Party has become--shameless, devoid of good will, untethered from reality, possibly schizophrenic.
Remember this moment. This is what it looks like when progress is on the march. Powerful moneyed interests and their representatives in government will always oppose any major step forward for ordinary Americans. But when they are this ridiculous and this desperate, it means we are about to win one.