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The Obama Health Care Address: First Thoughts



President Obama urged Congress to end the "partisan spectacle" and act quickly on a health-care reform bill. (Toni L. Sandys/TWP)

President Obama just delivered a 50-minute address to a joint session of Congress, a speech he and his administration saw as perhaps their last chance to regain the offensive on the health care debate.

We live tweeted the proceedings but also took away a few broader thoughts. They are below.

A caveat: The speech has just ended. The debate over what he said and how he said it, which will play a role in how it is ultimately received, has just begun.

Have thoughts of your own on the speech? Offer them in the comments section below.

The Confronter-in-Chief: For those -- particularly on the liberal left -- who criticized the president for not being aggressive enough in responding to the misinformation being peddled about the plan, this speech was for you. Obama repeatedly spoke in blunt language about what he termed "distortions" and "lies" being spread about what his plan would -- and wouldn't -- do. "If you misrepresent what is in this plan, we will call you out," the president warned in the speech's closing minutes. The simple fact is for health care reform to pass, the White House needs a fired up liberal base to pressure lawmakers to vote for it. The confrontational elements of this speech -- and there were many -- were designed to get the base excited again and ready them for the final fight to come.

The Orator-In-Chief: Obama proved time and again during the campaign that he has a way with words. While most of the speech was purposely prose not poetry, Obama drew on his rhetorical gifts in the closing moments of the address -- particularly in describing the letter the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (Mass.) sent to the White House in his dying days -- to remind lawmakers (and the American public) of their better angels. "We did not come here to fear the future," Obama said in his closing remark. "We came here to shape it." The close was, without doubt, the strongest moment of the speech for Obama. Was it a mistake to leave it for the end when viewership was undoubtedly dropping off? Maybe. But remember that clips from the speech will be played wall-to-wall on the networks and the cables over the next 24 hours so anyone who missed it will be sure to catch it on the re-run.

Republicans' Audio-Visual Problem: It's always a mistake to assume that the only thing viewers take from a nationally televised speech is the words the president is using. If so, the White House could simply release the remarks and be done with it. Visuals (and audio) matter. And, the two most compelling pieces of audio-visual that came out of tonight's speech -- House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) checking his blackberry and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouting "you lie" at Obama -- don't work in Republicans' favor. Remember that while the American public is not sold on Obama's health care plan, overwhelming majorities say they favor the two sides working together to solve the nation's problems. The more Republicans look like they are opposing the Democratic plan for partisan reasons, the more danger they are in politically.

Specifics-Light: Knowing that everyone was waiting to hear what the Obama plan on health care was specifically, the President did lay out some basic planks that he thought should be in a bill. (The public option was not one of them although the president did say he would "not back down on the basic principle that if Americans cannot find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice." Obama drew derisive laughter when he acknowledged that "there remains some significant details to be ironed out" with the plan and, as always when dealing with Congress the devil is in the details.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 9, 2009; 9:27 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Next: Morning Fix: First (and Second) Thoughts on Obama Address

Comments

cblanch823 wrote: "How enlightening LNSmithee. I'm sure you have been waiting years to talk about Joe Wilson and here was your big chance.

Never mind that there weren't actually any WMD in Iraq after we were assured that Dick Cheney knew where they were. Somehow I guess that small point escaped your notice."

Here's something that escaped YOUR notice: Joe Wilson -- that is, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame -- thought there were WMD's too.

Don't believe me? Believe Wilson himself, who said so in an interview with WABC radio's Mark Simone, captured at http://home.comcast.net/~itsjustdan/wilson.mp3

Enjoy your crow.

Posted by: LNSmithee | September 10, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

UNIVERSAL SINGLE PAYER is the only thing that will save money and lives. "Health insurance reform" are just ugly words. If folks at the national level are too chicken to do this, give us a state waiver/option to whatever the national plan will be. We can change this system as Canada did, "One state (province) at a time".

Posted by: wwdmvician | September 10, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

robjen116 unbelievably wrote:

"When a US Congressman takes it upon himself to bring shame to his office, his party, Congress, his family, his state and the people of America, it is evident that the extremists have lost touch with their responsibilites."

Uh huh. And yet, Charles Rangel, serial tax cheat and self-confessed ignoramus regarding U.S. tax codes, is still in charge of the House committee that decides what is done with our taxes.

Who lets him stay in his role as the weasel guarding the henhouse? The woman sitting to Obama's left last night, Nancy Pelosi. Why does she tolerate Rangel's corruption? Probably because nobody else who would replace him is sleazy enough to dance to her tune.

robjen116 further wrote: "What a desperate embarrassment was visited upon us in the eyes of the world. No apology can negate the harm done by Rep. Wilson from S. Carolina."

HA! If I had a buck for everyone around the world who thought this was some sort of overwhelmingly tragic unforgivable embarrassment, I couldn't buy a latte at Starbucks.

We've recently witnessed the spectacle of leftward people saying Ted Kennedy's service as a legislator was sufficient to absolve him for the abandonment, drowning, and cover-up of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne (Google the name, kids!). Wilson's violation of Congressional etiquette didn't put anybody six feet under, yet people like robjen are tearing their hair out. What a drama queen!

Posted by: LNSmithee | September 10, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans should give Joe Wilson a medal for telling it like it is and having the guts to call Communist Barack Obama exactly what he is. Way to go Joe!!!

Posted by: armpeg | September 10, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought President Obama's address was clear and explained how it would effect each of us. The representative from South Carolina was disrespectful and rude. And so was the guy up front on his blackberry. At first, I thought it was a drunk or mentally ill person yelling out.

Posted by: mcj1 | September 10, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

vasco44, compare tuition at W&M with any equivalent private college. If you are in-state, you are absolutely and heavily subsidized; if you are out-of state, you are still substantially benefiting from the heavy public subsidy. And despite your reference to the 10th Amendment, conservatives do not make the distinction that only federal power is bad. Nor do they argue that we should leave UVa alone but privatize West Point.

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The behavior displayed during the President's address to Congress is indicative of how far we've fallen as a nation and an ethical people. When a US Congressman takes it upon himself to bring shame to his office, his party, Congress, his family, his state and the people of America, it is evident that the extremists have lost touch with their responsibilites. What a desperate embarrassment was visited upon us in the eyes of the world. No apology can negate the harm done by Rep. Wilson from S. Carolina. The state government has asked the governor to resign; how about Wilson going too?

Posted by: robjen116 | September 10, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The behavior displayed during the President's address to Congress is indicative of how far we've fallen as a nation and an ethical people. When a US Congressman takes it upon himself to bring shame to his office, his party, Congress, his family, his state and the people of America, it is evident that the extremists have lost touch with their responsibilites. What a desperate embarrassment was visited upon us in the eyes of the world. No apology can negate the harm done by Rep. Wilson from S. Carolina. The state government has asked the governor to resign; how about Wilson going too?

Posted by: robjen116 | September 10, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Not only was Mr. Wilson's behavior abhorrent but the whole Republican Conservatives were. It was obvious that they do not want bipartisanship as they sat motionless. They only want their way, period. What has become of respect, honor, dignity and compromise? The extreme right in this country has finally stated enough lies long enough for many to start believing in them, even those who started them. How sad!

Posted by: cpbis | September 10, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Who are these conservative posters?

Like their representatives in Congress, they'd all rather lie and smirk than think and work.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 10, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

How enlightening LNSmithee. I'm sure you have been waiting years to talk about Joe Wilson and here was your big chance.

Never mind that there weren't actually any WMD in Iraq after we were assured that Dick Cheney knew where they were. Somehow I guess that small point escaped your notice.

Posted by: cblanch823 | September 10, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

For the record: Cindy Sheehan did not *vocally* disrupt George W. Bush's 2006 SOTU address.

Sheehan, who had been arrested previously in a demonstration sponsored by crypto-socialist "peace" organization Code Pink, was the invitee of far-left Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of Marin County, CA (who is IMHO the dumbest member of Congress bar none). Sheehan was escorted out of the chambers (before the President arrived) after she unveiled a T-shirt with a running count of the number of U.S. soldiers dead in the Iraq War.

Code Pink members often pull stunts like stripping down to pink underwear and charging stages where Republicans speak, often distracting the Secret Service. It made perfect sense to deny her attendance.

To all of you who are outraged by Rep. Wilson's actions: Raise your hands if you have been captured on the Internet for the record being bothered by the Code Pinkos.

Hmmmm...so few hands!

Posted by: LNSmithee | September 10, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Well! It's nice to see Americans finally getting the message that Joe Wilson is a disgrace.

Too bad it's the wrong "Joe Wilson" being discussed. The one I'm talking about is Ambassador Joe Wilson, the one that tried to sabotage the Iraq War effort, lying about having proved Saddam Hussein wasn't interested in obtaining uranium.

(Before you call me a liar about that, Google "A little literary flair" and read the results.)

Regarding Rep Joe Wilson: Yeah, it was wrong what he did. But minutes later, BHO said that if false statements were made, "We will call you out." Wilson just beat him to the punch.

Posted by: LNSmithee | September 10, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote:
"Cindy Sheehan disrupted Bush's State of the Union"
See jake, this is the problem w/republicans. THEY LIE! Sheehan wore a T-Shirt that was objectionable to true Busies. As a result, she was removed from her seat, arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.
W was not yet in the building, hence - no disruption. You can get back to us and acknowledge your mistake or you can decide that you were caught in a lie so you need not respond.

Posted by: coach777b | September 10, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

How does anyone know if Rep Cantor received any grants or scholarships from the state to go to W&M. My daughter attended a public college but I paid all of her tution and living expenses. She did not qualify becuse I earned too much. So unless you know his situation for certain aren't you just assuming that you know what you are talking about?

Posted by: vasco44 | September 10, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

nodebris there is a problem with your UVA example. UVA is a state run entity not a all knowing federal entity desiring an individuals fate. The conservatives can reconcile with public higher education since its state run. Apparently you missed the 10th Ammendement to the constitution.

Posted by: vasco44 | September 10, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Assuming Wikipedia is correct, then it would also be correct to say Mr. Cantor earned his law degree at the publicly supported William and Mary Law School.

Posted by: blaneyboy | September 10, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Wikipedia claims that Eric Cantor "received his Juris Doctor from William & Mary Law School (1988)."

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Excellent points, nodebris!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I'd be particularly interested in Mr. Cantor's position, since I believe he benefited from a publicly subsidized UVA law degree.

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama drew a nice parallel between a public insurance option and a public education option.

Current GOP rhetoric would lead me to believe that the VA GOP would be in favor of closing or privatizing W&M, UVA, and Tech, despite the fact that Jefferson explicitly founded UVA as a public university. GOP rhetoric explicitly states that public efforts in any field are always ineffective and destroy superior private efforts; such public initiatives are merely socialist, perhaps communist, and possibly also somehow Nazi.

Would someone from the VA GOP like to reconcile their party's rhetoric regarding medical care with the current status of public higher education in Virginia? What does Mr. Cantor believe regarding this apparent philosophical contradiction in his strongly advocated positions?

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

This is not a liberal or conservative issue, but an open plug that could drain our economy to everyone's detriment. Read the current issue of Atlantic to get an idea of the real problem here. Healthcare is the only industry that has not been functioning as a real market economy, and we are all paying the price. Any of Washington's reforms are only stop-gaps on the way to what we really need. If more of us could objectively look at the problem, we might have a chance to make meaningful, helpful changes, but we are all too anxious to fall back on knee-jerk partisan responses, encouraged by large vested interests and abetted by the press.

Posted by: xrmstartup | September 10, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

The comment I teed off on was "You have no idea how screwed the next generation will be by the reckless spending of this and pretty much all previous administrations of the past 40 years."

In truth, we had a very handy stalemate for 6 years. The combination of a Democratic president, a third party candidate focused on deficits, and a Republican Congress kept spending in check and allowed natural growth of the economy to reduce the relative debt ratio. Until the recent financial scare, debt to GDP ratio was quite manageable. Even the Bush II deficits were manageable relative to GDP and justifiable initially.

Yes, I understand balance sheets, current account balance and other economic and financial terms. The holy gold standard is something that escapes me. Value invested in a metal because it's pretty and malleable strikes me as, well, irrational.

Incidentally, Joe Wilson apologized for his outburst. And was denounced by John McCain and Lindsay Graham among other Republicans. I have to say that my respect for LG is rising rapidly. He has shown that you can disagree without being disagreeable. I think he was also the most effective questioner of Justice (hah!) Sotomayor.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 10, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade - To put things more simply: Our monetary policy guarantees the eventual financial ruination of our entitlement programs. We expect monetary miracles from our entitlement programs, simply because some economic theorist says "we can do it!" No, we can't - not at this scale. It does not scale. The health care bill does not scale - it will be a net loss, then it will be gone before my daughter gets to college. This is not some emotional response. This is the pure, brutal cost of banking and finance in the realm of unbacked currency. It always ends with the same economic symptoms we are seeing right now. Government is broke, and our borrowing got us there.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 10, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone think that an elected representative should be held to a higher standard of behavior than an unelected, independent activist?

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade - To put things more simply: Our monetary policy guarantees the eventual financial ruination of our entitlement programs. We expect monetary miracles from our entitlement programs, simply because some economic theorist says "we can do it!" No, we can't - not at this scale. It does not scale. The health care bill does not scale - it will be a net loss, then it will be gone before my daughter gets to college. This is not some emotional response. This is the pure, brutal cost of banking and finance in the realm of unbacked currency. It always ends with the same economic symptoms we are seeing right now. Government is broke, and our borrowing got us there.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 10, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

nodebris:

good thing getting banned for name-calling doesn't mean you can't simply come back under a new login name. I also never said I wouldn't ask you questions. DDAWD is the one with an "ignore" list.

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

For the record, I'm always willing to answer a question from anyone who isn't a psychotic, obsessive-compulsive racist troll without an ounce of integrity. For the record.

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

That would be the response by the American traitor, would-be British Lord Boustany?
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0909/Title_search.html

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Federal funding of abortion SHOULD be in the plan -- rather than being spoken of as an evil to be denied, Obama could have acknowledged as a legal, often necessary medical procedure. Talk about pandering and selling out your supporters -- Shame...

Posted by: esthermiriam | September 10, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, it's true. Obama has lost all credibility. He's lied and changed positions too many times. He was unqualified and remains unqualified to be President. He's toast.

Hillary 2012.

Posted by: TAH1"

Oh, dear god.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 10, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Federal funding of abortion SHOULD be in the plan -- rather than being spoken of as an evil to be denied, Obama could have acknowledged as a legal, often necessary medical procedure. Talk about pandering and selling out your supporters -- Shame...

Posted by: esthermiriam | September 10, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

Did you denounce ANY disruption to Bush, yes or no? The shoes being thrown? The hand grenade?

No, I didn't think so.

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Republican teabaggers are tyrannical extremists.

The VAST majority of Americans are appalled at their cretin behavior.

Posted by: kkord1 | September 10, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade,

The CPI is a farce. It does not take into account how many dollars in debt are in the big picture. This is key. What does CPI mean if there was a dollar panic? You think that can't happen here?

Did I say anything bad about Clinton balancing the operating budget? I tip my hat to him for that. But unfortunately those 8 years featured the same dollar-denominated debt/inflation that is now starting to demand remittance. Clinton, like Bush before (and since,) like Reagan, all approve of the shady finance market method of federal finance.

The Fed took away the M3 statistic in 2006. This is practically an announcement that the dollar is hyperinflated, and the very last M3 clearly showed the startling upward curve of the securities-based dollar bath.

No, liberals do not understand, and it seems most conservatives don't either. Your assertion that the Clinton years were fiscally prudent is completely ignorant of currency inflation and its eventual conclusion.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 10, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

I hate it when trolls who swear they won't ever answer my questions ask me questions, don't you all?

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

The 5 minute GOP response was much better.

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

I mean, the GOP holds their elected representatives like Rep. Wilson to the same strict standards that apply to their non-elected fringe activists. It's a point of pride on that side of the isle that their elected officials can be just as rude as any lunatic off the street. All their anonymous compulsive internet posters approve, so it must be ok.

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Excellent work, FairlingtonBlade!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

nodebris:

Did YOU denounce Cindy Sheehan?

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Cindy Sheehan wore a T-shirt. And was removed prior to the arrival of Bush. And is not a member of Congress. Ah, facts. Such a hard thing to handle for some...

BB

---

By LAURIE KELLMAN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq who reinvigorated the anti-war movement, was arrested and removed from the House gallery Tuesday night just before President Bush’s State of the Union address, a police spokeswoman said.

Sheehan, who had been invited to attend the speech by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., was charged with demonstrating in the Capitol building, a misdemeanor, said Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. Sheehan was taken in handcuffs to police headquarters a few blocks away and her case was processed as Bush spoke.

Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 10, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

BB, the GOP elects their fringe nuts, so they get confused by the idea that you might have an activist who doesn't actually represent the party establishment.

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

armpeg, the paragraph is your friend. If you want others to read what you write, use it.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

Cindy Sheehan disrupted Bush's State of the Union (I never said she was a Congresswoman). Did you denounce that too?

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Did you check out Boehner's face? Very unappealing.

Nice touch bringing up public vs private education. Hey, Virginia voters, should we abolish or privatize UVA, Tech, and W&M? Because they are destroying private schools in the state, which are better than these socialist public schools. That's according to GOP economic theory, any way. I don't know why that dang commie Jefferson insisted on UVA being public . . .

Posted by: nodebris | September 10, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

The loonies are out in force tonight. Patrick4 seems incapable of reading the consumer price index (ya know, that part where prices *declined* over the last year?) Or in noting the last administration where there was a surplus (hint: it wasn't a Republican). Callie seems incapable of spelling, let alone putting together a coherent thought.

And then, when was Cindy Sheehan elected to Congress?

Same-O, same-O.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 10, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

There is no healthcare "crisis." The changes that should be made can be done with rather modest legislation. If Obama's immodest plan is so good, the politicians ought to be forced to enroll in it -- no special treatment for them; they are not a special class of rulers. Obama makes no mention of lawsuit reform, which is necessary to keep down healthcare costs . . . so who's playing politics with healthcare reform?

Posted by: tdstds | September 10, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Obama's Voodoo Health Care BS speech was laughable at best, and only a total moron could possible believe any of it (it's not surprising that the liberals here loved it, because these ahole lemmings will believe anything). The bottom line is that his "Plan" is re-washed Communism, with lots of outright lies, distortions, and promises--i e "something for nothing" (Hugo Chavez is doing the same thing in Venezuela). "The Obama Plan" basically is a total takeover of the entire private healthcare industry because they'll get driven out of business (no one can compete against a Communist government with money up the yazoo, and unlimited powers that the private companies can't possibly match). But then that's Obama's and the Democrap Socialist Parties plan anyway, taking over everything to reshape our government into a George Orwell's 1984 one. Lemme see now. Obama's taken over the workers unions; the insurance companies; the banks; the mortgage companies like Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and 2 of the 3 Big Auto companies. He's got the MSM, the trial lawyers, and all the minorities and homosexuals in his hip--pocket. He fired the GMC Chief Wagoner, and replaced him with his guy, as well as put a couple of union goons on their Board of Directors with equal votes on all decision making. In turn the union goons act as his gestapo to beat up anybody who squacks or demonstrates, and/or disrupts any meetings that Comrade Obama doesn't like. He ordered Chrysler to accept the buyout from Fiat. Next up for consiteration--according to Marc Levin of the Landmark Legal Foundation, who mentioned it on his show a couple of days ago--is a Auto Workers "Union Plan" for the US taxpayers to pick up 80% of the tab of the Big 3 Auto Workers Health Care bill that they aggreed to in their last contract with the Big 3 Auto Companies (Comrade Obama I'm sure will pass that one to keep his union goons happy). He's printing money so fast that even the Chinese government is "alarmed" and has warned him about it that it'll cause massive inflation, and that they'll dump our dollars for other currencies. He's driven up our deficit to almost 3 times of what it was under Pres. G.W. Bush, even though this ahole used the "deficit problem" as a campaign issue. He's planning a "Fairness Doctrine" to squelch freedom of speech, so no one can say or print anything that he thinks is negative and not nice, and would hurt his feelings. He's planning a mis-named "Freedom of Choice" plan that will force the American working people to join a union (OR ELSE!) In January of 2010 he plans to NOT renew Bush's tax cuts, which will increase the taxes of all American working people and businesses, and will cause higher costs on all products and services, and also more unemployment. It sure as h*** looks like we Americans can kiss our Constitution and Bill of Rights good-bye. George Orwell predicted it.

Posted by: armpeg | September 10, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's true. Obama has lost all credibility. He's lied and changed positions too many times. He was unqualified and remains unqualified to be President. He's toast.

Hillary 2012.

Posted by: TAH1 | September 10, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Obama has lost that which made him special: credibility. He makes too many unsupportable and internally inconsistent claims. Once one's credibility is gone, it's gone forever.

Posted by: tdstds | September 10, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Where was Joe Wilson's truth-o-meter when George Bush was parroting the Cheney-Rumsfeld lies about a Saddam-Osama alliance?

Posted by: Cossackathon | September 9, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Liberals do not seem to understand the finance part of progressive politics. All the "We can do it!" "Hope!" and "Change!" depends entirely on the same finance markets that give us hyperinflation of the dollar. All progressive dreams - at the national level - rely upon Enron-style painting of the tape. It is all debt-denominated money. The debt will overwhelm all of our entitlement programs eventually, and more programs like a health care "czar" only speed the process.

The next generation will wonder how on earth we ever expected to be able to provide this for them. They will wonder, "didn't our parents realize the government was broke and heavily in debt?" Our kids are going to be MUCH wiser than us.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I would only ever support a Washington program if it can be paid for with honest money. But that has not happened since the early 20th century. "Honest" money is value, not debt. Our government is in such great debt that this whole debate reeks of farce to me.

Both parties got us in this mess, but you will not see the back-slapping and drinks-sharing that happens after the on-the-floor yelling at each other. These people are only taking care of themselves. They are political lifers. They are Washington and they will do anything to keep the music playing.

Both parties got us into this mess. Every time I've read an argument attempting to blame one over the other, I find points both laughable and absurd. Both parties got us into this mess.

National level politics in this country is a disgrace. We need to send them home, humble our federal government and focus on community development and care - where you actually have a voice.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

drindl
JEEZUS -- what misbegotten hellish link has spawned all this weirdness? where did all these folks lacking important chromosomes come from?

Maybe their mothers dropped them on their pointy little heads when they were young, and their families didn't have health insurance for them to receive proper medical care.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

drindl,

That is totally untrue. If you believe our trillions-in-debt, with no end in sight, government is what's keeping us all from serfdom, think again.

In fact, read The Road To Serfdom by that *other* Nobel economist who is poison to politicians, F.A. Hayek. The book does an excellent job explaining just how the loose monetary policies of the massive government/corporate structure create the nation of serfs you speak of. In short: Inflation is all you need. And that is all we get from Washington, no matter the (D)s or (R)s in charge. Inflation is how they operate, and inflation is what is sucking the value out of the working class' hard earned money.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Rep Wilson should never have shouted out during his speech, but he was telling the truth Obama was lying throat his teeth, Obama has no intention of not keeping the illegal from having coverage also the Republicans wrote a letter of request to Obama on August 14 to see Obama about some proposals they had toward the Health Care Bill, Obama never called them or acknowledged their request in any way. SO MUCH FOR THE OPEN DOOR POLICY. You wonder how I know I watch Cspan all the time.
When Obama first started his speech I thought well he finally got it, (he actually got it) he was talking like a President, strong and he was saying what most people have been saying all summer. Then he turned around and started the same old things, he started to pick on people, threaten (I will call you OUT) them. Calling people that have opposed the Health Care Bill UN American, Bull, I did not like the way the Bill Read (yes I read the whole thing) Had to call my friend a lawyer several times to understand parts of it. Obama had not read it & said so on live TV while he was trying to push it down our throat,
He talks about scare tactics and blames it on Republicans, but before Congress & on national TV he Vilified the Republicans by calling them liars, and he did not mention the fact that the White House paid to have the Union thugs & Acorn Bused in to intimidated the people that assembled at the Town Hall Meetings, or how at first the Democrats would not let anyone in that had not been invited to the meetings and they had instructions on how to isolate the press from the people that was out front of the meetings.
He says the time for Bickering is over but he keeps telling us that there is a lot of details to work out, what have the gang of 6 been doing for 8 months. They have no more information now on what Obama wants them to do than they did 8 months ago.
I am a Democrat & for a while I thought Obama was going to make a wonderful President now I’m afraid he is turning out to be just another big spender that does not care what we the people want or need, just what he wants.

Posted by: wildfire1946 | September 9, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The New Deal created the middle class. Without it, we would have remained a nearly feudal society, with excesses of wealth and poverty, and nothing in between.

It's a sad commentary that the serfs want to remain that way.

Posted by: drindl | September 9, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

The only thing about your First Thoughts I might take issue with is what you termed 'derisive laughter'.

Perhaps I haven't grasped properly the 'mood' of the Congress, but it seemed to me that they were laughing 'with' the Pres., not 'at' his (implied) simplistic acknowledgement that details needed to be worked out.

Could we perhaps agree on 'rueful'?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | September 9, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

"Americans tonight are suffering pre-traumatic hemorrhoid disorder, knowing Barack Obama’s government is about to rape their wallets, destroy their wages, and forcing government healthcare down our throats."

I mean, seriously, what is wrong with people like this? What rock do they crawl out from under? How did they get this damaged?

Posted by: drindl | September 9, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Passing health care will end up looking in the future a lot like the New Deal: A few success stories writ large, while the brutal truth is that the Depression lasted at least 5 years longer than it should have.

Typical Washington "success" - a few great stories, a net loss for most. This will be health care reform.

Our health care issues are local in nature, not national in scale, folks.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

JEEZUS -- what misbegotten hellish link has spawned all this weirdness? where did all these folks lacking important chromosomes come from?

Posted by: drindl | September 9, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

It would have been great to see real healthcare reform. Clearly now that will not happen in my lifetime. There will be some improvement in access, but without a single-payer system, or even a public option for competition, even more money will flow into the rip-off health insurance companies' deep pockets. Healthcare costs will continue to raise rapidly. Much of our crazy quilt "system" will continue to be"employer-based", for no logical economic reason - just that it's easier not to change it. I'm sure Obama feels that he did his best with what (& who) he had to work with - a congress bought and paid for by the insurance industry, and a "loyal opposition" bent only on his destruction. And maybe he really did do as well as anyone could have done under the circumstances. I'll leave it there.

Posted by: Jihm | September 9, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

In the name of civility toward South Carolinians, I'd like to point out that Fritz Hollings seemed gentlemanly. Oh wait, he's a Democrat.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

There is so much stupid out there it is almost too painful to record. Just these nutty non-existent conspiracies that nobody can even decode;


"Why is MSNBC even putting people like this on TV? Dr. Nancy was dumbfounded by what this teabagger had to say about Obama's back to school speech and lesson plans in general.

Nancy: Have you changed your mind since hearing the president today?

Teabagger: No I haven't. I thought the speech was OK, we never really had a problem with the content of the speech. It was always about the lesson plans.

Nancy: And what's the problem with the lesson plans, that the idea is to stay in school and do your work and not let adversity keep you down?

Teabagger: Well, actually the lesson plans as they're presented are actually illegal under the protection of People's Rights

Nancy: But what's your problem with the message?

Teabagger: Well like I said, there is no problem with the message it's the lessons plans that encourages students to reveal personal information about themselves by participating in the lessons that the teachers are putting forth for them and that's illegal....

Nancy: But I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about. No one asked for personal information as far as I understand and the lesson plans really went along with the bulk of the speech.

Teabagger: When the teachers ask in a questionnaires or they encourage the students to reveal information about their goals that delves into the psyche of the children and under code 34 of the federal regulations that's illegal.

Nancy: You must be kidding me. Do you not want kids to be talking about what they want to be when they grow up"

Posted by: drindl | September 9, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

-pamela,

Medicare is a great program until you look at the fact that it is losing money every day, and will be broke before my daughter goes to college.

It is sad, because we are led on by politicians with this "we can do it!" attitude, but they are being dishonest about the FINANCE.

All the golden progressive talk of the 60s and beyond relies on the finance markets. The dreams rely on the same paper-trading shenanigans that gave us the credit default swap. The dreams rely upon *unlimited credit*, which is another way of saying - we can always print the money we need.

This is absurd. We need at least $9 TRILLION invested in the Treasury TODAY if the next generation is going to have any Medicare benefits.

Yes, Medicare is a wonderful program - while it lasts. It cannot last because it is not designed to. The financing of Progress will kill Progress. This happens in every country that resorts to such a loose monetary standard as we have today.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Passing this legislation will result in many great success stories, but the NET result will be failure and destitution. In short order. We do not produce enough value to back our dollars, yet will borrow to create a health czar office? Shame on all of you. You have no idea how screwed the next generation will be by the reckless spending of this and pretty much all previous administrations of the past 40 years. You have allowed politicians to convince you that Washington actually does things right. Do they? Name one thing that Washington does right. Now try to name anything they can do *without borrowing the money*.

Washington does not understand money or cost-efficiency. These are politicians. They do not get it. Can we wake up and see this with clear vision, hopefully soon?

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

What naysayers need to remember is the dictum of Tom "The Hammer" DeLay when he was such a force in the House, except now it applies for the Democrats: You only need 50% + 1 vote in order to pass a bill. The people that President Obama was trying to influence with tonight's speech were Democratic Representatives and Senators who might be wavering, and I'm guessing his speech may well have succeeded in supplying those 50% + 1 votes in both the House and Senate.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Patrick, Medicare, in spite of some faults, is a pretty good program. Washington got that right.

So, if God forbid, you get hit by a bus tomorrow, and spend a few weeks in intensive care, followed by months in rehab, and you don't have insurance, what do you think should happen? Does the hospital give you charity care (which is subsidized by my insurance company)? Does the ambulance just leave you by the side of the road? Should your family be bankrupted to pay for your care? Heck, maybe you can sue the bus company.

Posted by: -pamela | September 9, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an inspiring and eloquent speaker - of this there is no doubt. He is also a true leader - no argument there.

The problem is that he is the President, and Washington doesn't do anything right. Ever. Pack the entire government with Democrats if you really want to prove this once and for all. Please... I need liberals to finally wake up and realize their efforts are most effective at the local level.

Our federal government was not designed to run everything under the sun. It is neglecting the only two jobs it needs to do well: Protect us and watch the damn money supply.

Liberals, I love ya, but please wake up, and give up on Washington/Hope/Change... it never happens, and it never will. Change your community and stop worrying about people you know nothing about 2,000 miles away.

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama's right. Damn the obstructionists -- full speed ahead!!!!! Democrats need to play hardball on this life and death issue. Thousands of American lives are lost every year -- people who cannot afford health care coverage. Lies on health care coverage must be immediately and loudly confronted -- along with the liars themselves. Democrats in the House and Senate who think it may be easier to take cover and duck the tough issues need to understand their political future is on the line and we won't forget or forgive their failure.

Republican's who almost unanimously have chosen to try to obstruct health care reform rather than work to perfect it and build a bipartisan consensus prove they are unworthy of their office and provide yet another in a long list of reasons to never vote for a Republican.

Posted by: bob7e | September 9, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

President Obama did an excellent job of explaining what he will and won't accept in a health care reform bill. Now it's up to congress to get it done.

Judging from the looks on the faces of the Greed Over Patriotism members, my guess is that the ongoing campaign of lies, fear mongering, hatred, etc. are not over. It was pretty entertaining to watch the flushes creep up their necks to their foreheads as President Obama began addressing the falsehoods that they have been spreading.

They say in the South: "A hurt dog will howl." I saw a good example of that tonight from South Carolina.

Posted by: MET9 | September 9, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't have health insurance, and cannot afford expensive care, and yet I will not support Washington intervention into health care. Why? Because they will screw it up.

They will screw this up, people. Where on Earth do you get the impression otherwise? Creating a health "czar" and the attendant power structure alone will waste billions annually.

Put another way: Creating and maintaining yet another cabinet-level institution for running health care will destroy any hope of cost efficiency with health care. It is that simple, and this is all we see from cabinet-level offices.

Cabinet-level offices are a waste of money and time, and are a NET LOSS for society.

I would much rather take my chances than give up more of my income (not to mention the buying power of my remaining dollars) to the permanently corrupt Washington government.

Washington never gets it right. When will you learn?

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

South Carolina is where the Civil War started.
Also, a senator/representative form South carolina attacked the senator/rep from mass. in the months leading upto the Civil War.
South Carolina was the state where people received call letting them know John McCain has a bi-racial child.
Someone in South Carolina compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla.
etc, etc

Posted by: edlharris | September 9, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Callie - it might interest you to know that demographics (that means things like age, sex, race in case you don't know) show that the majority of Democrats have college degrees and the majority of those without college degrees are Republicans. So who's the drop out now? And FYI, I have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree.

Posted by: Nev827 | September 9, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Do all you jackass republicans REALLY want insurance coverage denied to people for pre-existing conditions???

Posted by: jeffc6578 | September 9, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"Good thing I'm not in Congress, or the "visual" would have been me standing with my back to pResident Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 9:41 PM"


Then your namesake part would be facing him.


Posted by: gitouttahere | September 9, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama sounded level headed, bold and well focused. Bravo for him, it's like having TR back. I'm thankful Obama is our leader and that he is a moderate person--I could care less if he is a Dem or Republican or Socialist or whatever. He has a good head, moderate temperament and lots of game. A lesser man could not handle the enormous job of being CIC.

I am also proud of my GOP senator, Olympia Snow. Like Obama she is thoughtful and level headed. She may not agree with Obama on all things, but she is working with the elected president for good governance. That is why she is so loved and well respected here in the great state of Maine. Dirigo! Now, it would be nice if others in the GOP followed her lead.

Posted by: protagoras | September 9, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Washington can work together all they want to "fix" health care, but it won't be a good plan for most.

This is not about Republicans or Democrats. This is Washington taking more power - quite literally telling us we need a "czar" for everything.

Why do we need a "czar" for everything? What examples here or abroad prove that massive centralization ever works?

Why centralize? What makes enormous bureaucracies better than a diverse and imperfect system? Do we honestly think that Washington can do a better job?

There is no going back once you give D.C. power over something, and yet we rush ahead... there is no going back once you give power to an ultimate authority!

Posted by: patrick4 | September 9, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"""Good thing I'm not in Congress, or the "visual" would have been me standing with my back to pResident Obama."""


I would have been standing next to you but he would have been looking at the crack of my butt.

This golden tongue has a gift for spinning the a web of deceit, and yet he's not interested in bipartisanship if it dooes not fit his socialist agenda.

Posted by: justlookin | September 9, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Callie369-
Thanks for reinforcing the fact that republicans are only capable of name calling, and are basically classless people without solutions.
Are you from South Carolina too???

Posted by: jeffc6578 | September 9, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

As the president said...J O E...W I L S O N...I S...A ...L I A R...P A U L...B R O U N...I S...A ...L I A R...R U S H...L I M B A U G H...I S...A ...L I A R......J O E...W I L S O N...I S...A ...L I A R...P A U L...B R O U N...I S...A ...L I A R...R U S H...L I M B A U G H...I S...A ...L I A R......J O E...W I L S O N...I S...A ...L I A R...P A U L...B R O U N...I S...A ...L I A R...R U S H...L I M B A U G H...I S...A ...L I A R......J O E...W I L S O N...I S...A ...L I A R...P A U L...B R O U N...I S...A ...L I A R...R U S H...L I M B A U G H...I S...A ...L I A R......J O E...W I L S O N...I S...A ...L I A R...P A U L...B R O U N...I S...A ...L I A R...R U S H...L I M B A U G H...I S...A ...L I A R...

Posted by: ChipShirley | September 9, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Reading the drival written (here) by liberals, only reinforces the fact that the democrat party is made up of high school drop-outs, minorities, and illegal aliens (which many states allow to vote).

Sheeple, lead around by their noses waiting on their cradle to grave government care, because they are too lazy to take care of themselves and/or their families. The only thing they know to do, is attack the workers who pay the taxes to take care of them.

How about some suggestions on how to solve the problem? That's what I thought.....it would be too much for your pea-size brains.

Posted by: Callie369 | September 9, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson has discrased himself, the House of Representatives, the State of South Carolina and the Republican party. He should resign immediately, then do the honorable thing.

Posted by: stuffforjohn1 | September 9, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

LarryG62 you are the perfect example of the immature, classlessness with which the GOP has been operating lately - just throw nasty names around at the President and health care reform supporters, but don't propose any good, well-thought out ideas of your own. The party of "no".

By the way, can I get a show of hands for how many people who have commented already have actually read the plan? Or are those of you calling the President a liar just buying the lies and distortions that Rush Limbaugh and the GOP are putting out there without doing your own research?

Finally, let's all thank Rep. Wilson from SC for improving the Democrats' chances in the next election. Then again, what do you expect from someone representing a state where the Confederate flag still flies over the State House.

Posted by: Nev827 | September 9, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to know this new $900 billion dollar program wont cause any new taxes it can all be paid for with fees on insurance companies and waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid :-)


Posted by: cautious | September 9, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

It is now official: Republicans are scum.

If you vote with or for that party, you are scum by association.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | September 9, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mighty Messiah Obama:

We need your leadership, now more than ever, only you know what to do about Health Care. Please show us your bright future !!

Posted by: Phil6 | September 9, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Great speech. Should have been given it early July before the recess.
The President should issue a public invitation to Sara Pallin, as the former Republican Vice Presidential canidate to meet him privately in the White House armed only with that part of the Health care bill that authorizes her so called "death panels"

Posted by: prescam1 | September 9, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

It was a powerful speech on many levels. President Obama outlined core principles - covering the uninsured, security/fairness for those w/ insurance, reducing wasteful spending, etc. He also did two things long overdue - began to address malpractice reform and took on the fearmongers spreading lies and distortions. And, he made a moral case for health care reform - this too often is pushed aside. Obama is at his best when he challenges Americans to be better and do the right thing.

Posted by: -pamela | September 9, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Posters are stating that supporters for health-care reform is not talking about the speech, but concentrating on that nobody from South Carolina boorinsh remarks. President Obama took the best parts of the progressive-left, moderate-center, and the conservative-right. He is trying to make health-care work. I suggest a proposal that he did not espouse. If the Congress does not pass health-care reform in this session, then take away their health care and insurance. Many of these politicans who oppose the public option have been utilizing public tax dollars for years. Let them see how their government works if they are the ones not benefitting from the taxpayer's hard work.

Posted by: rogden71 | September 9, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Trying to count South Carolina's contributions to human civilisation. Let's see:
1. Slavery
2. Tobacco
3. Deranged, trashy politicians
4. ...

Er... little help?

Posted by: bourassa1 | September 9, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

for 8 years we were told that not only we have to listen to our president, we have to agree with him, otherwise it would be considered unpatriotic. What would those people say about Joe Wilson's behavior tonight?
Joe Wilson is an embarrassment to the state of South Carolina and to this country!

Posted by: sylv1 | September 9, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

There are 2 steps the congress should take immediately.

1. Tort reform (which they do not want because of the multi-millions given to the dem campaigns.

2. Lift the FEDERAL ban on purchasing insurance across state lines. It is the fault of the feds that in most states 1 insurance company controls 80%+ of the health care policies.

When this is done, let health care alone for a few years and let competition do its job.

For the 2% of those who honest to GOD cannot afford insurance, who make too much to qualify for medicaid, and are caught in a catch 22, give them tax credits (although they probably don't pay taxes anyway, just get the EIC)or vouchers.

Posted by: Callie369 | September 9, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad he called out the Republican liars. Don't forget, people are dying in this country in big numbers simply because they can't get health insurance or the insurance company cancels them when they get sick. These GOP don't care about them. People are dying and they don't care. People are losing their homes and everything they have and the GOP don't care. They lie about what is proposed to try to kill reform and keep the insurance company executives in their super high salaries and bonuses. Just today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota was caught giving out bogus bonus worth $15 million from premiums. That is who the GOP is protecting by trying to kill the reform with blatant lies.

Posted by: goldie2 | September 9, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama got what he needed: Republicans acting like the body orifice that Van Jones accurately used to describe them.

Posted by: DemoDevil | September 9, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Joe Wilson should resign immediately. I agree with other posters who said he was classless, beyond rude, an imbecile, and much worse. I lived in SC for 17 years and consider it my home state. I'm always personally embarrassed when SC politicians do stupid things like this. There should be a maturity test for someone to serve in Congress. Basically Wilson is white trash who happens to have a law degree.
His home address is in West Columbia, SC, where he probably grew up eating at Maurice Bessinger' restaurant. "In the 1950s and '60s, Maurice Bessinger was the head honcho of the National Assocation for the Preservation of White People. He was a strong and vocal opponent of desegregation, spoke out loudly against racial mixing, and refused to let blacks into the main dining room of his restaurant. He complains today that people have been treating him unfairly for his racist views. "What the blacks didn't realize," he said in an interview, "was that they got the best food, because their dining room was in the kitchen."
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x4398219

Posted by: Observer10 | September 9, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, supposedly those signs that a few Republicans were waving said "What Bill," although over the TV the "I" looked suspiciously like a "U." You don't imagine that was purely unintentional, now do you? Me neither.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

A republican move to censure Joe Wilson??
Don't hold your breath.
Don't you know it's OK to lie, cheat, steal, and heckle the president in a joint session of Congress if you call yourself a republican???

Posted by: jeffc6578 | September 9, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

And on a short note: Republicans don't matter on votes--it will all be Democrats (either the fiscally conservative ones or the extremely liberal ones) who decide this issue. Democrats are the only party with the votes to lose this.

Posted by: mil1 | September 9, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chisbama, where is the "plan" you keep writing about? Where can I download it? Have you read it?

Posted by: grohlik | September 9, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

liquid
Rep Wilson not only embarrassed his state and his party, he embarrassed our country with his actions. What an utter disgrace.

No kidding! And considering that South Carolina Governor Soul Mate is still hanging onto office by his toenails, it takes a lot to embarrass some of them. (Don't forget Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond's interracial love child, either).

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

There was someone carrying a sign in his lap about the size of a large sheet of paper. Did anyone catch that? NBC had a large blue strip at the bottom of the screen so I couldn't make it out.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 9, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

QUOTE: " Obama repeatedly spoke in blunt language about what he termed "distortions" and "lies" being spread about what his plan would -- and wouldn't -- do. "If you misrepresent what is in this plan, we will call you out," the president warned in the speech's closing minutes."

Obama told more "distortions" and "lies" tonight then any republian or talk show hosr could even think up.

OKAY OBAMA, I"M CALLING YOU OUT!!!!

As Erick Erickson put it,

"Americans tonight are suffering pre-traumatic hemorrhoid disorder, knowing Barack Obama’s government is about to rape their wallets, destroy their wages, and forcing government healthcare down our throats.

We were treated to a vainglorious, pompous a$$ playing politics with healthcare while accuses everyone else of playing politics."

Posted by: Callie369 | September 9, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

What a great speech! And how ugly of Rep. Wilson to scream out during the speech. The man showed no respect for the presidency or, consequently, his country.

Posted by: Peter20 | September 9, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

We are definitely in sad, sad territory when Gov. Mark Sanford is no longer the Biggest Loser from the political fold in South Carolina. Gov. Sanford must be thanking his lucky stars tonight that there is a politician from South Carolina who is hands-down even MORE asinine than Sanford. Surely he's shouting: Go Joe Wilson, Go!!

Posted by: JWAL1 | September 9, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

QUOTE: " Obama repeatedly spoke in blunt language about what he termed "distortions" and "lies" being spread about what his plan would -- and wouldn't -- do. "If you misrepresent what is in this plan, we will call you out," the president warned in the speech's closing minutes."

Obama told more "distortions" and "lies" tonight then any republian or talk show hosr could even think up.

OKAY OBAMA, I"M CALLING YOU OUT!!!!

As Erick Erickson put it,

"Americans tonight are suffering pre-traumatic hemorrhoid disorder, knowing Barack Obama’s government is about to rape their wallets, destroy their wages, and forcing government healthcare down our throats.

We were treated to a vainglorious, pompous a$$ playing politics with healthcare while accuses everyone else of playing politics."

Posted by: Callie369 | September 9, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson effectively represented the republicans tonight.
I'm not sure much else could have demonstrated to middle America how classless republicans have become.
Thanks, Joe.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | September 9, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Note the comments here are not on what the President said but a comment from a representative of the House, who admittedly only did what those of us watching TV and with no access to the White House really wanted to do--yes, it was tacky but it proves that discontent is way deeper than the Administration understands and past the polite stage.

I join Mr. Wilson and say: liar! And this isn't about the race of either man; its about what is not true.

Posted by: mil1 | September 9, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

This will man more taxes on the middle class. Obama says he has to fix health care, before he can fix the economy. I think he should fix the economy first.

Posted by: edgar_sousa | September 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama's been in politics for how long? And he is upset at lies and distortions? The guy is full of it. Ain't no politics without lies and distortions.

Posted by: Martial | September 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I am still stunned, jaw-droppingly stunned that anyone, even a Republican from South Carolina, would heckle the President of the United States during a speech to a joint session of Congress. How uncouth! What an affront to civil discourse and a reasoned exchange of ideas. Anyone in the GOP who is serious about anything other than demagoguery should begin proceedings to censure Wilson - and they should start tonight.

Posted by: JWAL1 | September 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I've been a registered Republican, Independent, and Democrat. I support and respect the office of the President, even when I haven't welcomed the man. The behavior of some Republican members of Congress tonight was abominable.

Posted by: chunche | September 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

No, lets call Republicans for what they are, UNPATRIOTIC, ANTI AMERICAN, hating our country, selfish, power hungry, more than willing to see this country fail and should be held accountable for their treasonous behavior.

Posted by: catmomtx | September 9, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I have to be honest--When it comes to these really complex policy questions about health care, I'm a bit unsure about what will work and what won't work.

Last November I voted for Obama because he seemed like the most sensible person out there. In his speeches and the debates, he always came off as reasonable and thoughtful guy, and he never let his people slide into the nasty polemics that mucked up the Republicans. In my own work I respect people with his traits. They generally work toward good ends.

I don't know if the healthcare reform will pass because of this speech. But Obama still seems like the most sensible person in the debate. The address gave me confidence in his leadership. And, regardless of how things turn out, it convinced me that I can't vote for a Republican again in the near future.

Posted by: irwin4211 | September 9, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Was Cindy Sheehan a "racist" or not a "patriot" too (I didn't call her that)?

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse


The leftist dumbo is an expert at distortions and lies.

He has made them his hallmark for the past couple of years.

The numbnuts still doesn't have a clue or an accomplishment.

He can't tell the american people what he wants or he'll be run out of Washington on a rail.

What a dishonest slug. He makes either Clinton look like a pillar of integrity.

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 9, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson will go down in infamy, as he should.

Obama was magnificent. Straight-talking, honest, direct.

Posted by: conchfc | September 9, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"the two most compelling pieces of audio-visual that came out of tonight's speech -- House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) checking his blackberry and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouting "you lie" at Obama -- don't work in Republicans' favor."

It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Voters overwhelmingly want our elected officials to work together to solve the problems we face. Can the GOP credibly claim to be doing so if they are openly thumbing their noses at the President? Watch for a continued decline in support for that party from unaffiliated voters.

Posted by: bsimon1 | September 9, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Rep Wilson not only embarrassed his state and his party, he embarrassed our country with his actions. What an utter disgrace.

Posted by: liquid | September 9, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from a South Carolina Republican?

A state lawmaker there posted two pictures side by side. On one was Osama Bin Laden. Right next to him was Obama dressed as Osama bin Laden.

Those people are whacked.

Posted by: delantero | September 9, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this will make the Town Hall crowd pipe down. In fact, aren't they scheduled to hit town tomorrow?

Posted by: kenpasadena | September 9, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"Good thing I'm not in Congress, or the "visual" would have been me standing with my back to pResident Obama. "

That says a lot more about you than it does about it him. I wouldn't be proud of it either.

Posted by: mikem1 | September 9, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: Too bad no one cares what you think.

Posted by: marSF | September 9, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Good thing for us ALL Jake is not in congress. What a self-important twit.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 9, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson demonstrated tonight that he isn't a pAtriot. I'm sure the rest of the rancid right will march off that cliff with him. Where I grew up (Nebraska), we respected the president of these United States. I guess that's a scary chance for sore losers.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 9, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Mirror mirror on the wall- who's the biggest liar of them all....

Posted by: PaLibertyBelle | September 9, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Wilson's lack of decorum was disgusting. It was tacky, trashy and classless. It sets a terrible precedent, and his words should be taken down. You don't shout that the President is a liar during a Joint Session of Congress. I don't care who the President is.

Posted by: Route1 | September 9, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Distortions and lies? He ought to know, he is the master of them both.

Posted by: dricha8548 | September 9, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I stand by my remarks.

Money will flow, there is no stopping it now. We are going to create and consume health care.

We used to fight evil doers, islamofascists, we used to fight communists, Germans and influenza.

Then we learned influenza killed more people than WWI.

So we fight bad health care. We will do health care.

Republicans and Democrats have united the nation. No one should ever have no access, no coverage, no denial. This is it people.
Health care is something we all get and we all pay for and there is no budget.

Republicans want to protect your care, Medicare is front and center (what the?). Democrats will expand all care. We are going to care people. Health care. America has set its course.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 9, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Good thing I'm not in Congress, or the "visual" would have been me standing with my back to pResident Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Never been more convinced leaving South Carolina was a good idea. Because I can report back first hand, yes, those cracker heads are THAT racist.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | September 9, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

This was what I hoped to hear. As for the visuals, let's just call it Republicans behaving badly and leave it at that.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 9, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

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