It was my plan to wait until today to read the transcript of the President’s Congressional address on health care reform and then respond. However, certain events happened last evening that even I, as a conservative, cannot let go without comment.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) at a certain point in the President’s speech last night took it upon himself to completely breach, as the Associated Press said, Congressional decorum by shouting out “YOU LIE!” at President Obama during his address.
I am glad I did not witness this first hand (or even via television). I would have been completely mortified! There has to be a certain level of respect for the office of the President and respect for common decency, both, of which this South Carolina Congressman disregarded last night. It really makes me shameful of the GOP, because I know we are better than this! Had this happened during an address by President George W. Bush, the ‘right’ would have been apoplectic, and with cause! But it did happen. In 2005. There were shouts of “boo” and “no.” It was wrong then, and it was wrong last night!
We, as a party may disagree with ObamaCare on policy issues, and that’s fine. But we will not sway the hearts and minds of independents and Reagan Democrats (aka Blue Dogs), by simply opposing what the President is doing. We have to show the American people that we stand for something! This is what we, as a party, did in 2004 after HillaryCare.
Opposing initiatives will only take our party to a certain level. But the American people want and deserve to know what we are going to do for them in its stead! Lately, the GOP as a whole have offered nothing in this regard.
There are rising stars, such as Budget Ranking Member Paul Ryan (R-WI), who will hopefully take stonger leadership roles within the party in coming years. These Young Guns are full of ideas that not only say “NO” to the Democrat majority, but offer alternatives that are acceptable and viable to the mainstream.
And while I fully expect Mr. Wilson to win reelection next year, I hope it is others within the GOP who are the ones to advance initiatives and ideas. For they are the ones who will promote and expand this party back into the majority.