Flashback: Democratic etiquette in the Bush era

posted at 9:30 am on September 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s start off by acknowledging that Rep. Joe Wilson needed to apologize for his outburst in Congress last night during the speech by President Barack Obama. Getting called a liar by the President in a speech may be infuriating, but a certain level of decorum is expected of our elected officials, and Wilson violated that decorum. He did the right thing by apologizing afterward.

Unfortunately, people on the Left want to keep hyperventilating about this as though the world was born on the day Barack Obama won the presidential election. As Omri Ceren and Michelle remind people, the Democrats were hardly models of decorum in the last administration. Here’s a clip from the State of the Union speech in 2005, when George Bush warned Congress that Social Security was going broke and needed reform immediately. Did Democrats politely listen to the warning? Not exactly. Listen to the boos and catcalls:

Did any of the hyperventilators today demand apologies from their side at the time? Did any Democrat ever offer an apology for their rude behavior?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

I’d take the hyperventilating with a wee more seriousness if it didn’t come from the same crowd who cheered the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at Bush in a 2008 press conference.

And just for the record, Bush was more right than they’ll admit:

The Social Security Trust Fund reported an August net deficit of $5.865 Billion. This is the largest monthly deficit in nineteen years. Base on recent years data it was not surprising the Fund ran a deficit in August. But the magnitude of the shortfall was a surprise to me. This deficit is now the seventh in the past twelve months. That pace has never been seen before. …

-In August the US Treasury had to borrow an additional $6 billion in the public market to finance the cash shortfall of Social Security. We already have too much paper for sale to fund the budget deficit. SS added to the supply problem last month.

-The 2037 Future Value of the August deficit is -$17b based on a 4% return. What this means is that there will be a very significant revision in the 2037 drop-dead date. Based on current trends the go broke date is closer to 2025.

-This is not just a bad month. The net decline in the Funds assets for June/July/August comes to $7 billion. In 08 that period was in surplus by $5 billion, In 07 it was +$7b and in 06 it was +$13b.

Four years ago, Bush warned that collapse would come in 2042.  Now it looks like 2025, thanks to Democrats who preferred to boo and catcall than to act responsibly to reform the Ponzi scheme of Social Security.

Update (AP): Lyin’ Rahm Emanuel lies his ass off about Joe Wilson: “No president has ever been treated like that. Ever.”

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GrannyDee on September 10, 2009 at 1:18 PM

How in the heck did you get into my head? Your letter is absolutely fantastic!

lovingmyUSA on September 11, 2009 at 4:44 AM

Frankly, this argument (not made by Ed but by others) that “The Left did it too” is getting tiresome…Wilson apologized. He should have.

SteveMG on September 10, 2009 at 9:35 AM

I disagree. We are not saying that we can do it because the Left did it, or that because the Left did it that makes it ok for us to do it…We are saying that the Left are HYPOCRITES. We need to stand up and call those liars out, and point out the hypocricy–and in most cases–the ignorance of the Left.
You should never apologize for calling out a liar or a hypocrite. Obama is both. Wilson should have gotten up and walked out, as well as the rest of the Republican congress, instead of sitting there while they themselves were called liars and obstructionists by the lIAR-In-Chief.
Wilson should NOT have apolgized.

lovingmyUSA on September 11, 2009 at 5:29 AM

Keeping the moral high ground is cold comfort when your country lies buried there.

Dave R. on September 10, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Bumper sticker of the week!!!

lovingmyUSA on September 11, 2009 at 5:49 AM

President Bush will always be my president.

Hening on September 10, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Well said, and is another great bumper sticker!

lovingmyUSA on September 11, 2009 at 6:04 AM

I notice the NYT article mentions not only the Wilson outburst, but discusses behavior during Clinton addresses. Not one mention of Bush’s for some reason. Wonder why they overlooked those, hmmmm?

Midas on September 11, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Keeping the moral high ground is cold comfort when your country lies buried there.

Dave R. on September 10, 2009 at 10:33 AM

I don’t think those who kneel to King Obama can claim the moral high ground.

Chris_Balsz on September 11, 2009 at 9:11 AM

GrannyDee on September 10, 2009 at 1:18 PM

How in the heck did you get into my head? Your letter is absolutely fantastic!

lovingmyUSA on September 11, 2009 at 4:44 AM

Thanks, LovingmyUSA. Here’s the email I sent 09-09-09 to Michael Steele, Chairman, Republican National Committee:

Dear Mr. Steele:

With all due respect, Mr. Chairman, I am stunned and dismayed by the response of many Republicans to Representative Joe Wilson’s comment at the Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, September 9, 2009. For example, according to the Associated Press (September 10, 2009) Senator McCain said that Rep. Wilson’s behavior was “totally disrespectful.”

May I remind you, Mr. Chairman, that throughout Mr. Obama’s speech he consistently disrespected, attacked and maligned the Republicans in Congress, as well as the millions of citizens of our country who oppose his health care reform. In addition, Mr. Obama told nothing but lies about his plan to take over one-sixth of our economy.

As a voter who supported Republicans in 2008, I am appalled that you (and the Republican party) continue to remain “silent and polite” while Mr. Obama lies to us and rips our Constitution to shreds. I say, “Congratulations, Representative Wilson!” It’s about time a Republican Congressman spoke out and said what millions of citizens know is true: President Obama is lying!!

We are facing a crisis of gigantic proportions in the United States. In fact, it is a crisis that is shaking the very foundations of our country, for it is a deliberate and sustained attack by Mr. Obama against our Constitution.

Millions of American citizens oppose the Obama/Pelosi/Reid intrusion into our health care. From coast to coast, we have spoken out at Townhall Meetings, on conservative radio shows, in newspapers and on websites. We have written letters, made telephone calls and sent emails to Congress. With one voice we have proclaimed, “Keep Obama’s hands off our health care.” And yet, our elected Republican officials in Washington remain silent and continue to ignore our voices.

Mr. Chairman, the time for Republicans to politely debate with the Democrats is past. The time is now for you to speak out publicly, forcefully, and with conviction against Mr. Obama’s lies. If you and the Republicans in Congress continue to refuse to “speak truth to power,” then under Mr. Obama’s socialism the United States of America will cease to exist as the great country it is now.

GrannyDee on September 11, 2009 at 12:21 PM