President Obama has finally given his big speech on health care reform. As we've come to expect here, thanks to Wordle this is the text cloud of his speech:
And in the interest of fairness, here's the text cloud of the official Republican response, delivered by Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA), a doctor:
Not surprisingly, the President is mentioning "insurance" while the opposition Congressman is mentioning "cost." Those are driving the discussions on either side of the aisle.
There was one moment during the President's speech where I like many others was taken aback. Politico reports that Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted "You lie!" at the President when the President was debunking false claims that reform would "insure illegal immigrants."
First of all, and it's sad that this has to be said, factcheck.org agrees with the President and not the Congressman. But another line was crossed tonight - perhaps just a line of decorum, but I think more than that. At least one member of Congress now thinks it's ok to heckle the President of the United States during an address to a Joint Session of Congress. He didn't just disrespect the man, he disrespected the office.
It's beyond shouting down the woman in the wheelchair. Once again it's an appeal to the worst in people - heckling the President in support of an obvious falsehood with unquestionably racist undertones. And even worse, to those who oppose reform this kind of thing is USEFUL. It's a distraction. Once again we're talking about something other than health care reform.
I sound like an old civics nerd, but I remember a time when there would always be people in the other party with whom you could reason and negotiate and find a way to do the right thing. I'm left wondering who that is in the GOP today. I'm pretty sure it's not Congressman Wilson.