09 September 2009

Speech Clouds: Health Care

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.

3 comments:

Cristie Ritz King said...

Yes! I hoped you would write about this. I posted about my confusion this morning and truly thought-I wish I could just ask David, I bet he knows.;)
I was amazed and infuriated at the outburst. I probably shouldn't be amazed anymore-what with door-to-door death panel stories being bandied about. But I guess I still believe too much in people's inherent goodness.
Joe certainly showed me.
Glad you're back!

Lisa said...

I still can't believe that he did that.

rgagliardi said...

I find it interesting that in the "cloud coverage" no where can the word DOCTOR or PHYSICIAN be found, or at least not of any prominence. Not in the president's big speech nor in the GOP response. Why? Perhaps doctors have been relegated to the the confines of "practitioners," or more to the point, because although we physicians have a seat at the table, it's at the kid's table. Sure physicians are part of the shared responsibility, but we don't seem to share in the decision-making on healthcare. The big word in the cloud-INSURANCE. This is not only instructive, it should be seen as destructive and domineering. Wake up doc. The truth is out there . . . Thanks again David for showing us the light.