CENSURE: Rep. Joe Wilson

by: AdamGreen

Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 14:49

target Last night, at 3:31am, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a petition asking Congress to censure Rep. Joe Wilson:

"Enough is enough. On an issue as critical as health care reform, it's time to stop the lies, the misinformation, and the uncivil disruptions. Rep. Joe Wilson went way over the line by yelling 'You lie' during President Obama's speech, and Congress should censure him immediately."

Sign the petition here. 


We set a goal of 20,000 signers by noon. We got 21,000.

And as of 2:15pm, that's grown to 31,000. Help us get to 50,000? Sign here.

Today, we will also be placing $10,000 in online ads -- including blog ads and Google ads, in South Carolina and Washington, DC calling for Wilson to be censured.

In addition, we'll be asking all 31,000 folks who signed the petition so far to call their Representative at (202) 224-3121 to ask them to call for censure.

Why censure? From our PCCC email last night:

Right-wing Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) played the roll of teabagger by yelling "You lie!" at the president. Let's go on offense...

Censure could be a real possibility if we go on offense now. Sen. John McCain called Wilson's yelling "totally disrespectful." Wilson later called his own actions "inappropriate and regrettable" but repeated the same misinformation he yelled out at President Obama -- about 'illegal aliens'.

Frankly, an apology is not enough. Apologies weren't enough for Van Jones, the bold progressive who right-wingers forced to resign from the White House this past week for remarks taken out of context. And House Rules of Decorum specifically state that it is not permissible to call the President a "liar" -- let alone yell it.

Today, Arlen Specter even called for censure. (Man, I'll miss that guy's newfound boldness when Sestak crushes him.)

Now's the time to push this, and teach the far-right a lesson. Please sign the petition -- and then call your Member of Congress today at (202) 224-3121.

UPDATE (4:30pm):
Petition is up to 35,000 signers.

UPDATE (6:53pm): Petition is up to 39,500 signers.

AdamGreen :: CENSURE: Rep. Joe Wilson

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No to the censure (4.00 / 6)
Give his opponent money.

The spectacle of Congress voting to condemn speech--political speech, no less--is creepy and decidedly un-progressive.

What's more, there's nothing wrong with yelling during a president's speech. There should probably be more yelling during president's speeches.

we have no king (4.00 / 2)
and lèse majesté is not a crime

i didn't support this sort of thing when Republicans did it. no different now.

not everything worth doing is profitable. not everything profitable is worth doing.

[ Parent ]
$10,000? (0.00 / 0)
This is the navy toilet of progressive causes.

[ Parent ]
Has anyone vetted his opponent yet (4.00 / 2)
And made sure that it's not just giving money to another Blue Dog?

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
Congress has to have rules. And this sets a dangerous precedent. (0.00 / 0)
And its not progressives who created them. But its only reasonable not to allow deliberate interruptions. Because, once you open the gate to yelling, how to prevent lawmakers from making it impossible to hld any speech anymore? And what consequences will this have on the discouse in Congress? There are lots of examples from all around the world where parliaments have become nuthouses where not reasonable debate is done anymore and where even fistfights become a regular occurance. Is there something to be gained from allowing this to happen?

With all respect to your interpretation of the first ammendment, but imho you're going way too far here. And you should present much better arguments than the over the top point that the princile fo freedom of speech is at stake here.

[ Parent ]
Better yet, ignore him (4.00 / 2)
Why give this guy even one second more of media attention?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

I agree (0.00 / 0)
Besides, a censure movement is just an excuse for the media not to pay attention to anything that matters.

[ Parent ]
agree (0.00 / 0)
at this point, it's merely a distraction.

[ Parent ]
Good argument. But still,... (0.00 / 0)
...isn't it a dangerous precedent not to penalize this? What if next time not one, but three yellers interrupt a speech? On what grounds should these hecklers be penalized, if Wilson got away scot free? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? See where this may lead to?

Really, I'm torn about this...

[ Parent ]
Pelosi has already ruled this out (0.00 / 0)
so I don't see a petition drive making it happen.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

No, he should be censured. (4.00 / 1)
Bolshevik shout-down tactics are the opening act of despotism.

When you hit a bully back, they stop coming at you.

God forbid we ever let these people back into power again.

Everyone has a choice due to the flaws of the Constitution: you are either for Obama, or you are for the "You Lie" crowd.

"Bolshevik shout-down tactics are the opening act of despotism." (0.00 / 0)
This seems like a chicken and egg argument.

Certainly, we should push back against GOP liemongering.  That doesn't mean censures for calling out at people in legislatures.  How tremendously thin skinned we've become.

If the Democrats hadn't been such a bunch of contemptuous wimps throughout the Bush II presidency, this wouldn't even be an issue.  It's only getting attention because we're so frustrated at not having leaders on the left with power who have spoken out more forcefully against what's happened.  

[ Parent ]
But then we know they will exploit every single breach... (0.00 / 0)
..for a full scale attack. So, by not doing anything, don't you give them the chance to interrupt future speeches to a degree where they become inaudible?

With all respect, Wobbly, but I think this isn't so clear as you paint it here...

[ Parent ]
We're elevating a question of manners (0.00 / 0)
into one of substance.

We don't need censure to tar and feather this guy, as the coffers of his opponent show.

[ Parent ]
It was not a "shout down" (4.00 / 1)
Guy said TWO words and there was but a mere few seconds pause in the President's delivery of his speech.

The only thing that remotely resembles a "shout down" is the media attention this bozo has sucked up with this non-issue. Censure will only exacerbate the distraction.

Had he ACTUALLY tried to shout Obama down, I'd agree with you.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Yes, but where to put the limit? (0.00 / 0)
At which point does such yelling become unacceptable? That's the critical point in this, imho.

[ Parent ]
When the shouter actually tries to disrupt (0.00 / 0)
and silence or divert the speaker.

I'd even tolerate a sustained chant of the phrase, as long as the President was able to finish the speech.

Look, when only positive "outbursts" are tolerated - standing ovations and applause - and negative responses are punished, the tendency is to produce an event that can only bolster the image and status of the speaker, no matter what their intent.

I wonder how many of those calling for censure would have done the same if some Democratic Party Rep had done the same to GWB.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Well, Wilsons outburst WAS a disruption. (0.00 / 0)
Evidence: The president obviously reacted to it. See the video again.

So, the problem of where to set the limit is still unsolved. And as for the "censure" idea, imho it's only a symbolic gesture. This woouldn't really hurt Wislon. Would be better if the ethics committees imposed fines on lawmakers disrupting such events. Just like the penalties against football players who argue with the referee. Nobody's defending the first ammendment rights of those fools, so why should it be different in Congress?

[ Parent ]
Did he stop the President from getting his point across? (0.00 / 0)
As for limits these are determined on a case by case basis.

I will, most definitely, defend the right of everyone to express their opinion, no matter how foolish some others may think they are. Had this encounter taken the path of an agrument between a player and a ref, i.e. gone on so long that it began to disprupt the event, then some action may be necessary. It was nothing like that, however. If a player shouted, "You lie!" at a ref and said nothing more, would that player be ejected? fined? suspended? No.

Can you define the limit that each ref employs to determine when a player or caoch has done enough to get tossed?  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
"Can you define the limit"? No! That's exactly the point. (0.00 / 0)
I'm not necessarily against letting Wilson getting away with this, my point is looking for arguments where to put the limit. Pls don't expect me to give the answer.

[ Parent ]
Geez (4.00 / 2)
haven't you ever heard a broadcast from Britain's House of Commons?  This is small potatoes, and a distraction.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
Is "Britain's House of Commons" the gold standard? I don't think so. (0.00 / 0)
Of course, you'll always find examples where it's worse. But this doesn't say that it's a better way of having debates.  

[ Parent ]
Why I don't give money. (4.00 / 1)
Right or wrong, this isn't our fight.   Why is anyone spending money or wasting time on this fool?  Republicans are NOT the problem.  Democrats are the problem.    

How can anyone read this diary by Chris and then waste time and money on this.  dailykos has this up too, and  I have absolutely no clue why.  

No (0.00 / 0)
Despite how idiotic it was, he's free to say whatever he wants.

A better answer would be to just give his opponent money.

Well, shoot. Why didn't you say so. (4.00 / 1)
Rob is an Iraq War vet - a Marine.   Rob's a fair trade Democrat who supports the Employee Free Choice Act.  

I don't want anymore Tester's.  

Or Baucuses (4.00 / 1)
Tester might not be great but he does not chair a "bipartisan" Senate Committee.  Only Baucus could manage that feat.

The Arkansas crew is pretty marginal as well and Blanche Lincoln has the guts of Caspar Milquetoaste. Mary Landrieu is no hot shot either.

It is amazing, in the House, how many of the duds were elected in 2006 and 2008.

[ Parent ]
"guts"? (4.00 / 2)
The DLCers are true to their core philosophy. They've got plenty of "guts" when it comes to taking anti-progressive positions.

The whole "spineless Dems" meme amounts to obscuring the reason for their actions: fealty to their major contributors on Wall Street, and hostility to progressives, antiwar folks, lefties, etc.

[ Parent ]
EFCA? (0.00 / 0)
Do you have a link for Rob Miller supporting EFCA?

If so, please email it to me! info @ boldprogressives.org

[ Parent ]

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