For some, Wilson's rudeness is THE sudden collapse of civility and manners. Our political discourse has now been plunged into some unprecedented sewer depths.
Look--Wilson's act was rude and certainly displayed a distinct lack of class. He apologized directly to the President, who accepted his apology without qualification. Apparently that's not enough for some. Wilson is a racist, they say. He proves Republicans are a**holes, they say. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ( D-MD) said: “I have never in my 29 years heard an outburst of that nature with reference to a president of the United States speaking as a guest of the House and Senate.”
Really? Gonna have to get Hoyer some new Beltones. I found this over at a blog called Cranky Conservative. It's a youtube rundwon of various examples of "civility" that didn't seem to spark any outrage from the Left. Highlights from the list:
--Bush getting booed at the Obama inaugural
--Rep. Baron Hill from Indiana--"This is MY town hall meeting . . ." Yep--he's a Dem.
--Democrats booing--BOOING--Bush during the 2005 State of the Union address. Watch the clip--the noise is somewhat prolonged and widespread, in contrast to Wilson's rather limited outburst. Was Hoyer asleep or what?
--Gore's "How Dare They" speech to MoveOn.org in 2004. ("How dare the incompetent and willful members of this Bush/Cheney Administration humiliate our nation and our people in the eyes of the world and in the conscience of our own people. How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace. How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison.")
--Sen. Durbin comparing American soldiers to Nazis and to those who ran the Gulags.
--Sen. John Murtha saying that our troops killed "innocent civilians in cold blood."
And yet, the outrage, the spotlight is on Wilson for his rather rude remark. Don't get me wrong--Wilson was wrong in what he did. No matter what has passed for political discourse in the last 8 years should not give the Republicans a license to engage in the same tactics.
But if you are suddenly purple with indignation about the lack of civility, you are perhaps a little late to the game.
The headline for a recent Reason.com article perhaps said it best:
Show me a country without lawyers, hobos, and fighting politicians and I'll show you a dictatorship.