Saturday, September 12, 2009

Highly Illogical, But...

I've been reading the past couple of days about Rep. Joe Wilson, he of the "You lie!" shout during Obama's stump speech to Congress the other night. A fair number of opinions on the blogs I read for my information each day (Powerline, NRO's The Corner, etc.) and the radio guys I listen to (like Medved) seem to have settled on the marker of "he shouldn't have done it, it was boorish, it makes us look bad, and no one should be happy about it". There's also some agreement that the more the media focus on that incident, the less attention Obama's five hundred gajillionth impassioned speech about something or other receives.

I have no real opinion on the latter point, but on the first point, the "should he have or shouldn't he have?", I have an opinion (wow!):

He shouldn't have. But I'm darned glad he did.

Yelling anything when a political animal is delivering a speech and not inviting crowd response is wrong. It's rude, it's crude, and it's boorish, and all the rest. But that doesn't mean it's not sometimes the right thing to do. Especially when what is being yelled is true.

You see, one of the things I've noticed about a lot of people when they are discussing politics is that they say they want politicians to be honest. To come down out of their ivory towers and be less dismissive, more inclusive, more real. But we're almost always lying when we say that, aren't we?

George W. Bush was straight-up for 8 years. Straight-up about what he intended, what he was doing, why he was doing it, and where he thought it would lead. And people reviled him for it. Obama has done nothing but lie since he took office. Nothing he says, for instance, about his march to socialized medicine has the vaguest shine of truth to it - not his goal, not his method, not his inspiration. And he's adored.

But a lot of us are tired of being so ill-served by the institutions that are supposed to be our voice at the Executive level, and our informational insurance policy at the public level.

And so finally one guy, after being called to listen to the President babble for yet another hour, and being labeled yet again (as any of us who think that socialized medicine is a bad idea were) as a liar, an obfuscator, and a reasonless impediment, vented his emotions. He'd had enough, he yelled his reaction, and probably felt both better and worse for it. Sure he's sorry he did it - it's an embarrassing thing, but he gave expression to millions of us who are tired of being villified and ignored by our Dear Leader.

As I mention above, a fair number of the pundits think I should not stand with Rep. Joe Wilson and his outburst for all the reasons I listed. I disagree. Now, I am certainly not in the same intellectual throw-weight class as Charles Krauthammer, for example, but he was wrong about how the expressed anger at the town hall meetings would affect the debate: it didn't hurt our side - it helped. It didn't de-focus the debate, it shined light on it. So I'm comfortable with saying "Sure it was wrong. But it was necessary."

There's an episode of Star Trek TOS(the original series) called "The Galileo 7". It's a character study of Spock as he deals with his first command, being the senior officer of a shuttlecraft party that crashes on a planet. During the course of the story he makes some decisions about local hostile life forms and crewmen die. Tension mounts between he and his little crew. Then as the survivors are fixing the shuttle's engine for takeoff, said hostile, big, hairy aliens show up once more to batter the shuttle into goo with big boulders. Spock has his moment of crisis, and seems puzzled and indeed paralyzed, reviewing his decisions and their often counter-intuitive (to his logical mind) results. McCoy breaks in and McCoys "We could use a little less analysis, and a little more inspiration!"

So then Spock asks Scotty if the shuttle's batteries have enough power to electrify the hull of the ship, and Scotty brightens and says "That they will, laddie!"

A little zap-zap and the aliens flee, and the Galileo 7 (reduced to the Galileo 5 by that point) get their breathing room to fix the engines and leave the planet.

Now, do I think big hairy beasts are battering the country with big rocks? Mmmm, kinda-sorta, I do, yeah. So maybe what we need at this point is a little less cold political analysis about what trillions of dollars of new debt, larger and more corrupt government, and destruction of a huge portion of the private market might mean, and a few more guys electrifying the hull of the ship. I mean, hell's bells, we already know what months of calm, accurate, and open analysis of these issues gets us: "Teabaggers." "Obstructionists." "Party of 'No'." "Misinformation."

I'd like to see what five Rep. Joe Wilsons standing up yelling "You lie!" can achieve. Or maybe twenty. Or fifty. Maybe it will be more electrifying than some folks think.


doubletrouble said...

Well said, & I do believe I'm inclined to agree- 110%...

scotaku said...

Decorum says that Rep. Wilson erred.

But he *did* something, and that's what's galvanizing so many. Instead of just going along with the flow, he acted where nobody else did. That's the appeal. Wrong? Technically. But in using the methods of the Left, he's ju-jitsued the situation into being more uncomfortable for the Left that it may have been otherwise.

Good post, as usual.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

This is all about the underlying, hideous factor of the racism that is so deeply ingrained in the American character. The attempt to portray this president (Of all people!) as a socialistic, left wing extremist doesn’t even pass the giggle test for people who have bothered to pay attention to their times and their history. Let’s face it - Franklin D. Roosevelt, he ain’t! They can’t obstruct his agenda with a manufactured scandal regarding his personal life, as they did with Bill Clinton. eleven years ago. Their only hope is for enough of the American people to become really frightened by the Big, Bad Negro Commie. An ironic description when one takes into consideration how boringly moderate Obama really is.

Think about this: In the last presidential campaign only one of the nominees of the two major political parties was born in the United States - Barack Obama - John McCain was born in Panama. Do you find it as revealing as I do that it was the black guy had his citizenship called into question? How much more proof do we need of the overt racism that is inherent in that party - or in our own country for that matter? Honestly, this isn’t rocket science, folks!

But wait! It gets better! Now Glenn Beck is slated to become the Martin Loony King of the Far Right thanks to his stupid “March on Washington” yesterday.

Isn’t life interesting?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Atom Smasher said...

Well Tom, I think I'll have to pull that long non sequitur out of the comments and comment on it in the main blog, Hope you're okay with that.

daddyquatro said...

Wow! I just got here from Tam's place She linked youR "Idiot" post above. But I see you have idiots below as well.
Commenter Tom is correct, BHO is no FDR.
FDR didn't have a lifetime of leftist, socialist, racialist immersion before he became President.

I'm glad I found you guys. I'll be back.

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