The original moment came during President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress in 2009 as he was talking about health-care reform.
“There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false,” he said at the time. “The reforms — the reforms I am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
“You lie!” someone yelled.
That someone was South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson — and now, eight years later, an indignant crowd at a town hall has returned the sentiment.
The Republican was speaking about Obamacare on Monday in Graniteville, near Augusta, when the crowd started chanting: “You lie! You lie! You lie!”
[‘You, sir, shut up!’: Republican congressman shouts down a constituent at tense town hall]
Chaotic scenes similar to this one have become a new normal at Republican town hall events across the United States, reminiscent of the tea party movement that intensified following Obama’s election in 2008. But now it’s the Republicans who are enduring “protests, sharp rebukes and emotional questions about what they see as a sharp turn in governance as well as the House and Senate’s willingness to check the White House,” The Washington Post’s Dan Zak and Terence Samuel wrote this year.
In fact, some GOP lawmakers have vowed not to hold town halls at all.
A town hall turned hot last month in Texas when Rep. Joe Barton (R) said he opposed federal legislation protecting women from violence because it is a state issue.
“Violence against women — that’s a national issue!” an attendee shouted. “That is an issue that impacts everyone, everywhere — not only in this country but everywhere.”
Joe Wilson deserved that! He was out of line in 2009. I also believe that the hecklers are out of line, simply because they are rude and outshouting other people. I am not defending Wilson. He enraged me when he said what he said to Obama during the State of the Union Address. America needs to return to common grounds of civility.
While we are on the topic–I have to defend poor Sean Spicer. He screwed up. He was totally inaccurate. I believe he was thinking about nerve gas in terms of combat troops but no one asked me. The good thing about Sean is that within 4 hours he had apologized. He didnt equivocate or utter those stupid words, “If I have offended someone…”
Spicer’s job has to be hard enough. Let’s all cut him a break. He manned up rather than doubling down. As for Joe Wilson–throw him to the wolves.