Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) fifteen minutes of notoriety should be up soon. In the mean time the rabid Right Gateway pundit is complaining about the “hypocrisy” of the House voting to disapprove of Wilson shouting out “liar” during President Obama’s speech: Hypocrisy Alert: Dem Rep. Pete Stark Called Bush Liar On House Floor… Twice (Video)
But, of course, democrats didn’t bat an eye when Rep. Pete Stark called President Bush a liar on the House floor… Twice… In the same speech.
Reality has always been a tough call for Righties. Stark made the fellowing remarks during a speech on the House floor during a debate over funding for low income children’s health insurance,
The Republicans are worried that we can’t pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don’t care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where you going to get that money. You gonna tell us lies like you’re telling us today? Is that how you’re going to fund the war. You don’t have enough money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement…
…But the President Bush’s statements about children’s health shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq. The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up in Iraq, in the United States, and in Congress.
What Stark said was true and said during a debate. What Wilson said was a lie and said during a president’s speech to Congress. The House is, as one should expect in a democracy, pretty open about free speech by its members. They’ve been insulting each other and getting generally hyperbolic for its entire history. Shouting down presidents is another matter. While many of us wished he had not done so, Stark did apologize. Why should Stark have to apologize for daring to utter the truth,
His suggestion, however, that Bush is indifferent to the tragic toll on US troops and their families, not to mention the human catastrophe being inflicted on the Iraqi people, is entirely justified. This is man who has exhibited a sadistic streak throughout his political career—presiding over the execution of 152 people during his six years as governor of Texas, and, as president, launching aggressive wars that have killed hundreds of thousands and authorizing such atrocities as torture, abductions and indefinite imprisonment without legal counsel or trial.
Stark’s remarks prompted a cascade of denunciations from Republicans, who immediately demanded a public apology. Utilizing the standard smear that any criticism of the “commander in chief” is an attack on the troops, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner declared, “His remarks dishonored our soldiers, their families and our commander in chief. I don’t think the House can afford to let these kinds of remarks go unanswered.”
Predictably, the congressional Democratic leadership and the major Democratic presidential candidates immediately and demonstrably distanced themselves from Stark, in some cases joining in the attack on his remarks.
Stark initially refused to apologize, issuing a statement on October 18 saying he supported the troops, but adding, “I respect neither the commander in chief who keeps them in harm’s way nor the chicken hawks in Congress who vote to deny children health care.”
This was too much for the Democratic speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, who publicly denounced Stark on October 19, declaring that his comments were “inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand.”
Republican attacks on Stark were absurd and delusional, but that did not stop them from equating the draft avoider Bush, sitting in the White House in his two thousand dollar cowboy boots with troops under fire in Iraq. Under fire because Bush used a combination of falsehoods and exploited patriotism and God to put those troops in harms way.