Laying Down on the Job

Laying Down on the Job
The Santa Monica Easy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shout Out to Wilson and Cantor: Your Mothers Didn't Teach You Manners!

In another day and antebellum time, Representatives Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) would have been horse whipped by fellow members of the South Carolina or Virginia legislatures for their blatant lack of respect and good manners displayed in front of the world last night during President Obama's address to Congress.  Granted it's 2009, not 1859, and good manners have fallen by the wayside for many in today's society, but they should not be abandoned by our elected members of Congress.  

Wilson's outburst and Cantor's disinterested texting disrespected the President, Congress, their tax-payer-paid-for seats in Congress and all the people in their districts regardless of party.  They also  brought shame to their respective mothers, who, despite the title of my rant, I'm quite sure DID teach them good manners.  Both are supposed to be gentlemen from the South, and as such, expected to set an example of educated civility, respect and refined dignity -- none of which was displayed by either by Cantor's juvenile texting or Wilson's grade-school, cowardly  shout out.  Is that the example you want to set or do you just revile THIS president because of his skin color?   And if your mothers aren't ashamed of your behavior, as an American citizen, I am ashamed of you both -- particularly Joe Wilson for being the first member of Congress to heckle the President of the United States during an address to Congress.  Congratulations pin head -- that's a legacy worthy of an ignorant petulant child.  What WAS a lie was when you claimed afterwards that your utterance was "spontaneous."  Who do you think you're kidding? The Republican strategy memo was leaked.  It was planned like an ambush and it only made YOU look unworthy to be a member of Congress. 

When addressing a formal letter to a member of the House, the correct greeting is, "The Honorable Representative...."  That's the way we non-elected officials are expected to address a member of Congress.  It's a token of respect for the office, not the man or woman.  It's a way to respectfully acknowledge the voters that office represents. It's a unique way to recognize the significant law-making powers of the office.  Wilson's outburst and Cantor's texting clearly signal to the world that both have: 
  • zero respect for the office of President of the United States, 
  • zero respect for the importance of the seat either of them fill and 
  • zero respect for those who made the effort to vote them into office let alone the rest of the citizens  in their respective districts.  
Respect is not shown for the elected official or the political party.  Respect is shown to the office and the importance of the work done for the American people.  Last night they both demonstrated themselves to be hooligans unworthy of the office and unworthy of respect. 

What they did was worse than the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush!  Yah.  Bush was the Republican's guy and the whole party got all "uppity" about that insult. The Dixie Chicks said what they thought about Bush and they got blacklisted by folks in the GOP.  Only Republicans have the right to Freedom of Speech, right? Got it.  Lord knows, if I had been an elected member of Congress during the Bush administration, I'd have had a damn hard time restraining myself from shouting, "You lie" during his speech about the reasons to invade Iraq -- and had I done that, I'd have been called a "Traitor!"  Calling Bush a liar during his speech to Congress would have been inexcusable -- just as Cantor's texting and Wilson's outburst were.   

To Joe and Eric -- I feel justified in addressing you so disrespectfully since you have dishonored your respective offices -- you both are a disgrace to your respective districts.  The rest of the world, except those people in your districts, will think all residents of South Carolina and Virginia are the same ignorant, boorish street-thugs you demonstrated yourselves to be last night.  As an American, I'm damned ashamed and angry with both of you.  You lost any credibility and entitlement to respect last night.  Wilson had to be "instructed" to apologize to the President by members of his party.  Imagine that!  He had to be told by his peers to apologize and the President accepted the insincere apology.  Well, I haven't accepted his apology.  Wilson and Cantor owe the people they represent an apology for how they shamed them, for how they shamed Congress and for how they shamed the United States.  

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