I watched the video clip over and over and over again. Each time, I grinned as I saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s head nearly explode. Each time, I looked closely to see if any portion of Vice President Joe Biden’s own brand of astroturf jumped ship from his hairline when he shook his head in feigned disgust. Each time, I noted how the president’s knee-jerk reaction was to point out and make a momentary mental note of the dissenter before him. Indeed, I watched the video clip several times. Not once, however, did I hear South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson utter the word “boy.”
In a column entitled Boy, oh, Boy, New York Times writer Maureen Dowd said she heard it. Unspoken or not, according to Dowd, Joe Wilson shouted out “you lie, boy!” at the president of the United States.
Surrounded by middle-aged white guys–a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club–Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.
But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!
Arguing incorrectly that “no Democrat ever shouted ‘liar’ at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq,” Dowd explained that Joe Wilson’s “shocking disrespect for the office of the president” convinced her that “[s]ome people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.”
Forget for a moment that Democrats loudly booed former President George W. Bush during the 2005 State of the Union address, or that Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, a Democrat, famously called Bush a “liar” and even more famously repeatedly refused to apologize for doing so — the issue here is Dowd’s treatment of Wilson, specifically her willingness to manufacture from thin air a statement universally acknowledged as inflammatory and place it squarely into the congressman’s own mouth as if he had said it himself. However, rather than being the manifestation of deep-seated regional racism, perhaps there’s a more plausible explanation for Wilson’s outburst: the president was lying.
On Wednesday night, Barack Obama stated that “[t]here are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants” and claimed that “this, too, is false — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.” The Congressional Research Service, however, released a report finding that, in reality, “[u]nder H.R. 3200, a ‘Health Insurance Exchange’ would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option … H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitizens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the exchange.”
This plan, a “Health Insurance Exchange” opening for business in 2013, was the exact plan being touted by the president in Wednesday night’s speech. Furthermore, according to a fact-checking memo disseminated by the House Republican Conference, “Nothing in any of the Democrat bills would require individuals to verify their citizenship or identity prior to receiving taxpayer-subsidized benefits-making the President’s promise one that the legislation itself does not keep.” In fact, according to The Hill, Republicans offered an amendment to the committee bill which would have both specifically required the government to obtain verification of citizenship before enrolling individuals and provided for enforcement of such a requirement; in their growing tradition of unilateralism, however, the Democrats rejected it.
In fact, it wasn’t until Friday evening that the White House provided clarification on its stance on illegal immigrants and health care reform. Even MSNBC, on organization which lusts after the president with as much unparalleled adolescent fervor as does Dowd, admitted that Friday was “the first time as far as we know” that the Obama administration disclosed it was “backing a provision that would require proof of citizenship before someone could enroll in a plan selected on the exchange.”
On Wednesday, that means, Congressman Joe Wilson was absolutely, unequivocally right — the president of the United States was knowingly, purposefully, deliberately lying not only to Congress, but more importantly to approximately 32 million Americans watching the address and looking to Barack Obama for the truth about the fate of one-sixth of the American economy and, on a more personal and essential level, their own health care.
And, as I pointed out in the wee hours of Thursday morning and again later on that day, coverage of illegal immigrants wasn’t the only issue that the president overtly lied about that night. He lied about health care reform providing coverage to every American. He lied about the American people’s ability to keep their current doctors and health plans. He lied about the cost of so-called “uncompensated care.” He lied about the former presence of a provision mandating end-of-life counseling as a cost-cutting measure. He lied about federal dollars not being used to fund abortions. He lied about the plan being deficit-neutral. He lied about the overall cost of health care reform, and the ability to pay for it by excising waste from Medicare and other programs. He lied about “seeking common ground” and working to garner input from Republicans.
Forget all that, though. Forget the facts. It’s obvious that Joe Wilson, overcome with emotion stemming from a long and arduous fight and from watching the president of the United States nonchalantly spew fabrications and misrepresentations at the American people for nearly an hour, shouted “you lie!” only because he simply cannot believe a black man is president, and that he cannot and will not accept it. Personally, I firmly believe that the president was lying on Wednesday night — I guess that makes me a racist, too.
That being said, let’s get back to Maureen Dowd. I’m not done with her yet.
Not since Jayson Blair egregiously manufactured stories for The New York Times has there been such an embarrassment to journalism as this piece of garbage penned by Dowd, a bitter, partisan, worthless, Beltway-born plagiarist. This is the same writer who, in March of last year, responded to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s description of our nation as the “United States of KKK-A” and assertion that “Hillary [Clinton] ain’t never been called a nigger!” by viciously denouncing him as … wait for it … a “wackadoodle.” Yet Joe Wilson, who never uttered a single questionable word, is somehow the latest rabid, racist hatemonger from a long line of rabid, racist hatemongers.
So here’s a woman–a journalist, by some accounts at least–who has no problem whatsoever largely giving a pass to an actual, bona-fide racist openly making racist statements, yet feels it necessary to completely fabricate racist statements and project them onto a white congressman–who, in reality, did not say or even insinuate anything of the sort–when she feels the need to protect the president by distracting from damaging facts and arguments.
Anybody looking for the root cause of the continued racial divide in America need look no further than political smutpeddlers like Maureen Dowd. Simply put, a truly post-racial America doesn’t fit their political agenda.
It’s one thing to “inadvertently” lift a paragraph from another writer and claim it as her own, but it’s another ball game altogether to manufacture a racial slur and claim it to be said by another person, nevertheless an elected congressman. If anybody should be apologizing here, it should be Dowd — not Wilson. Heck, given her propensity to reproduce other people’s material, I’m surprised Dowd passed on the opportunity to parrot the personal attack being propagated by the Jordan Fabian of The Hill, who ever-so-substantively pointed out on Thursday that Wilson had admitted in 2007 to—oh, no!—regularly taking caffeine pills when coffee wasn’t readily available.
Instead, in order to validate her prized but embattled president, Dowd made the conscious decision to dredge up some of South Carolina’s more unfortunate race-related history, dating all the way back to the War For State’s Rights. Unfortunately for Dowd and her disgraceful ilk, doing so does not hide that the American political left is simply unable to advocate factually its plans for the destruction of our health care system and our country, and that they have no choice but to distract an awakening American populace with shallow, worthless race-baiting. You think it’s bad now — just wait until this time next year, when the Democrats are faced with the possibility of losing control of both the House and Senate. As a writer who longs for the days of objective journalism, I shudder to think of the partisan filth Dowd’s keyboard will be vomiting forth at that point.
In 1796, 18th century British statesman Edmund Burke–who only twenty-five years before had argued strenuously in Parliament for the very American rights currently being micturated upon by this president described it as “an economy of truth.” During an election campaign in 1906, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill deemed it “terminological inexactitude.” Last Wednesday, confronted with a president deliberately misinforming the American people in order to advance his agenda, Congressman Joe Wilson called it something a whole lot simpler: lies.
Joe Wilson’s outburst may have been a breach of congressional decorum, but his core statement directed at the president—“you lie!”—was absolutely, unmistakably correct. Obama lied to the American people. President of the United States Barack Obama intentionally, deliberately, consciously, knowingly, premeditatively lied to the very people he supposedly serves in a shallow, superficial, angry attempt to rationalize an agenda as unpopular as it is un-American.
That’s the real story here. A responsible, honest, intelligent journalist would understand that.
Boy, oh boy. I guess that tells us all we need to know about Maureen Dowd.