I truly hope that New Jersey’s own Gang of Five (Garrett, Smith, Lobiondo, Frelinghuysen, and Lance —-listed from Far Right to sort of Moderate/Liberal on Social Issue/Left) never come to see me at one of New Jersey’s comedy clubs. Apparently, they all think it’s OK to heckle someone—anyone, even the President of the United States.
When South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson openly and loudly called the president a liar, apparently the Gang of Five was thinking the same thing to themselves. They all voted as a block against the most namby-pamby of House Resolutions taking Congressman Joe Wilson to task for his misdeed.
So, how’d your Congressman vote? Mine voted with Wilson and many other Republicans. I really don’t care how Garrett, Smith, Lobiondo, or Frelinghuysen voted. They don’t represent me. Congressman Leonard Lance does. He has always been a man of another era of politics—civil, moderate, well-mannered in private and public. So, I was surprised when he voted with his party on this one. I called his office to find out why, and I was told they’d get back to me. I am still waiting.
In the blandly worded resolution, the “namby” part described Wilson’s remarks as “a breach of decorum” and “degrad [ing]” to the “proceedings of the joint session.” Personally, there is a better word to describe what Wilson did, unprintable here. He is like the drunk guy screaming out stupid incoherent things at a baseball game.
The “pamby” part declared that the “House of Representatives disapproves of the behavior of the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson.” Boy, that was going out on a limb for Congress. And the Gang of Five could not even support the “pamby” part? Jeez Louise, fellas. How about this one instead, guys:
“Whereas on September 9, 2009, during the joint session of Congress convened pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 179, Joe Wilson did something we really really did not like, and we’re, like, really really really mad at him. And if he does it again, we’re gonna do something bad to him. Really, we mean it, this time. Don’t make us mad again. Really.”
Could you get behind that one?
You know, the President does not just get to speak to the House of Representatives whenever he wants to. He can’t, for example, just do a ‘pop-in’, and walk up and say a few words. The president needs to be invited to address the Congress. And here President Obama was invited by Congress to speak to Congress. Invited!
And the Gang of Five thinks it’s OK to diss someone when you extend an invitation to your House. That’s going to make me think twice about accepting an invitation to the Frelinghuysens for dinner or to the Chris Smiths for a barbeque…
“So, what would like on that burger?”
“Hmmm, how about cheese and onions, Congressman Smith…”
“Liar! Liar. You lie!…”
Bottom line is this: the Democratic majority in Congress and Speaker Pelosi should have had a set of brass ones to require Mr. Wilson to apologize to his fellow colleagues in the House, if he wanted to take his seat again. They have this power. It’s in Article I, Section 5 of the US Constitution—where it says:
“Each House shall be the Judge of the …Qualifications of its own Members.”
If someone is not mature enough to sit and disagree quietly with the President of the United States, he needs a timeout from Congress until he has (under Article I, Section 2) “attained to the Age of twenty five Years” —-in maturity at least. Hey, South Carolina has two Senators and five other Congressmen who had the maturity to not yell out. I am sure they could have represented the Palmetto State just fine until Wilson was ready to return and play nice with others.
And of course, Wilson apologized to the President. But that was not good enough. And of course, Obama accepted the apology. But Obama is too nice a guy. He is the kind of guy you spill a beer on at a frat party, and he says, “Hey, no problem. Go enjoy the party. Here’s another beer.” Wilson should have been made to apologize to everyone else in the room, like you’d make your kids do, if they acted the same way Wilson did.