Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Say it ain't so, Joe

In the spring of 1954, Senator Joe McCarthy was on a witch hunt. In televised hearings regarding alleged Communist ties to the military, McCarthy attempted to attack a young colleague of another Joe, Joe Welch, the Army's chief lawyer. Welch, speaking for many said words that echo chillingly true 55 years later: "Until this moment Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, your recklessness."When McCarthy protested, Welch responded quickly and forcefully: "Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last, have you left no sense of decency"?

In December of that year, the Senate finally issued a long overdue formal rebuke to a member of its body that had brought disgrace to its doorstep.

Yesterday, the Congress challenged the action of Joe Wilson, the Congressman from South Carolina, in response to his action of open disdain for the President during his speech to their body and to the nation last week.

The reply of this latest Joe, "hero" to many, was to say to the Congress of the United States that he was done apologizing for his outburst. Joe Wilson had the chutzpah (I know he must use that word around his house all the time) to tell us it was time to get back to the business at hand. 166 Republicans voted that Mr. Wilson was right, and that a rebuke was unwarranted.

In the early days of the 20th century, American baseball was rocked by allegations of throwing World Series games. Another Joe, Shoeless Joe Jackson, was at the center of this inquiry. In an incident, maybe more fiction than fact, a young boy goes up to his fallen hero and asks in pleading and bewildered tones: "say it ain't so,Joe".

We have a right to ask, and demand that this Joe say it ain't so. It is a slap in the face of the President that the rebuke of Joe Wilson was not unanimous. There is a sense of decorum and respect that comes with holding the most difficult job in the country. Wilson's outburst was inexcusable for its assault on the sanctity of the office. There is no excuse and no rationale that would permit this action to go officially unchallenged or unpunished.

When Simon and Garfunkel viewed a land that was losing its compass, they spoke of a Joe, who was the picture of grace, civility and dignity."Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio. Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?''

When I hear the words of Joe Wilson, see the support of him by so many, and find that almost every Republican has voted that Wilson's words did not demand formal reprimand, I am reminded of the response to the songwriter's inquiry:
"What's that you say Mrs. Robinson, Joltin Joe has left and gone away?"

There is no room in our most precious house for actions of the likes of Joe McCarthy or Joe Wilson. We need to demand in a united voice, in that hallowed ground, on this day and forever, that Joe say it ain't so.


Dr. No said...

Robert, Pa-lese, spare us the sanctimonious B-S about "our most precious house" and its "hollowed ground." Are you talking about the same place that the likes of Charley Rangel, Mark Foley and William Jefferson - those cheaters, liars and thieves inhabit?
Joe Wilson's inappropriate outburst was wrong and regrettable. To compare him to the cruel and vicious Joe McCarthy is like comparing Elliot Spitzer to Adolf Hitler.
Technically Obama did lie. Illegal aliens, although formally denied healthcare insurance, get excellent care, at greater tax payer expense, whenever they get a runny nose, or worse, at Emergency Rooms in hospitals all across this great nation.
The Great and Magnifcant Obama also lies when he continually uses the example of an Illinois man who "lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about." Obama then goes on to state: "They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it." Those lies were contradicted by the deceased SISTER"S testimony, before a House Commitee, that the insurer reinstated her brother's coverage following intervention by the Illinois Attorney General's Office. She testified (under oath) that her brother received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the 3-4 week window of opportunity from one of "the of the most renowned doctors in the whole world on the specific routine," and that the procedure "was extremely successful," and that "it extended his life nearly three and a half years."
The Great and Omnipotent Obama does not want you to know that.
I think it's time for me to come to my senses, to coin a phrase, and stop reading this kind of drivel. Please remove me from your email list.

Robert said...

In retrospect, in trying to come up with an interesting Joe analogy, I missed the real Joe story

Joe Wilson's outburst, premeditated or not, was just another example of the 'dirty' politics of the Republican party today. Despite his insistence on getting back to the business at hand, meaningful policy discussions are all but squelched by Republicans. The real shame was not his 2 word outburst but the fact that he and his party are dedicated to stopping reform at all cost.

The greatest example is not Wilson's yelling you lie, but the chilling effect of Republican leaders and their followers branding the opposition, Socialists, fascists, Communists, Nazis ...

While it was an imperfect analogy to compare Joe Wilson's episode to Joe McCarthy's reign of terror, taken together with the repeated actions of his peers,like Michelle Bachmann, the net effect is quite similar.

Anonymous said...

Instead of adding more non-sense to your original non-sense why don't you directly refute the allegations of Dr. No? Although I think Rangel is a crook, I'm not familiar with Mark Foley or William Jefferson. Joe Wilson lost control for a moment, like Serena who you wrote about recently, but it doesn't make either one a criminal. I'd like you opinion on Dr. No's horrible claim about Obama being a liar. I thought it was just his "Dirty Politics."

Joe said...

I'm just a regular Joe, but I say it's so. I checked what Dr. No said about the guy from Illinois and it's so. So Obama was not telling the truth. So I say it's so. He's a damned liar.

Jack said...

Look Joe, you have to be really careful about your assertions and learn from the mistakes of others, notably Joe Wilson. Just because Obama may have told an untruth does not make him a "damned liar." He may just be ill informed. Perhaps he made a trivial mistake in trying to make a point. Maybe he just lost his senses for the moment, to coin a phrase. Or it could possibly make him just a plain old regular DAMN liar, but who am I to say it's so?
But he's definitely not a "damned liar," at least not yet. We have to wait till the next election to know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Say it ain't so Robert, because you lie. It's my recollection Nancy Pelosi branded republicans at those town brawl meetings "Nazis."
Get your facts straight.