Tonight, President Obama’s health care address to a joint session of Congress was interrupted by Rep. Joe Wilson, (R.- S.C.), who shouted, “You lie!” when the president falsely claimed that “illegal aliens would not benefit from his proposals” (APNewsMyWay.com, September 9, 2009, “Obama: Time for ‘bickering’ is over on health care”). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D. – CA) seemed stunned and the AP reported that “first lady Michelle Obama shook her head from side to side in disapproval of the interruption.” The story added that the “outburst” was “unusual.” I would argue that it was “unusual” because Mr. Obama’s lies are so seldom rebutted.
Thank God for Rep. Wilson’s outburst because the official Republican response was delivered by Rep. Charles Boustany (R. – LA) who not only ignored the president’s lie about illegal aliens but he also gave the president a pass on the lies he told about “death panels” and “abortion funding” in the bill.
This is not the first time the President has lied about illegal aliens and health care. He also said it’s “not true” that illegal immigrants “will get health insurance under reform” in a recent radio address (RealClearPolitics.com, Mr. Obama, August 22, 2009, “Debunking Phony Health Care Claims”). But it is true. HumanEvents.com reports (“Immigration Distrust on HealthBill,” August 27, 2009) that:
Section 246 of the bill [HR 3200] – dealing solely with insurance subsidies – states: ‘Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.’
It says they should not receive the bill’s new insurance subsidies. It doesn’t say they can’t receive taxpayer-paid health care. It doesn’t say they can’t receive other benefits from HR 3200, such as expanded Medicaid.
The article adds that, “There are other avenues for illegal aliens to receive health care at public expense” and that “All efforts to add enforcement language to HR3200 were defeated by mostly party-line votes. We can expect that the bureaucracy would look the other way under Obama’s control ….” The story also warns that “The House bill not only makes a major expansion of Medicaid eligibility but also restricts (in Section 1702) inquiries about immigration status.” This is the worst form of official corruption. Democrats take money from law-abiding taxpayers and use it to buy votes from illegal aliens, lying about it all the while. And the state-owned media covers-up the whole charade.
Human Events further reports that:
Federal regulations [7 CFR 273.4 (b)] explicitly require that immigration authorities must be notified if they learn that an illegal alien is within a household applying for Food Stamps. However, a ‘Catch 22’ was created by the Clinton Administration. In an ‘Interagency Notice (65 Fed. Reg. 58301, Sept. 28, 2000), bureaucrats were told that unless a person has already had a hearing and been formally determined to be an illegal immigrant, no government agency really ‘knows’ that they are illegal – so they need not be turned in.
In other words, the burden of proof isn’t on the illegal alien to establish that he is legal, it is on the liberal, Democrat, government bureaucrats to prove that he is illegal. And with twelve million illegals in the U.S., even if liberal, Democrat, government bureaucrats were willing to enforce the laws they are obligated to enforce, the sheer volume of illegal alien criminality would quickly overwhelm the administrative courts in which their status would have to be adjudicate`.
Democrats have run these kinds of scams for a long time. For instance, The Heritage Foundation (“The Threat of Non-Citizen Voting,” July 10, 2008) reports that:
Thousands of non-citizens are registered to vote in some states and tens if not hundreds of thousands … may be present on the voter rolls nationwide. These numbers are significant: Local elections are often decided by only a handful of votes and even national elections have likely been [decided] within the margin of the number of non-citizens illegally registered to vote.
Democrats also say they support laws prohibiting voting by illegal aliens but they just as frequently oppose the enforcement provisions without which the prohibitions are meaningless. Ironically, Rep. Eugene Green (D-TX) voted against requiring photo IDs to vote and then required photo IDs for admission to town hall meetings at which he feared criticism from people outside his district (as newsbusters.com puts it, August 11, 2009, you couldn’t make this stuff up). If federal law can’t keep millions of illegal aliens out of the country, can’t keep them from getting jobs, can’t keep them from getting driver’s licenses and social security cards and welfare, how is it going to keep them from getting health care?
The “death panel” process about which Mr. Obama lied tonight is more euphemistically called Comparative Effectiveness Research. Martin Feldstein says in the Wall Street Journal (August 18, 2009, “ObamaCare Is All About Rationing”) that it is designed to “reduce costs by rationing care.” For many, that will mean death. This strategy is consistent with Mr. Obama’s repeated expressions of skepticism concerning whether his grandmother’s cancer should have disqualified her for hip replacement surgery. He also questioned whether the elderly mother of a town hall questioner should have been given the pacemaker her doctor recommended. In a Bloomberg.com piece titled “Ruin Your Health With Obama Stimulus Plan,” Betsy McCaughey says influential Obama health care advisor Tom Daschle believes that “seniors should be more accepting of the conditions which come with age instead of treating them.”
As for the abortion funding lie which even Rep. Wilson allowed to go unchallenged, FactCheck.org says (August 21, 2009, “Abortion: Which Side Is Fabricating”) “… the president goes too far when he calls the statements that government would be funding abortions ‘fabrications.’”
How slavishly is the state-run media shilling for Mr. Obama? The Washington Post’s coverage of his address tonight not only ignored Rep. Wilson’s heckling but the story made no mention of Rep. Boustany’s official Republican response.
Another AP story on tonight’s address was headlined “Obama heckled by GOP during speech to Congress.” It detailed various Republican interruptions of Mr. Obama’s remarks and referred to “The nastiness of August” reaching “from the nation’s town halls and into the U.S. Capitol.” But “nastiness” may now be the only for us to cut through media censorship and be heard in opposition to Mr. Obama’s attempt to socialize medicine. When Harvard Professor Henry Gates was shouting down Officer James Crowley, (giving rise to Mr. Obama’s stupid assertion that Officer Crowley “acted stupidly” in arresting Mr. Gates), New York Times columnist and race-baiter Bob Herbert wrote an essay titled “Anger Has Its Place.” He said America’s reluctance to discuss racial issues (on what planet has he been living?) gives blacks the right to “rant and rave … to confront and … do whatever is necessary to stop a continuing and deeply racist criminal justice outrage.” I would agree that “anger has its place” and that place is every place where our lying president lies!
UPDATE: Rep. Wilson has now apologized to the White House for the “inappropriate” manner in which he called the presidet a liar. CNN.com quotes many Democrats and Republicans who condemned Rep. Wilson for being disreapectful but none is condemning Mr. Obama for lying. That is why heckling may be the only effective way to make a point in a political climate which values etiquette over integrity.
UPDATE: The Senate Finance Committee nogotiators now announce that they will insert enforcement language in the Senate version of the health care bill. This will be a version of the same language Democrats repeatedly rejected when offered by Republicans before Mr. Wilson called Mr. Obama out as a liar. The press is reporting that the White House will support these enforcement mechanisms. There is, indeed, a place for rudeness in the public square.