Maybe This is Why the Tea Party Struck Such a Nerve


One of our commenters asked the following questions concerning the now (in)famous Wednesday Congressional Speech in which lawmaker Joe Wilson(R) shouted out, “You lie!” at the POTUS…

Is it true that the Democrats and Obama supporters at that same meeting interrupted the president’s speech 102 times with applause/wild cheering and/or standing ovations?
If so, am I to understand that being disrespectful and interrupting the president once because you “disagree” is rude, but being disrespectful and interrupting the president 102 times because you agree is okie-dokie?

To answer the first question: According to the Huffington Post, the President was indeed interrupted 102 times (65 times for applause, and 37 standing o’s). However, some of those interruptions also came from conservatives when President Obama touched on subjects they liked.

As for the second question, I think I’d rather be interrupted by praise rather than being interrupted by, “You lie!” But it raises an interesting question: Speaking as a guy who’s spent way too much time in front of a classroom, interruptions (good or bad) can be extremely annoying when you’re trying to make a point or explain something. It breaks your concentration, possibly derails your train of logic, and throws off your rhythm as a speaker.

But I think our commenter also hit upon a much larger idea. People (like the folks who attended the Tea Parties) are yelling at government because they don’t feel like government is listening to them. Congressman Wilson was just a microcosm of that frustration when he yelled at the President, because quite frankly the administration isn’t listening to the GOP.

It’s interesting to note that as Fox News interviewed various participants at the Tea Party, an all-too-common explanation for attendance was, “My government isn’t listening to me.”

Maybe this is why the Tea Parties struck such a nerve… No wonder we’re all yelling, including Mr. Wilson.

Alan Speakman

3 Responses to Maybe This is Why the Tea Party Struck Such a Nerve

  1. Solana2012 says:

    Thanks, Alan.
    I think the point I was trying to comprehend was this:
    There now appear to be 3 issues regarding this Wilson thing.
    1. Wilson was being racist
    which I believe should just go away, it’s so ridiculous (thank you Maureen Dowd).
    2. Wilson said the president lied.
    though stated at an inappropriate time and place, this is the truth and should now go away.
    3 Wilson breached protocol by interrupting the president during a solemn occassion (an address to the joint session of congress). Expected behavior was disregarded.

    Yes, it’s nice to have praise, I agree with you 100%.
    But there is a time and place for everything.

    This was not “the campaign trail”; this was a SPECIAL address by The President of the United States of America to congress. The praise, applause, hoopla were also inappropriate disruptions in that setting.
    When you “cheer out” in court, you’re escorted out of the courtroom and/or fined.
    Am I explaining my double-standard confusion correctly? Maybe I need more coffee.

    • Solana2012 says:

      And, yes, it’s very frustrating that the government isn’t listening to us; blowing us off – my thanks to Wilson for being gutsier than I am.

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