Obama, the Heckle & a ‘Lack of Civility’

By Tom Johnson

Sep 10, 2009 10:16am

The voice over the jeers shouting "liar" at the President was that of Republican Congressman Joe Wilson.  Wilson yelled "liar" after the President tried to assure that his plan for health care reform does not include providing coverage to illegal immigrants.  Soon after the speech Wilson issued this public apology: “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill.  While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable.  I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.” A lack of civility?  When is that line crossed?  When does vigorous debate become uncivil, disrespectful behavior? Was Congress more civil during the Tip O'Neil years?  Thoughts? 

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