Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Thinking--Sticks and stones will break my bones . . .

It's all over the news that a congressional representative from South Carolina called the President a liar during the presidential speech last night. It sounds as if the outburst has doomed the representative's future. When I read the story I thought, "Whoa. If they think that makes him a criminal, they should have been in congressional meetings back during Lincoln's tenure. The congressmen wore revolvers (and pulled them) and beat each other senseless with canes when they didn't agree." While I don't endorse disrespect, name-calling, revolver brandishing or caning, I did think it interesting that after a campaign of two-sided name-calling and half-truths this incident would receive such national attention as if propriety is the first thing on politicians' minds. The incessant applause and ovation after each sentence during a presidential speech has got to be worse on the ego than a name call. Responding to each phrase as if it is poetry or a stroke of genius can't be good for anybody's psyche, president or no. And that is what I've been thinking about this morning. What have you been thinking about?

19 comments:

Susan said...

Dear Jane,

I didn't get to watch the speech last night (was it last night or the night before) because of play practice, so I looked it up on You Tube to watch instead.

I have to say that I was so annoyed with the applauding that I could hardly watch! It detracted hugely from what the President was trying to say and if I were him, I would have tried to get people to quit! The speech is in 6 parts on You Tube and here is something really interesting. The first part has something like 36,000 views, the second 20,000, and so on down, until the sixth part only has like 8,000 views. Hmmm. That seems interesting to me.

The rest I will keep to myself.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

funny how this is somewhat of a political post, because I have been thinking of things in washington lately too. weird for me since I don't really understand a lot, but i am trying. but I have been thinking about the new regulator guy the senate voted in yesterday,Cass Sunstein,he has some very radical ideas about animal rights that have kept my brain trying to wrap around. Sometimes I just don't understand how people think.

I have also been thinking a lot about the speech the President delivered to the schools...not necessarily the speech itself but how everyone handled it. I won't state my opinion here though! I like susan will just keep the rest to myself!

Soylent Green said...

I think that calling him a liar was wrong, but how starnge that we can immortalize a passing Senator who was involved in a deadly accident that was his fault (Chappaquiddick incident), but yet one word shouted out during a preidential speech can condemn a person forever? Hmmm... there is something fishy going on in the media...

Kelly said...

Well, I'm not afraid to say what I think. And I hope you'll take this in the friendliest of ways. :)

I think it's terrible that our country has become so partisan that an elected Congressman (someone who in my opinion should be a gentleman) feels it is decent human behavior to shout out and call the President a liar during his speech. Whatever you think of President Obama (or Bush or any President!) as a person or a President, it's not appropriate! Call him a liar at home, under your breath, while singing in the shower, on your blog, in a speech of your own, write it in the sky, whatever ... it's rude to shout when you are physically present at what should be a civilized gathering of human beings we choose to represent us.

Yes, the applauding was annoying, too, but it wasn't the time or place to shout and call him a liar. And I'm actually a little shocked that you'd be okay with that Jane -- just because the campaign was filled with mud slinging. It was ugly, no doubt. But, like it or not, he is our President and that office should be respected. Yes, worse things happened in the time of Lincoln, but that was also a time period where pistol duels and slavery were also socially acceptable. I just think it's time to move on with the name calling and partisanship and work on solving actual problems.

And that's what I think. Sorry, this was a hot button for me.

Emma J said...

I have to say it is refreshing to hear (well, read) this conversation between commenters and Dear Neighbor Jane: with the focus on disrespect/ adulation and not wandering off into namecalling of your own. Refreshing and right.

To me, neither the applause nor the yelling seem particularly useful or healthy.

Cassidy said...

I like it! So true, so true. My day has been spent thinking of ways I can hang out with Carter and have us both be in good moods at the end.

Heather @ Multiple Hats said...

Oh Jane, a political post - how VERY brave of you! You are the brave little toaster, for sure!

I think the outburst was ridiculous. If you're going to break decorum in the joint session, at least do it like they did in the 2005 State of the Union, when ALL the opposing party booed the President. Then you don't look so conspicuous! ;)

Ryan and Haley Krumblis said...

I just can't stand it when I'm teaching and people don't understand two points of view! I try so hard to teach two sides to everything, so students can form their own opinions, but it is so difficult when students are set in their ways and can't explain them! We had some huge outbursts for the address to students!

Susan said...

Okay, so my point wasn't that it was okay to shout out of turn derogatory remarks, but that it is distracting when, say someone yells something out, or applauds every two seconds so that the President can't complete a thought! Seriously, who can follow what he was trying to get across when after every sentence there was 30 seconds, or more, of clapping. I want to understand the health care issue, but to follow what he was saying was about useless, as seen from the amount of people that dropped watching the speech. My comment wasn't really about Obama as much as it was about the stupid decorum they have about making our guy look good. Sheesh.

tina said...

I don't proclaim to know one lick about anything in politics because I really don't pay much attention. I think it's rude to yell out and applaud while someone is talking.

My issue with politics right now is that for the little amout of TV I watch, I always see snippets of the President. Is the President actually working on issues or is he constantly on TV telling us he's working on issues? I understand and believe that communication is key and the President should be communicating with the country. I'm just baffled by the amount of face time he gets with the media. Maybe it's just me, but I don't remember other presidents getting so much media attention (outside of Clinton's "relationship" issues).

I don't like politics because people can't express themselves without bad mouthing the other side - drives me insane. State your opinion on issues, but really, do we need to resort to elementary name calling?

Ugh, I don't know - gives me a headache to think about politics!

melanie said...

Hot button for sure. Not going to touch it with a ten foot pole because I can't write as poignant as you (and Lucy!). Plus until I read this, I'm embarrassed to say, I had no idea what you were talking about. Haven't watched or read the news today. Man, that makes me sound pretty lame.

As for me and my thinking... I wasted much of today's time, knowing I was doing it and thinking 34 might be the number for me that feels different. Maybe it's just 2009, who knows. Anyway this comment should tip you off, I've been all over the board today, ha!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Whoa! I didn't think this was a political post. I simply made an observation that a man's career is in the balance because he shouted out. I don't believe I endorsed or excused the behavior, just commented that it was interesting it received such headlines after a hardened two and a half years of similar behavior that was never called out. I merely mentioned President Lincoln’s tenure because I just finished an outstanding book on him last night. His problems were monumental and, to me, this incident seemed fairly trivial compared to assassination attempts and civil war.

I also made the statement that I believe incessant applauding is dangerous. (Better stated in the words of G.B. Hinckley, "Adulation is poison, adulation is poison.") I don't care who it happens to, rock star, pta president, jane payne.

Thanks for the discussion everybody.

Susan, that is interesting about the you-tube numbers. I think it reinforces the mantra taught in public speaking classes, “Say it succinctly, say it well, say it again and sit down.” America’s attention span is definitely getting shorter and you don't have long to make your point.

Tiffany, I’m completely ignorant on Cass Sustein. Hmmmm. I’ll be watching for his name.

Soylent, I’ve been thinking about eulogies too, and what deems a hero.

Kelly, I'm glad we already agreed we could be friends even though our political/environmental views aren't always compatible.

Emma, I always enjoy your alliteration (refreshing and right in this case) in your writing—blogs and comments.

Cassidy, did you succeed?

Heather, I’d forgotten all about that booing incident.

Haley, I would love to be a student in your class.

Tina, politics give me a headache, too, and yet I love them.

Melanie, I hope 34 is a good number for you. Truth be told, I didn’t realize this was a hot topic. I thought the hot topic was nationalized healthcare.

Again, thank you for the discussion everybody.

neil said...

A liar's a liar no matter when you call him it! And keeping our mouths shut has got us in this mess. I agree with Glen Beck on this issue, sitting at home calling the president and congress liars to the t.v. isn't working. The goverment is a mess and has been for a long time. It's time we stand up and say so, no matter when it is! We live in the best country in the world with the best system of goverment out there, but the goverment has become out of touch with the common people and with what its real purpose is. We need to stop worrying about what party we're from and more about what is just plan common sense, and right now not much is.

lelly said...

i'm am thoroughly amazed by and embarrassed for the Congressmen and women on BOTH sides who had the AUDACITY to sit in the CAPITOL, listening to the PRESIDENT of the United States... all the while brandishing their flippin' BLACKBERRIES!!!

What, in the world, could be more important than giving the PRESIDENT of the United States ONE HOUR of your undivided attention??? i believe, for most people in that room, it is their JOB to be present and attentive in sessions like this. it is, after all, what we elected them to do!!

Respect, people, it's a lost art form...

Susan said...

Oh Lelly! Good point! I was thinking the same thing, I mean, what were they doing? Tweeting? Seriously people. Neil has it right, we have got to get more involved with our representatives so hopefully we can get some kind of common sense in there!

Lucy said...

Ooooh...conversation. Yay!

It's always rude to yell out during a speech. He was rude, he yelled a rude thing and I don't think, in our current set up, that it was excusable.

Which makes me think: Is there something missing from our current set up?

Because, yes, of course, we need the opportunity for dissent. I was watching the speech live and when he shouted, "You lie!" I actually giggled. Jay was over in the kitchen and I said, "I think we're becoming more and more british! Pretty soon, everyone is going to start yelling at each other!"

I don't mean that I want it to be that way, but the PM of England, well, he's got to be prepared to handle his detractors. Just like you said using President Hinckley's quote, I don't think our country is any better off if we treat our president like royalty, or, even worse, diety. He, or in the future, she, is an elected leader and respect and accountability go hand in hand.

I appreciate Kelly's statement about an office of respect, no matter which political party is currently holding it. I was often irritated when journalists, pundits and really everyone in entertainment, referred to President Bush as W. I think we all need a refresher course on political protocol, particularly politeness (say that five times fast:))

I applaud Congressman Wilson's apology, as he should have, as well as President Obama's acceptance of it. Everyone else should let it go.

If they are going to punish Wilson, then the rules really need to be changed. If the only allowed form of dissent is to NOT give a standing ovation every 30 seconds, something is wrong.

Samantha said...

Yesterday morning the only thing I was thinking about was how Ellen Degeneres seemed like an odd replacement for Paula Abdul as a judge on American Idol...

michelle said...

"as if propriety is the first thing on politicians' minds." Hear, hear! Very interesting discussion indeed.

Puhlman said...

WOW Jane,
Did you think you would have such a huge response to your blog. I used to hate politics until I married my husband. He LOVES it and almost majored in it. Now we spend a lot of time talking about it because we feel it is important. We can see that the Constitution is hanging by a thread. We can see that our people in D.C. are pretty corrupt.

We have to stand tall. We have to stand up for what is right and the things that are going on right now ARE NOT RIGHT.

Check out the Czars. Check out ACORN. Check out the people that are being put into office....like Cass Sustein.

My challenge is for all to listen to Glenn Beck. Listen to him for just ONE week and then if you don't like or agree with what he says stop listening. He has some amazing info. He is not for one party. He is for peace and standing together and standing up for what is right and for all of AMERICA to come together. It isn't about Republican or Democrat. It is about the U.S.

We all need to see what is going on in Washington and try to stop it.

They had a rally here in the D.C. area for 9/12. There were SO many people that attended and are standing up and trying to protect our freedom and the things that really matter.

SORRY JANE. I guess I just had to put my two cents in. I really don't think people are doing their research on these issues. I hope they can see soon before it is too late.

I am having a very hard time respecting those in office right now. I have a hard time respecting those full of lies and deceit. Maybe I need to work harder on things but how do you do it? How do you respect someone that is trying to take us down the road to you know where.

OK ALL DONE.