Decorum prevents Betty McCollum from calling out Joe Wilson
Congresswoman Betty McCollum wanted to speak to the U.S. House of Representatives today about the breach of conduct by her peer, Rep. Joe Wilson. But to do it would violate the same decorum Wilson threw to the wayside by blurting our "You Lie!" during President Obama's address to the Joint Session of Congress. Lucky for Wilson, as the good congresswoman was ready to throw down a rhetorical blast.
This was the planned floor speech McCollum hoped to give before the parliamentarian sent word that it would be best to nix it:
Madam Speaker, last week, in this chamber, the House hosted the members of the Senate and the President of the United States.
The President used that opportunity to address Congress and the American people about our health care crisis.
During the speech a member of this body shouted a personal insult - rude and disrespectful words - at the President of the United States that violated the rules of decorum of this House and disgraced this institution.
To insult the President of the United States - an invited guest in this House - in such a manner brings shame on this body and all its members.
Disrespect, incivility, and personal attacks have no place in the People's House if we are to get the people's business done.
As a matter of honor, respect, and common decency the representative of the people of South Carolina's 2nd District should stand in the well of the House and apologize to his colleagues for his words and his conduct.
I yield back my time.
Unfortunately, she wasn't able to give her speech. Decorum would not allow it. So in the words of one congressional insider: the decorum Joe Wilson failed to show the president is protecting him now from being called out on the House floor.
UPDATE: McCollum was able to enter the statement to the Congressional Record. (Not half as fun as calling out a dude from South Carolina for acting like... a dude from South Carolina.)
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.