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Free Speech Joe Wilson Opposes Free Speech

In response to Rep. Joe Wilson‘s shout of “You Lie!” to President Barack Obama during his health care reform speech last night, right-wing Americans have come out of the woodwork to defend Wilson’s right to free speech:


Actually, I applaud Joe! We still have FREE SPEECH in this country

Say Anything:

Now we can talk about free speech, and certainly its not good form to shout down your political opponents, but Obama was not shouted down. Audience reactions in the form of cheers or jeers are common during addresses of joint sessions of Congress. That Wilson’s particular jeer was a bit more boisterous than most hardly makes it any worse than run-of-the-mill booing.

David Curry:

You go Joe. He only spoke what a majority of Americans are saying and thinking. Thank you. Look at history people. This is what political parties do in chambers. They give and take. Our founding fathers would argue back and forth on the floor. All countries pols will shout from the seats during speeches. It is what free speech is all about.


He has nothing to be sorry for, freedom of speech remember. It’s about time a R stands up and does the right thing for the people. I would move to S.C just to support him. I know his heart is in the right place. Please don’t back down. Please we need you in our corner. This President is a very mean, hateful person, and I have lost all respect for him and the office of President because of his ways in talking to people, He can talk to his kids that way but not to us. He is a very bad example for a black president.

Texas Jim:

Hell Wilson’s right!! Obama lied all through this joke of a speech. He doesn’t deserve any damn respect. Respect for what? Ruining and bankrupting the country!! What happened to freedom of speech? All those bastard are hypocrites anyway

We should remember how Republicans got so incensed about “disrespect” shown to the President when people disagreed with George W. Bush. This makes those Republicans into hypocrites. Obama partisans who speak of respect for the President this morning but spoke of dissent as the highest form of patriotism four years ago are just as hypocritical. Philip Munger of “Progressive Alaska” provides the most stark twistaround today, repeatedly calling Joe Wilson a “traitor” for his act of disagreement with Barack Obama. Watch who turns, watch when they turn, and you’ll be able to figure out when people are really being honest about what motivates them.

What I find really interesting are the policy preferences of the man whose right to engage in free speech, even and especially controversial free speech, is being so vocally defended this morning. Rep. Joe Wilson cosponsored legislation last year to punish schools that allowed people to say the pledge of allegiance in any language other than English. That’s not defending free speech. Rep. Joe Wilson has cosponsored a constitutional amendment to ban political expression involving any harm done to an American flag. That’s not defending free speech. Defenders of Joe Wilson’s controversial free speech should keep in mind just how eager Joe Wilson is to squash the controversial free speech of others.

45 comments to Free Speech Joe Wilson Opposes Free Speech

  • Michael

    Finally, a “Man” with real balls that knows how and when to use free speech. All others are “girly men.” You go Joe.

    -from a doctor treating the many who are “sick” here in the SF bay area.

  • Mark

    I can honestly say that despite my total disagreement with everything that President George Bush said and did, because of the respect I have for the office of the President of the United States, I would never have applauded such an unrespectful display against him. The US House of Representatives and the US Senate are respectful bodies. I’m glad they are not as rowdy and uncouth as the British Parliament. I’m embarrassed to be from the same state as Representative Wilson. Being from the South he should know better than to make such a public display. By doing so he merely brought attention to himself (but maybe that’s what he really intended). There are plenty of avenues for him to have voiced his displeasure, but in the middle of the President’s speech is not one of them.

  • qs

    Dems were booing Bush during his speech.

    None of this stuff really bothers me. I actually find it pretty amusing. Presidents always do damage to the country so this should be a surprise.

  • Gary

    I can not believe the crap that I am reading. This is not about free speech, this comes down to respect for the office. Bush got up there and lied for 8 years and no one would have DARED to have been so disrespectful. It just shows that this man was not raised with any morals. They should have had him removed…there is a time and place and that was not it. That is the problem with people today, they have no respect for their fellow man. The bad thing was that he was the one that was lying as most of these idiotic Republican FOOLS do as even the AP published today in its fact section. I guess if your children where in class during a lecture and they simply didnt like what they heard, then you would be ok with an outburst like that. I expect more from our congress than that. SHAME ON JOE WILSON AND SHAME ON YOU THAT THINK IT WAS OK TO DO.

    • ReMarker

      I hope you read the “Was Joe Wilson Wrong To Call Obama A Liar?” thread. 41 comments and counting.

      Link: http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2009/09/10/was-joe-wilson-wrong-to-call-obama-a-liar/

    • Jim

      Every couple of weeks I feel the need to write the words “stop thinking dichotomously.” You’re mistaking a chandelier for a bulb with an on-off switch, Gary: OK/NOT OK.

      Or, to get spatial, think about it this way: The situation regarding Joe Wilson’s “You Lie!” outburst is multidimensional. There’s the dimension of freedom. There’s the dimension of truth. There’s the dimension of strategy. There’s the dimension of historical parallel. And there are probably at least a few dimensions I’m not thinking about. Sometimes, these dimensions are independent of one another. Try thinking about Joe Wilson along each dimension separately, Gary.

  • KWF

    A parlimentary format would be a good idea when the President goes before Congress. What Rep. Wilson did is nothing compared to what the Prime Minister of Great Britain faces when he speaks before Parliment.

    • Jim

      I agree with you. We’re treating our President much too much like a King lately. He’s a commoner and a citizen.

    • uniquelyme

      It is my understanding though that the British Prime Minister is actually a member of Parliament. The U.S. President is not a member of Congress.

      • qs

        British Prime Minister controls the military I assume.

        Whoever controls the standing army always assumes a king-like status.

        That’s how it has always worked no matter what you name that person.

        • az iz

          Go live in the U.K. then, you can shoot your mouth off like an ignoramus all you want. I think we already have all we can handle here anyway, so no one will miss you. Isn’t it the Repubs anyway who are so “scared” that the U.S. will become too much like European countries? Now you want to model our Congress after Parliament? LOL!

          As the Dems were told for years — If you don’t like it, leave. Nobody’s holding you here.

          • Jim

            Quashing free speech: IOKIYAD

          • qs

            You just said “Is (not) the republicans.”

            Maybe you meant “aren’t.”

          • KWF

            I did not say model Congress after Parliment. I said that when the President goes before Congress it should be more of a parlimentary type format. Instead of some prepared speech, the President should be subjected to a question and answer period by members of the Congress, who after all represent we the People, right after his opening remarks. I fail to see why anyone would object to a free and open exchange between the President and members of Congress. This would be a refreshing change from the staged press conferences of today.

            You seem to imply that only Republicans would suggest such an idea just to defend Rep. Wilson. I could care less what party he belongs to. I would feel the same if a Democrat had done what Wilson did. I am an Independent myself. Just because you don’t agree with someone, you think they should remove themselves from this country?? And that’s the American way? LOL right back at you.

  • glen craft

    thank’s joe for haveing the gut’s to say what obama really is, he has been a liar all his life. i hail you as an american hero and remember never apologize for the truth.


  • You mistake my intent in calling out Joe Wilson. He has every right to say what he wants, and I’d defend hat right very strenuously, if called upon.

    His treachery is in his shilling for corporate interests, instead of the people of the USA. His treachery is in violating the UCMJ while serving as a reserve officer.

    I’m not a big fan of Obama, BTW, and have published Hugh’s list of Obama’s violations of US laws or policies so far.

  • david barrit


    • Jim

      It’s not accurate to say the words “abortion may be covered,” because that suggests a federal plan under which abortion is provided (not, frankly, that I see anything wrong with that).

      If poor people get some financial help to help them buy private health insurance, then sometimes the private health insurance is going to cover abortions. Yeah, obviously. What’s the alternative? A ban on any private health insurance ever covering abortion under their plan. Is that the kind of abortion ban that the conservatives really are aiming for?

      • Jim

        And BESIDES, the whole Joe Wilson “You Lie!” thing was about ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, not ABORTION.

        So no, no, and no.

      • Jacob

        Actually, we are going for a ban on abortion all together, but thats a seperate issue… And there should be provisions in this plan thats states if the money comes from the governement they have to be put on plans that dont cover it. I build coding for insurance plans. It would be easy to do…

        • Jim

          Should medical procedures opposed by any religion be excluded from insurance coverage under the law? Or just the medical procedures opposed by your religion?

  • Kevin

    but only for illegal immigrants. The right should love that!

    heck I bet they would add in $50 and a free bus ride…

  • josh

    I’m tired of this country. Does noone realize how to fix this country? When did it go to hell? Well for starters when gas prices shot through the roof and people had to start using their savings just to get to work and back. When gas prices dropped back down people started spending their extra money on themselves, and that keeps businesses other than wal-mart open. The last two times I’ve been pulled over I was pulled out of my car and searched for no reason! Land of the free my ass! Oh but its for your safety! I would rather be shot in the head than searched every time I get in my car. I also just had city taxes send me a letter saying they were going to file CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL CHARGES Because I couldn’t pay the 22.95 in taxes I owed. Is this country retarded putting people in jail for 23 dollars. They would lose more money daily then just waiting till I could pay it. I also looked at the bill and it had estimated fine of $25. ESTIMATED FINE-either its a fine or its not pick ONE. No wonder people are turning to crime to get by. Finaly I got my car back from the shop & go to get tags. I have to pay extra because I didn’t tag it around 7 days after my birthday. I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE CAR. SO I’M GETTING CHARGED EXTRA FOR A CAR I DIDN’T USE. who the hell came up with that one. How can the state justify charging people extra for nothing. LITERALLY NOTHING. I’m no history expert but didn’t citizens overthrow the government years ago for doing things that were hurting the nation. Well how long do I have to wait for that again!!!!!! AMERICA= the rich get richer & fuck the poor. I hope the rich get robbed & killed by the poor.

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