Friday, September 11, 2009

Interesting Rule

As many people have noted, it was a gross breach of house rules for Joe Wilson to direct his outburst at anyone, in the context of a Congressional meeting, will such a tone and vehemence. However, I hadn't seen this rule pointed out before:
To another political analyst, it's the nature of the accusation -- an elected official calling the president a liar -- that is not only a serious breach (accusations of lying are forbidden under House rules) but also extremely rare in politics.
Interesting. My first reaction was that this was sort of unreasonable in that sometimes lies need to be pointed out. Then I realized that there were alternatives that said the same thing without quite using the same words. For example:
  • The respected gentleman is clearly having difficulty distinguishing his dark fantasies from reality. He may wish to take a time out and reconsider his statement.
  • Facts can be difficult things, unless you choose to ignore them, as so many have in this debate.
  • I had been under the impression that the use of hallucinogens was strongly frowned upon on the House floor, but I appear to be mistaken.
  • I have little training in psychopathology, and it would be inappropriate for me to speculate on the roots of those previous remarks.
  • There are times when the revelation of the facts in all their rawness may cause one to pause and reconsider. This is not one of those times.
And so on. I think I like that rule.

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