GOP accusation helped Obama
". . . Wilson's outburst is on far shakier footing, even though the details of enforcement mechanisms for the bill have not been worked out. He was claiming something — benefits for illegal immigrants — that is expressly prohibited in the major legislative efforts in both houses of Congress. He was becoming the sideshow the President wanted to spotlight, and as such Wilson handed a great gift to his political enemies, for whom he clearly has little regard.. . "
~Michael Scherer, reporting from Washington
Being heckled while stating his case actually helped Obama, and made the Democrats look stronger. I cannot agree that there is no detailed plan: The speech to Congress was inspirational, true, and hence lacking in the sort of detailed summary which takes place in the work hours and not in a galvanizing address, which was actually to the nation and the media.
As in the days of FDR, a failing economy opens the door to Obama's true powers. Of course he will be hated moreso by the GOP and Blue Dog Democrats, even as FDR was hated and feared. Obama is solidly behind American people, not huge corporate interests: that is the basic divide here.
Of course, the irony does not escape me: All of this " victory" is inspirational merely; can be reversed by the reform not passing. Anything passing , will be a historic step forward. The public option is viewed by Pelosi as absolutely necessary: By others, as totally unworkable in any realistic way: a mere phantasm.
Joe Wilson (R-SC), the South Carolinan GOP Representative , has, according to TIME magazine, given the President a "gift" with his rude outburst of, "You lie!" on Wednesday night:
Those words cut in politics. When directed at the President of the United States, during a prime time address to the nation no less, they cut deep.
So when Rep. Joe Wilson, a little known Republican and Army reserve veteran from South Carolina shouted them at the nation's commander-in-chief on the night of Sept. 9, heads snapped. The House Chamber took a collective gasp. Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind Obama, tensed and scowled as if she had just witnessed a crime, her disgust unhidden.(See TIME's photoessay "The Health-Care Debate Turns Angry.")
Even Obama, who had just dismissed conservative claims that illegal immigrants would be able to take advantage of health-care reform, was taken aback. He looked to his left, adjusted his arm, part nervous twitch, part macho posturing, and shot back at Wilson, "That's not true." And there, for a moment, the nation watched two men, elected to lead, call each other the worst thing in politics — dishonorable deceivers.
At the moment Wilson exploded, the outburst seemed like an assault on the President. Soon afterwards, it was clear that it had been a gift. Wilson had, in an emotional expression, proven Obama's point: the summer of town halls had been less a discussion than a circus, a forum where misinformation was vindicated by passion, where disrespect was elevated as a virtue. Now the circus had come inside Congress.