The Shoe Thrower and the Flame Thrower

Written by Henry L. Chambers, Jr. on September 16th, 2009

Interestingly enough, this week has seen the release of the Iraqi journalist who threw a shoe at President Bush on his trip to Iraq last year as well as the continued discussion of the Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) “You lie” lie thrown at President Obama during his address to Congress last week.  Interestingly, the two incidents and their aftermath are instructive.  The shoe-throwing journalisttmpphpIaM5Yi[1] tried to make a point with respect to President Bush’s policy in Iraq and the resulting carnage that resulted.  His conduct was inappropriate, but one can understand that he felt compelled to do something after witnessing the carnage that he had witnessed in his own country.   His disrespect for President Bush, based on President Bush’s policies and their effect, was clear.  Nonetheless, he was, of course, arrested and sent to jail.  Rep. Wilson tossed his lie at President Obama not after witnessing carnage and not after seeing the effects of President Obama’s plans.  He tossed his lie at his president at an inappropriate place at an inappropriate time on an issue about which Wilson was inappropriately confused.  He showed disrespect to President Obama and the office of the President not based on what the president has done and not based on the substance of what the president said as the statement that precipitated the insult was true.  Rather, Wilson showed supreme disrespect for President Obama because he did not like what the president said and, I fear, because of who the president is.  The political price for Rep. Wilson’s actions as measured by the regard in which the public and his fellow legislators hold him should be significant.  However, almost certainly, the price will be a pittance.


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