The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

10 September 2009

Two Dems Are At Odds Over Dissident Republican's Outburst


To What Extent Will Ruling Democrats Tolerate Dissent?

*** ELSEWHERE: OC Register Censors John Ziegler's Op-Ed ***

By now, you've probably heard all about Rep Joe Wilson (R-SC) and his public display of dissent during Obama's healthcare speech last night. While Wilson has since apologized for calling Obama a liar, the matter certainly isn't settled as far as ruling Democrats are concerned.

Interestingly, while Democrats including turncoat Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter are calling for Wilson to be punished, liberal Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) has a much different view.

Here are our exclusive clips, followed by the Politico's earlier coverage of Specter (which didn't include the audio as we have now provided) and a transcript of Frank's interview:

Specter wants Wilson censured

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.), who's looked at POTUS from both sides now, was just on the Bill Press radio show suggesting the South Carolina firebrand Joe Wilson be censured for his heckle heard round the world.

Said the Republican-turned-Dem:

"He apologized immediately afterward but I don't think that’s adequate... If an apology is the consequence of an outburst I think we can expect more – that’s not a sufficient penalty that’s not a sufficient price to pay.. I'm not saying the guy should be kicked out of the House… But there ought to be some rebuke, reprimand, censure -- something that will discourage that kind of conduct in the future. If you do that to the President, it's open season."

And from Maddow's special post-speech program:

RACHEL MADDOW (03:16 of segment entitled "Dealing with the opposition on health reform"): Is this an ignore-the-tantrum moment or is that a big deal?

FRANK: Oh, I don't think it's a big deal. Look, I think free speech is (garbled), you know, heckling is a tradition, obviously, in the British Parliament. They even have mics that come down to hear the heckles.

I think what we should take it as, it is unusual, it's a sign of how effective the president was. These guys just couldn't handle it.


FRANK (06:02): Ronald Reagan, in 1980, won. His first inaugural, my first year in Congress, said 'government is not the answer to our problems. Government is the problem.'

Wilson Image: Fox News

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