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Monday, February 13, 2023
GOP Congressman Dismisses Complaints Over 'Lack of Decorum' at State of the Union
Let’s face it: Tuesday night’s State of the Union address had some interesting and raucous moments. Some Congressional Republicans weren’t going to let Joe Biden get away with his most egregious lies, and they spoke out.
The behavior we saw from Republicans didn’t use to be what we were accustomed to during State of the Union speeches. This year’s State of the Union more resembled the British House of Commons than the U.S. House of Representatives, and it served as a way for viewers across the nation to see the GOP hold the president’s feet to the fire.
“This kind of thing is supposed to be a no-no at State of the Union addresses, which take our democratic institutions and submerge them in all the pageantry of the ancient Persian court,” points out Matt Purple at The Spectator World. “The president is supposed to be a sun-god in these moments, with everyone else his captive worshippers.”
Some critics have decried the “heckling” — or, as PJ Media’s own Rick Moran referred to it in a team Slack channel, “just speaking truth to power” — on the part of some GOP members, but one freshman member of the Republican delegation says that the president should have seen it coming.
“I think him standing in the dais and lying to the American people is inappropriate,” he told The Spectator.
“If you’re going to have the audacity to do that, don’t be surprised that you get pushback from those who are being levied with accusations,” he added. “So I would say what was inappropriate is his tone.”
One of the most egregious examples of both Biden’s lying and the furor that erupted from it was his assertion that Republicans want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare on a regular basis.
“That means if Congress doesn’t vote to keep them, those programs will go away,” he claimed. “Other Republicans say if we don’t cut Social Security and Medicare, they’ll let America default on its debt for the first time in our history.”
Republicans erupted into a chorus of boos, denunciations, and shouts of disapproval. Just this once, it might even make sense to say they pounced, but Ogles says the reaction was warranted because Biden’s rhetoric flies in the face of what the GOP really wants to do.
“He levied false accusations trying to scare seniors,” Ogles said. “And look, we are going to take care of our seniors. We’re not going to get rid of Medicare and Social Security and anyone who says that is not being truthful. And so I was offended by it. I was disappointed in it.”
Ogles says Biden’s border rhetoric personally bothers him. Having worked with anti-trafficking organizations, the congressman has seen firsthand what this administration’s disastrous border policy has done.
“Every town in America is a border town because of a porous border,” Ogles said. “Just two weeks ago, we arrested someone from Iran on our southern border. Sixty percent of women and children that try to cross are sexually assaulted at our southern border. So for him to stand in that room and say that he has a solution for the southern border is laughable and offensive. He could have closed it with a stroke of a pen. Period.”
Political figures on both sides of the aisle should expect the public — and their colleagues — to hold them accountable. Joe Biden shouldn’t be able to get away with spouting likes with impunity.
“It can’t be in a liberal democratic nation like ours that these state-subsidized fibs go out unchallenged,” Purple writes.
On Tuesday night, it just so happened that the GOP was prepared to hold Biden accountable for his statements in real time. The media may complain, but Ogles is right: Republicans should call Biden out when he lies to score cheap political points before a national audience.