If you were up watching CSPAN last night while the House of Representatives were debating, then voting on, the latest health care reform bill, you might have seen the latest in a disturbing trend of interruptions by Republicans. Bart Stupak, a Democratic representative from the state of Michigan who came under fire for his amendment to the health care bill, was speaking about how he felt the bill wasn’t pro-life, and Republican Randy Neugebauer, a rep from Texas, yelled “baby killer!” at him. While at first I was offended, I then wondered if anyone had actually ever just told members of Congress that it wasn’t polite to interrupt. Maybe they’ve just never had this clarified. So let’s do that now.
Let’s sit down here, Republicans. Come on, gather round. Guys. Can we please just listen to each other speak? I don’t know about you, but I was taught at a very young age that interrupting people isn’t very nice. Also, let’s break down what was actually said in a logic fashion. Baby killer. I’m assuming the interrupter was referring to abortion. Abortion is murder, according to your beliefs. However, technically speaking, Bart Stupak isn’t actually a baby killer, even by your standards, as he’s not an abortion doctor, nor can he biologically conceive or abort a baby. So the exclamation didn’t even make sense.
Next, I’d like to direct your attention to this clip from Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. This was aired soon after your colleague, Senator Joe Wilson, yelled “you lie!” in the middle of President Obama’s State of the Union address. It sheds a lot of light on how it’s uncouth to interrupt. There are a lot of pop culture references, but I think you can get the point.
So, let’s repeat: interrupting is not polite, nor does it make your point at all valid. If you wouldn’t yell “baby killer!” at your waitress at Applebees, why would you think it acceptable to yell it at a colleague? Let's treat each other with some respect--afterall, the rest of your peers were elected the same way you were.
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