Tuesday, December 29, 2020

the last book I ever read (A Promised Land by Barack Obama, excerpt twenty)

from A Promised Land by Barack Obama:

According to poll data, my address to Congress boosted public support for the healthcare bill, at least temporarily. Even more important for our purposes, it seemed to stiffen the spine of wavering congressional Democrats. It did not, however, change the mind of a single Republican in the chamber. This was clear less than thirty minutes into the speech, when—as I debunked the phony claim that the bill would insure undocumented immigrants—a relatively obscure five-term Republican congressman from South Carolina named Joe Wilson leaned forward in his seat, pointed in my direction, and shouted, his face flushed with fury, “You lie!”

For the briefest second, a stunned silence fell over the chamber. I turned to look for the heckler (as did Speaker Pelosi and Joe Biden, Nancy aghast and Joe shaking his head). I was tempted to exit my perch, make my way down the aisle, and smack the guy in the head. Instead, I simply responded by saying “It’s not true” and then carried on with my speech as Democrats hurled boos in Wilson’s direction.

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