Democratic assemblyman to Schwarzenegger: 'You lie!'
It wasn't all that long ago that the left side of the aisle and the media (often difficult to tell apart) took South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson to task for his outburst during a joint session of the Senate and the House. His now infamous, "You lie!," remark not only was rude and a serious breach of Congressional conduct, but it was considered by some a negative yardmarker for our society.
More than one pundit waxed endlessly how it was a clear sign that civility had taken a nosedive and the End of Times was surely upon our democracy. Needless to say, the story took just a couple turns of the 24/7 news cycle to fade away.
Now comes this: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made an unannounced stop at a San Francisco Democratic Party gala Wednesday night -- and wasn’t exactly greeted with open arms.
When the Republican governor took the podium and began to speak [invited by Democratic heavyweight Willie Brown], San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano shouted, "You lie!" It was a West Coast reprisal of GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s now-infamous outburst during a congressional address by President Obama last month."
According to some sources, Ammiano also yelled "kiss my gay ass!"at the governor as he walked out of the room.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci has a good account (including video here, more on what happened below).
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (right): he yells...alot.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC): making the infamous 'You Lie!' remark.
Hat's off to Brown. Always a tough and outspoken leader, he's also respected for his straight talk.
From Marinucci's blog: "[The governor] and former President Bill Clinton -- at the Fairmont for the President's Cup golf tournament -- were invited to attend the Democrats' event "by the hosts...the fundraiser organizers," Brown told us. Clinton declined the invite; Schwarzenegger accepted.
"Ammiano conducted himself somewhat similar to Joe Wilson,'' Brown said, referring to the GOP congressman who incurred Democratic wrath when he shouted "You lie" to President Obama during a speech to Congress. It was inappropriate to invite anyone in and shout at them, I don't care who it is. It could be George Bush," said Brown. "You don't do that. If you don't wish to be in their presence, then don't invite them."
When it was all over, Brown added, "I went out and found the governor in the bar area...and spent another 45 minutes with him. We didn't even talk about that nonsense in the other room. And all I could think about is (state Sen. Mark Leno's) bill for Harvey Milk Day. Why would you think you're impressing him into signing that bill by insulting him? "You're talking about utter stupidity," Brown said. "I would have been trying my best to try to figure out how to get him to sign it."
We'll see if the media goes after Ammiano to any of the degree they went after Wilson.
Willie Brown, former California Assembly speaker and mayor of San Francisco.