The ladies on ABC’s The View were unanimous on Thursday: the Republicans were rude to President Obama. Sitting in Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s chair was Meghan McCain, who said Rep. Joe Wilson’s shout "makes all Republicans look bad." Joy Behar said the Republicans were "pretty disgraceful," Sherri Shepherd boasted she "stayed up all night," pestering Wilson’s office for an apology, and Whoopi Goldberg said it was "incredibly disrespectful," just like opponents of the president’s "State of the Child address" to schools.
Barbara Walters was milder, decrying how Obama should be met across the aisle, a nonpartisan peacemaker pleading like a political version of Rodney King: "The president said, and I'm quoting here, ‘If you've got a better plan, I want to listen. This is not perfect. Please, can we get together?’"
Behar began the discussion of Obama’s speech: "Well, I enjoyed it. I thought he was back to his old charismatic self and he got in touch with his, his anger. I thought that the Republicans were pretty disgraceful in the way that they acted. That's my opinion."
This raises the obvious question: Which assertion is more impolite? Wilson saying Obama lied? Or Joy Behar suggesting Republicans conspired to give Sen. Tim Johnson a stroke?
Then Meghan McCain pronounced her opinion:
I thought it was disrespectful. I do. I think everyone should come together and support the president, especially during a state of union address to the congress. And my biggest problem was, the congressman that spoke out and screamed "liar," I was not allowed to do that as a child sitting across the table from my brother at dinner. I wasn’t allowed to scream out at him, let alone to the President at Congress. It makes all Republicans look bad. I know he apologized. But we can't have that kind of dialogue in this country and expect people to take you seriously.
Speaking of Meghan McCain's ability to lecture Joe Wilson as a role model for polite dialogue, a few old headlines will suffice:
Sherri Shepherd declared: "I stayed up all night. I stayed up until 1 in the morning. I tried to send a tweet to Congressman Wilson's tweet page. It was shut down. I was calling all – I was calling til 1 in the morning cause the line was busy. So, I'm going to write a letter. Because I think, like you, I was raised, we just, no matter what our party affiliations, just the office of the president deserves respect." For this, we only offer her idea of when angry denunciations of presidents and our country are "righteous" instead of offensive:
It was also strange when The View crew claimed they'd always liked John McCain:
WALTERS: Just so that we're clear on everything. Your father was one of the people who said it was disgraceful and your father didn't agree with absolutely everything that president Obama said, although President Obama did give him credit for a good deal of the health plan.
MEGHAN McCAIN: Gave him a thumbs up.
WALTERS: And your father went thumbs up, that was, that kind of joint –
BEHAR: Well, he's a gentleman, your father. We always liked John McCain.
McCAIN: I get this advice from him. I get this crossover, you, I think what this congressman did was disgraceful. I get all of this from my father. People ask me how I became this type of Republican? It comes from the top. That's how I was raised. That’s what I believe.
But when John McCain appeared on The View a year ago, he wasn't liked. He was shellacked. Behar said his ads were lies, and Whoopi Goldberg asked McCain "Do I have to worry about becoming a slave again?"
Goldberg also left out today's focus on Democratic booing at the 2005 State of the Union as she decried the Republican disrespect as unique:
He was, you know, I was appalled, really, because what I've been feeling the last couple of months is that this disrespect, which started with I'm not going to have my kid listen to your State of the Child address has now evolved into this free -- incredibly disrespectful -- Now as much as I didn’t like Mr. Bush and as many jokes as I made, I cannot remember anyone, any congressman, senator, anywhere, sitting in that chamber while the president was speaking behaving like those gentlemen and folks behaved.
Although she quickly amended: "Now we’ve, I have to say, I've seen Democrats be as, as crabby." She did not ask whether Republicans were lower than Joy Behar smearing the Bush administration: "they are liars and they are murderers."
(Today's transcript by Colleen Raezler.)