When Congressman Joe Wilson shouted to President Obama, “You lie” during the health care speech in the House Chamber on September 9, it was shocking to hear that. Joe Wilson saying “You lie” to President Obama was not appropriate at all in that venue. But on the other hand, why don’t members of Congress get the chance to challenge President Obama face to face in public like they do in the United Kingdom? Yes, America needs the equivalent to Prime Minister’s Questions; that is, a President’s Questions.
More About Joe Wilson Saying, “You lie”, to President Obama: It’s Time for a USA Version of Prime Minister’s Questions: President’s Questions
I began watching Prime Minister’s Questions (also called Questions to the Prime Minister) on C-SPAN in the early 1990’s when John Major was leading the United Kingdom. I became hooked on it after watching it just once. It was neat to witness the MPs (Members of Parliament) from the various political parties over there being allowed to ask John Major questions for 15 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, including the leader of the main opposition being able to challenge him with more than one question. After Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997, the format was changed to once a week on Wednesdays for half an hour to what it is still today when Parliament is in session. There are some great exchanges filled with spirited debate and even humor. I’d be surprised if I’ve missed even ten episodes of this program in the more than 15 years I’ve been watching this show. I don’t have intimate knowledge of a lot of issues brought up in Parliament, but this forum is so engaging, it’s irresistible. Prime Minister’s Questions has been happening since 1961, according to Wikipedia.
Joe Wilson may have felt like he couldn’t challenge President Obama face to face in public, so he made that outburst, “You lie.” Well, imagine if Joe Wilson and the conservatives could ask President Obama questions or make comments to him before the nation once a week for 30-60 minutes, along with the liberals and moderates in both houses in Congress. I think the interest among citizens in this nation for a President’s Questions would be great.
Presidents should be willing to answer questions from members of Congress in a public forum that could take place in the House Chamber, where President Obama gives his speeches to the joint sessions of Congress. Imagine if there had been a President’s Questions already like there is a Prime Minister’s Questions. Joe Wilson could’ve waited to address President Obama then instead of acting inappropriately by saying, “You lie”, on national television.
Prime Minister’s Questions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister%27s_Questions, Wikipedia