Hasn't there been shouting in a Presidential Speech before?

Please correct me if I am wrong. But, prior to and just after the Civil War, was it not common for there to be uproars in Congress during all speeches, even Presidential ones? I know that there were at least two duels due to debates in Congress, one during the early Constitutional years. There were also several brawls on the floor of Congress just prior to the Civil War being declared, one with a knife actually being drawn. (In those days it was common for the Members to be armed.)

So, the negative response to the President in the speech last night was uncommon and uncalled for in this century. But has this always been the case, or is it an occurrence that has become tradition since World War I?


People, I am using what happened by the South Carolina Senator in reference to what used to occur in Congress. I don't believe these actions were proper! I just wished to know if these had occurred since the Civil War, and if so, what happened. The presence of uninvited persons has happened since the Senate was built. Boos have also been a common occurrance - I recall several being done over the years. But since when did catcalls start, if ever?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Drudge report has a link to the Dems booing Bush during a State of the Union address in 2005.

    Remember how Cindy Sheehan was snuck in to one of Bush's speeches, as were some nuts from Code Pink? Where was the Democrat's call for decorum then?

    I'm not saying it was right, but I think the Dems outrage is about 4 years tardy.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It is not considered appropriate in the Congress to shout out in the middle of a President's speech. Congressmen will clap, on rare occasions boo and even hold up signs but this is interruption unprecedented. Parliament is different and has a different history. The Congressman has free speech as do all Americans but that does not mean he is free to say anything at anytime. People cannot shout out in a court room without risking jail time for contempt of court for instance. Congress has its own rules and if the majority of Congress decides to discipline that breach of conduct they have that right. It should be added that he was wrong. While free speech allows for people to say anything even if wrong- that is how certain radio personalities are still on air- it was very foolish of him to respond that way before knowing the facts.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are looking for a historical context to understand the behavior from last night? Here is the deal. Regardless of whether it occurred in the past or not it was wrong. How about that? Or, are you trying to say that the behavior was right and you would want your kids to do the same thing to their teachers or other people?

    Boos have been understood to show opposition. However, to call him a liar sets the stage for more of the same in the future. I guess the bad parent at the little league game is going to be the example set by our elected representatives? Joe Wilson's behavior was wrong. So before somebody tries using the 1st amendment, his outburst was not unconstitutional, but is was extremely bad form and a bad example for the national debate. If that is the only way he can argue a point, then they need a new rep and he should be kicked out.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's true but it's evolved into just sitting there and keeping ones mouth shut even when lies are being spouted. Freedom of speech has been removed from those chambers. Just another loss in a long line of them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You are correct.Lies and liar was mentioned by the President and Wilson. Wilson was out of order.So much for bipartisan politics.The main thing I'll remember is seeing Nancy's jaw drop.That was priceless.Think she took Wilson aside and spanked him.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This fantasy that some people have that we must not challenge BO just doesn't fly. Speaking out is a right and respect is to be earned and dissent is to be heard.

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