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Hannity And Cantor Complain About Partisanship In Obama’s Health Care Speech, Ignore GOP Heckling And Disrespect

Reported by Ellen - September 10, 2009 -

Sean Hannity and Republican Congressman Eric Cantor last night (9/9/09) blithely accused President Obama of being too partisan in his health care speech to the Joint Session of Congress while they just as blithely ignored the heckling and disrespect from Republicans that included booing, holding up antagonistic signs, using Blackberries during the speech and, in one case, shouting out that the president is a liar. With video.

Hannity opened his post-speech show last night with a commentary that accused Obama of delivering “an attack speech that could have been written by James Carville.” He forgot to mention that the Republicans’ reaction would have been scripted by middle schoolers.

Hannity went on to complain about Obama’s “cynicism and intimidation… Everyone disagrees with him is either a liar or a thug.”

Yet Hannity made no mention of Republican Congressman Joe Wilson yelling, “You lie!” during the speech.

Hannity played a clip from Obama’s speech that included an indirect smack down of Hannity and Sarah Palin's "death panel" accusations and included the word, “lie.” It was as though Hannity wanted to suggest, just like in middle school, “he started it.”

Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.

On the other hand, maybe Hannity was just smarting at being called out by the president on national television.

“When was the last time that a president of the United States called a Joint Session of Congress to speak in prime time and deliver what amounts to be a campaign speech full of partisan hackery?” Hannity asked, once again studiously overlooking what could well be described as partisan hackery of the Republicans. Also overlooked was the fact that, as Dana Milbank described it, “The irony was that Obama had used his speech to offer a significant concession to Republicans and to break with liberals in his own party. There was a cool silence in the chamber as the president told ‘my progressive friends’ that the ‘public option’ they treasure as part of health-care reform could be sacrificed in favor of other ideas.”

Cantor, who had earlier been caught working on his Blackberry instead of listening to the speech (despite a previous statement saying that Republicans would be “attentive” to the president) told Hannity he was “taken aback by… the partisan nature of (Obama's) speech.”

Cantor later said he was “aghast” at the president’s “hyperbole.” Cantor added, “We need some adult sense of responsibility here. We need to try and produce the reforms that we know the American people want.” By heckling and calling the president a liar? Hannity, of course, never challenged Cantor’s giant-sized hypocrisy.

At the end of the video, Cantor called for scrapping any kind of public option so that they could “start over and work together on things that we can agree on.”

I’ll say this much for conservatives: You have to admire their gumption. If only the Dems had a fraction of their ballsiness.