The Big Question, Oct. 1: Should Rep. Grayson apologize?

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:

The party that has been trying to get people to believe that President Obama's health care plan will have death panels wants a member of Congress to apologize for making a quip above their approach to health care?

You should apologize for asking this question.

Glenn Reynolds, from Instapundit, said:

Members of Congress frequently want more "civility." Of course, those requests tend to involve more civility from opponents, and there's a distinct unwillingness to enforce standards of conduct in any sort of evenhanded way.

My own feeling is that regardless of party we currently have the worst political class in American history, and that nothing they say about each other, however incendiary, is as bad as the actual truth.

John Hostettler, former Indiana GOP congressman (1995-2007), said:

Should Rep. Grayson apologize? Probably. Should he be compelled to apologize or face official sanction from the House of Representatives if he does not apologize? Absolutely not. While the "Speech and Debate” clause of the Constitution prohibits the questioning of a member “in any other place,” the idea was to permit the maximum freedom of speech in the people’s House. If a member has not laced his or her remarks with profanity or personally attacked another individual member for something unrelated to the policy discussion at hand, the House as a whole should permit the Congressional Record to reflect the passion of members in whatever terms – civil or not. I speak from some experience on this subject and am amazed that individuals who must endure today’s version of a political campaign every two years exhibit such thin skin when they get to Washington. The GOP should welcome the open door that such an occasion creates and instead of moving to censure Rep. Grayson, introduce a resolution condemning the censure of Rep. Joe Wilson. Hence the debate becomes one of what major political party is the greater champion of “free speech?” Once again, speaking from experience, I already know the answer to that question.

Kevin Madden, a Republican consultant, said:

It’s been said that the right actions of the future are the best apologies for the wrong action of the past.

So forget about more speeches and public calls for more apologies. The right action of the future is for the people of the Rep. Grayson’s district to take back the honor they afforded him of serving in Congress and place that distinction with someone else—someone who cares about solutions instead of caustic soliloquies that cast awful, negative aspersions on those of the opposing party that differ with him on policy.

Mr. Grayson stands by the terrible insults he hurled at millions of people who have a different policy approach on reforming health care. Rather than ask for an apology, we should join efforts to ask the voters in his district—Democrats, independents and Republicans—to place their trust in someone who is interested in changing the status quo in Washington D.C., rather than just defending it and maintaining it with the same old invective.