The best thing that could be said about Rep. Charles Boustany's (R-LA)'s official Republican response to President Obama's health care address is that not a lot of people were even aware that he gave it. Yep, it was that dull, flat and quick, over in less than 5 minutes. Throw in Boustany's unusual pronunciation of "medical malpractice reform" -- it became "media malpractice reform" -- and Boustany's performance became a near disaster.
The only things that stopped it from becoming a complete disaster? First, there's the comparison to the last Republican to follow an Obama address to Congress. That would be Bobby Jindal. Yep, the governor of Boustany's own state of Louisiana. That speech was not received too well, to say the least. So, for those keeping score, the Bayou state is now 0--for-2 in responding to Obama. Not so good.
Of course, the other big reason that Boustany's response got overlooked -- besides content and delivery -- is that Rep. Joe Wilson gave the "unofficial" GOP response that everyone remembers. "You lie" has forever enshrined Wilson as either a hero (to many in the conservative grassroots) or a villain (to liberals, Democrats -- and most of the GOP congressional leadership) of the highest order. Wilson, of course, hails from the great state of, oh no! -- it can't be!! Yep, South Carolina.
The Pelican State has been the object of endless jokes for months now because of the extramarital issues of its governor, one-time presidential wannabe Mark Sanford. That drama, in fact, is ongoing. This week, sixty Republican members of the legislature formally called for Sanford to resign. Sanford has said he's not going anywhere because, well, "God can use imperfect people to perform his will." Of course, that works the other way as well: What if God decides that imperfect people he will use to do his will are those GOP legislators -- who seem about ready to impeach Sanford.
In any event, Louisiana and South Carolina seem to be providing Republicans more embarrassment than anything else of late. The party might want to look elsewhere for possible leaders. No, NOT California!!!
You know, the RNC points out that all 14 GOP members of the House and Senate with medical backgrounds are opposed to Obama's health reform proposal. Couldn't they have gotten one that might have had more spark -- or drawn more attention and focus to the GOP alternatives? Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma would have been an interesting choice. He's an obstetrician who worked with Obama on ethics legislation in the Senate. He might be a bit difficult for the White House to completely dismiss.
Other Republican doctors hail from Georgia and Wyoming (getting out of the South, even), to name a couple. Regardless, just find people to put on the air or otherwise publicize after the next presidential address. Louisiana and South Carolina need to benched for a while.