So, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-Confederacy SC) shouted “YOU LIE” in the middle of the President’s Healthcare speech last week, and his outburst has been pretty much the only political news story since then. Wilson, his Democratic challenger and the DCCC have all raised a boatload of money off the event, making “YOU LIE” the shortest, and most successful fundraising hook in years. And as of today, the House has passed a resolution condemning Wilson’s outburst, which will presumably provide fodder for one final fundraising pitch from the DCCC.
But despite the fact that Wilson seems like a total slime ball, I tend to think we need more raucous yelling in congress, not less. This is one area—dare I say it—where the British have it right. Tune in for an episode (it is so entertaining that episode seems like the word to use) of Prime Minister’s Questions on C-SPAN and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Members of Parliament jeer, holler and do everything short of telling “yo mama” jokes while the Prime Minster tries to field hostile questions. The whole undertaking makes Joe Willson’s “YOU LIE” look tame, but it nevertheless results in a much better—and more entertaining—public debate.
I can’t help but think if we had a little less decorum and a little more shouting we might have avoided few fiascos, like the war in Iraq. But I digress…
What I really wanted to do was follow-up on last week’s post about dealing with unscrupulous merchants.
It seems to me that I might have omitted one tactic from my list of what to do to when a merchant tries to impose a minimum purchase amount for credit card users. I call it the Joe Wilson strategy.
Scream “YOU LIE!”: Politicians may love scenes—they raise money after all—but shopkeepers hate them. In a crowded shop or restaurant, screaming “YOU LIE” when confronted with a minimum purchase amount will not only get the merchant’s attention, but it will also draw the gaze of everyone else in ear-shot. Now is your chance to quickly outline your case. The merchant will either quickly back down or throw you out on the street. Either way, everyone will remember what you said.
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