Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meet Joe Wilson

Representative Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) hails from the 2nd District of South Carolina. Wilson has served the good people of the 2nd District since winning a special election in 2001 following the death of Congressman Floyd Spence.

Rep. Wilson is also the gentleman who interrupted Pres. Obama during his address to a joint session of Congress on September 9, 2009. Mr. Obama, while attempting to dispell the myriad lies - yes, lies - propogated by the likes of Chuck Hagel, Sarah Palin, and the Wall Street Journal, noted that his plan would not provide health insurance to illegal immigrants. Rep. Wilson responded by shouting through the gallery, interrupting the President, "You lie!"

Rep. Wilson's outburst is indefensible. Wilson breached protocol by interrupting the President, shouting in the gallery, and labeling the President a liar. Sen. McCain has already called for Rep. Wilson to apologize. But apology is not sufficient. Even the Republican party, which continues to coddle partisans who adhere to such absurdities as denying President Obama's citizenship, must recognize there is no place for such behavior. The President and the Presidency are deserving of respect, at least as much respect as is shown for their colleagues in the House and the Senate, and in those august chambers.

Rep. Wilson should apologize. He should be shunned by his colleagues. He should be censured by the House.

UPDATE: Bret notes in comments that Wilson's outburst has been described as unprecedented -- I certainly have no living memory of anything like this happening. Former Congressman, now Chief of Staff, Emanuel claims it is unprecedented. Sen. Leahy notes that nothing like Wilson's shouts has occurred in his 35 years in the Senate.

Wilson has released a rather weak and, in my view, insufficient apology. As Scherer says, Rep. Wilson has apologized for the tone rather than the substance, and not at all for the incredible disrespect he showed the Presidency.

Rep. Wilson's website has crashed.

Wilson's Democratic opponent for 2010's website has crashed:


Bret said...

im hearing rumors on twitter that Wilson's opponent in the 2010 elections raised 13k online in just under an hour following the outburst.

it just broke that wilson apologized to rahm emmanuel on the phone, and released a written apology.

im willing to be forgiving about letting emotions get the better of you, and in general i dont have a horse in the healthcare race (or much of american politics in general). but that sort of crass disrespect for the institution of the presidency was shocking and infuriating, and by many accounts unprecedented. it goes to show that very often, the people mindlessly proclaiming the United States of America to be the greatest country in the world really have no idea what exactly it is that makes it great- a large part of which is respect of institutions apart from our personal feelings about the personalities that fill them.

Ben said...


Bret said...

UPDATE: Joe Wilson's twitter account was deleted sometime in the last 10 minutes.