Last night, Congressman Joe Wilson made himself this week’s poster boy for political idiocy by shouting “You lie” at the President during his speech to Congress. The outburst was immediately declared inappropriate by most of the grown ups. “Breach of decorum” seems to be the buzz word.
He did later apologize, both to the president and publicly. “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”
FactCheck.org has debunked the claim that health care reform would mandate coverage for illegal immigrants. Wilson, like most of the people who are getting worked up and making asses of themselves over health care reform, either doesn’t know what he is talking about or is in reality, a liar.
This is exactly what is wrong with the Republican party, or at least the tea bagging portion of it. They are unable to debate rationally. They have few facts, but plenty of misinformation and truckloads of fear. And they’ve got chain emails. The belief that health care reform will result in government controlled death panels is another great example. And really, calling the president Hitler? Have these people never heard of Godwin’s Law?
Back to Wilson. Not only was his outburst “improper” and ill informed (or dishonest, take your pick), it was extremely counterproductive to his cause. In the eight hours since Wilson’s outburst, his Democratic opponent, former-Marine Rob Miller, had already received nearly 3,000 individual grassroots contributions raising approximately $100,000. By now, I would guess that his phone has not stopped ringing and his email servers are probably smoking. On second thought, getting some screen time and rallying the support of the hootin’ hollerin’ masses who don’t want the facts to get in the way of a good hate may well be exactly what he wants. Palin/Wilson in 2012?
And has anyone noticed that Wilson, who lost control over what he thought was a lie about helping people, has been a strong supporter of the Iraq war? I guess some lies are more equal than others.