Thursday, September 10, 2009

"EPIC FAIL" Somehow Falls Short: Joe Wilson's Unmaking

After yelling out "You lie!" at President Obama during his widely televised address to a joint session of Congress, Congressman Joe Wilson's [R-SC] derisive jeer may have been the shout heard 'round the world. And while some have defended the distinguished gentleman's two word hem and haw, they are few and far between.

In fact, Mr. Wilson himself begged an apology from the White House just after the speech was over. But the damage was done: to himself; to his district for electing a man of such little respect for our institutions; to the Palmetto State, who is still suffering with her insufferable governor; and the United States itself.

Last time I checked no one in my life has, during an address to Congress, heckled a President in the midst of giving his remarks. I suppose when you think you can't get lower, you find that you have yet to hit rock bottom. And the galling thing is that it is Joe Wilson who is lying - the President's bill, like it or hate it, is not written to cover illegal immigrants, which is the underlying claim for Mr. Wilson's bellow of falsehood.

Now, allow me to be frank: I was a vociferous opponent of President George W. Bush. I did not respect the man nor his vision nor his policies. But I did respect the office. I would never have stood for, or stood by, or defended a member of Congress acting in such a disrespectful way towards Mr. Bush while he was giving an address. He was the goddam President.

This is not to say that Mr. Bush, or for that matter Mr. Obama, is above criticism or derision. But like all free speech, there is a time and place. And that time and place is not during an address to the joint session of Congress. Save it for Twitter, which apparently Rep. Eric Cantor could not have waited until the end of the address, but I digress.

But now it is Joe Wilson's time for derision and for his failure to come home to roost like assorted poultry. Already his Democratic opponent has reportedly raked in well into the six figures for his 2010 run, and Mr. Wilson's disrespect for the highest office in the land has continued to marginalize his already squeezed party in a manner he in no way intended on the grandest stage possible.

Flush from a summertime of town hall hijinks and follies, after knocking a good 20+ points off President Obama's approval rating, the GOP and Mr. Wilson were smelling blood in the water. Instead, Mr. Obama appears to have roped the dopes in Muhammed Ali fashion, assisted in great measure by Mr. Wilson's dopey cry during a brief pause in the speech. What was not counted on was that this was no longer a town hall meeting, and that the hot days of summer are now passed us. It was time for the adults to get back to work, and naked insults to the face of the President were no longer going to work. It looks to me, dare I say it, that the deather movement and their associates have hit their high water mark, and the tide of hatred, so chic in hot July days, has begun to recede in the evenings of cool September.

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Wilson and his Freudian slip. He has, with a mere two syllables, shown us his true face, and perhaps the true face of his party: quick to hate, shameless with insults, but with zero substance to defend their indefensible positions when faced with inexorable truth.


  1. I agree that it's dead wrong for anyone to heckle a President addressing a joint session of Congress. However, a Democrat did the same thing to Bush in his 2005 State of the Union speech, and Code Pink routinely disrupted congressional hearings, especially on Iraq.

    While Wilson was wrong, Obama's performance was a despicable combination of lecturing, name-calling, and blatant misinformation. The President demeans that forum when he complains about "radio and cable hosts" and calls opponents' legitimate concerns about an government takeover of healthcare "bogus", "laughable", "cynical" and "irresponsible".

  2. Demeaning? I think Obama left that up to the professionals.