Watching This May Make Your Head Explode
September 11, 2009
Joe Wilson, or Joe the Congressman as he shall be known (once you become an icon of the far right, you get a Sesame Streetesque moniker involving a regular-folks American name like Joe or Sarah and an occupation – it’s kind of a rule), sees opportunity where others see tragedy:
Note how he manages to get all of the following in there:
1. Apologizing for boorish behavior (really being forced to do so my GOP leadership) is a badge of honor, something heroic and utterly stand-up and adult.
2. Healthcare reform is “life-and-death.” By opposing the Democrats’ reforms, Joe stands for “life.” So what does that leave the Democrats with? Awesome. Getting the death panels in there without saying “panels.” It’s just plain “death.” These guys are sharp, I’ll tell you. Watch out, seniors, the GOP, suddenly now the guardians of Medicare’s single-payer, government-funded-and-run healthcare system, are going to protect you from Democrats who want to rain death down on the aged.
3. The apology has nothing to do with the substance of what he said. The reiteration of “liberals” wanting healthcare for “illegals” is a reaffirmation of his charge that the president was lying. So here’s the narrative: the president was indeed lying, and Joe the Congressman, protector of the elderly and the glorious Republic and its citizens, was so filled with the Holy Spirit that he could not contain himself in the face of such lies. He called Obama out. He was right, but it was kinda sorta inappropriate…even though Obama’s not the real president because he’s a Kenyan Muslim, and the British call each other liars all the time in their Congress or something (just to note a fact: while they do heckle, it is against the rules in the House of Commons for Members to accuse the speaker of lying – just saying).
4. Joe couldn’t help but blurt something out because the People were speaking through him. He got all riled up by those town meetings that he was carrying along We the People’s outrage. Not his fault.
5. I heckled the president and called him a liar on national television. Then I was forced to apologize because that hurts my party leadership. Give me money.
One important way of looking at this is that while this (essentially trivial) episode will likely hurt the GOP and strengthen the chances of getting a healthcare bill passed, it helps at least one individual: Joe Wilson. Sure, some lefties will give money to his opponent in 2010 (who has already raised more than $100,000 in 24 hours), but let’s face it – a Democrat is not going to win in Wilson’s South Carolina district. Wilson supported flying the Confederate flag over SC’s state house, for chrissakes. This is South Carolina we’re talking about here. Two days ago nobody had ever heard of Joe Wilson. Now he’s a hero of the right wing. Karl Rove called him a “good guy” on Fox. He’s news story #1. Sure, most people don’t like him. Sure, it’ll turn independents and moderate Republicans further away from the GOP. But Joe doesn’t care about that – he doesn’t answer to those people. He cares about the right wing nutbars that got him elected in South Carolina, and he cares about those future appearances on Fox or the Sarah Palin Show (watch for it, people) or Glenn Beck or whatever other circus out there is going to pay him more money than he ever dreamed of before “you lie” left his mouth. Joe’s a somebody now. Watch out, Sarah the Former Governor.
Oh, and his real name is Addison Graves Wilson, Sr. But hey, are any of the Joes really named Joe? When do we get the photos of him hunting wolves or something?