Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina is a Complete Ass

There is much that could be and probably will be said about Obama's speech tonight. But first, let us hail Representative Joe Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, for, I can only assume, acting upon a deep-seated desire to turn our Congress, and the relationship between Congress and the President, in a more parliamentary and participatory direction. That is, in the best tradition of the British PM's question time with the House of Commons, Wilson shouted out that Obama was a liar during his speech. Too bad that, while expressing himself in this way, he made a demonstrably false claim, apparently asserting that the Democrats' reform proposals will guarantee health coverage to illegal immigrants...but hey, those of us who want to jazz up our elected bodies can't be too choosy.



Picking up on this same approach--an approach, mind you, that I find very admirable; I tend to think democracy works better in a parliamentary framework than a separation of powers one--let me respond in kind: Representative Wilson, I think you're an ass. Probably a perfectly nice person, and wonderful family man as well, but an idiot, and also an ass.

Boy, that makes me feel better.

Update: Wilson has apologized. Good for him, and I hereby retract, or at least modify my above statement: Representative Wilson, last night you were a bit of an ass. That being said, I really kind of wish that, rather than apologize, Wilson had come out with a full-bore defense of shouting out disagreements--not simply boos, mind you, but accusations--during presidential addresses...with the necessary follow-up, of course, that we would have a much healthier politics if the executive and legislative branches weren't separated by the sort of walls of decorum which our system gives us. But I suppose we can't expect to turn into a participatory democracy overnight, can we? Baby steps.

13 comments:

Terrenna said...

I whole-heartedly agree. What an ass and how sad that there will be some who will applaud his stupidity!

Silus Grok said...

And just look at the look on Vice President Biden's face — and on Ms Pelosi's — if looks could kill.

If you're wanting to let him know a little more directly, his Twitter account is @CongJoeWilson

Just sayin.

kwhiner said...

I agree with the Congressman's sentiment, but...was this the time and/or place for the comment probably not!!

Kenneth Pennington said...

http://www.actblue.com/page/kossacks4miller

Over 40,000 dollars already. Support the candidate against Joe Wilson. USMC Rob Miller.

FactCheck.org says Joe is the liar.

Anonymous said...

Poor judgement would be an understatement. Representative Joe Wilson should be censored for his outburst.

Nate Oman said...

I'm actually inclined to share Russell's fondness for parliamentary democracy and the PM's question time. Of course, the problem is that we're architecturally locked into the Imperial Presidency. We lack a space like Westminster that encourages a kind of intimate, in-your-face kind of exchange with the executive.

Amy said...

I can't believe the inappropriate and disrespectful behavior towards our president.

Anonymous said...

So what happens to the many millions of undocumented workers, if they aren't able to buy in to the public option? Will it be the status quo?

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the President's claim was that "the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally." (Nothing about "free health care," which your PolitiFact accurately debunks.)

The Congressional Research Service report from August 25 ("Treatment of Noncitizens in H.R. 3200) paints a more complex picture than either Obama or Wilson seem to acknowledge. Read the whole report, not just the summary.
http://opencrs.com/document/R40773/

Jacob T. Levy said...

"You lie" would, I believe, count as unparliamentary language and be suited for censure even during question time.

Clark Goble said...

While I agree Wilson's an ass, one should note that Obama himself called Republicans liars whereas while many of their rhetorical claims are deceitful or at best overheated not all are. Likewise the Democrats have hardly been the pillar of forthrightness in all this.

A pox on both their houses.

Anonymous said...

Petition Asking Congress to Censor Joe Wilson, Sign it here salsa.wiredforchange.com — Say NO to Teabagger Politics! Demand Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) be Censured for Interupting the President. The hideous and Ideologically Poisoned, Screw America effort of lies directed at Our President and agaisnt health care reform shows its ass over and over again. Tell congress to act, tell the GOP stooges, the insurance lobby, NO & STOP!

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