South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson disgraced himself with an appalling display during President Obama’s speech to Congress about health care. I wonder how proud his state must be feeling of this man right now. As if one of the state’s eyes wasn’t blackened enough with the scandal of the governor, this man comes in and disgraces his state on national television and in front of the world with a shocking lack of self control, respect and discipline. It was a truly stunning display that left both Democrats and Republicans nearly paralyzed with shock.
Here is part of a CNN story that describes what happened:
A Republican House member shouted, “You lie” during President Obama’s health care speech to Congress on Wednesday, and members of both parties condemned the heckling.
After the speech, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson issued a statement apologizing for his outburst.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
Wilson also called the White House to apologize and spoke with Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
The outburst came when Obama denied that proposed health care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants. Immediately, Wilson shouted, “You lie!” Watch the outburst and the chamber’s response »
The outburst caused Obama to stop and look toward the heckler. “That’s not true,” the president responded.
Once again, I think this shows the irrational hatred that some on the far right have for this particular president. It also shows that some of what is coming from the far right is less ideal oriented and more hate driven. For this man to lose control (as he did) in this forum speaks to out-of-control, irrational anger and a lack of basic discipline and civility.
This man, Joe Wilson, has disgraced Congress, our country, his state, his constituents and himself.
Here is what some are saying:
- Sen. Dick Durbin (Democrat): It was crude and disrespectful. I think the person who said it will pay a price.
- Sen. Bob Corker, (Republican): Certainly, I respect the office of the president, and I think that’s not the kind of thing that is appropriate in that kind of setting especially/. I don’t know who said it, but my sense is most people don’t think it was a good idea it occurred. And I happen to be one of those.
- Sen. John McCain (Republican): (Wilson) should apologize for it immediately.
- Rob Miller (Democrat who is challenging Wilson): Rep. Wilson’s behavior tonight exemplifies everything that is wrong in Washington. Instead of engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting our commander-in-chief, Joe Wilson should be working towards a bipartisan solution that makes quality, affordable health care available to each and every South Carolinian.
- South Carolina Democratic party chairwoman Carol Fowler: Once again a South Carolina Republican has embarrassed our state. Never has any member of Congress shown such disrespect for the president during a speech.
- Erick Erickson (conservative for RedState.com: (Wilson is a) “great American hero.
- Sen. Patrick Leahy (Democrat): I’ve never seen anything like it. I talked to a number of my Republican friends on the way out who were mortified and angry that someone would do that.
- Sen. Claire McCaskill (Democrat): Biggest disappointment of evening, the total lack of respect shown by one member for the President. Never acceptable to behave like a jerk.
Wilson shamed himself, his state and his country.
This was cited by Huffington Post:
The non-partisan organization FactCheck.org has debunked the claim that health care reform would mandate coverage for illegal immigrants.