Comes now the time to speak of Joe Wilson - that's Congressman Joe Wilson, from the great state of Sou'Calina, as they say. Saw him speak on tv yesterday evening, and he sure seemed to have a soft, almost epicene tone about his voice. That same voice was used on Wednesday to bark, as we all know, "You lie!" while the president was addressing a joint session of Congress.
I think it's time to move beyond labeling by party. I think it's time to say that any oaf elected to Congress, whether or not he once said "the Confederate heritage is very honorable," would know better than to heckle the president during such an august occasion. And so we enter the September of Rep. Wilson's political career by pointing out that just a year ago, a certain portion of the country was temporarily enchanted by a doltish non-Joe non-plumber, Joe the Plumber. This fall, it's Joe the Plunger. And listen, when you're sitting there with your friends and you shout out and they all look away like they don't know you, you must feel like that guy Steven Adler who got thrown out of Guns n' Roses for overly-avid use of drugs. When those guys tell you you're doing too much heroin...whoo boy!
Oh, here's that story about Joey Reb:
Rep. Joe Wilson is getting his 15 minutes of national fame after bellowing "you lie!" during President Obama's health care address. But Wilson earned notoriety in his home state of South Carolina in the late 1990s when, as a state legislator, he was one of the staunchest defenders of flying the Confederate battle flag over the state capitol. As Firedoglake reported earlier today, citing the blog Inside Charm City, state Sen. Joe Wilson was one of only seven members of the South Carolina Senate to vote to keep the Confederate battle flag flying over the state house in 2000. In April 2000, the Senate voted 36-7 to bring down the flag. But then-Sen. Wilson did more than vote to keep it: he went so far as to appear to defend the Confederacy, declaring that "the Confederate heritage is very honorable."
That's nice, Joe. Support the Confederacy, shout at the first African-American president as if he were one of your poolhall buddies, and oh yeah, don't forget to mention that you are an officer in the Sou'Calina National Guard, which makes Mr Obama not only your president but also your commander-in-chief.
And by the way, it sort of dilutes an apology to say that the party bigshots told you to apologize!
By the time I went on good old Mr Wilson's website, it had already crashed, due to the amount of people wishing to do as I had intended, namely, to thank him for invaluable contributions to the public discourse, and for showing once again that it's not a matter of what party one happens to join. It's whether or not one has manners, decency, and respect. I might disagree with you vehemently...isn't that right, Jeff?...but I will not disrespect you or your right to your opinion. Or shout you down.
It's easier to let some people speak and make fools of themselves, anyway. Isn't that right, Joe?