Thank you, Mr. Wilson …

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If I’m a Democratic politician in favor of health care reform, I send a huge basket of flowers or, maybe, cookies to the man pictured above. His name is Joe Wilson, veteran congressman from the great state of South Carolina. During tonight’s speech by the president, he did this.

The problems are manifold:

A. Obama wasn’t lying. Factually, without debate, his bill does not cover illegals.

B. Obama is the president, addressing congress. Joe Wilson is a congressman, listening to the president.

C. Even Republicans now believe Joe Wilson to be a knob.

A few hours later Wilson issued what must go down as one of the weakest apologies of all time. “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,” he 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.”homerrunning

Uh, yeah.

Thanks to Joe Wilson, a relatively forgettable speech is now memorable. And why is it memorable? Because the moment involving Joe Wilson perfectly illustrates the irrationality and insanity of much (not all) of the opposition. For the past few months, this could—and should—have been a real debate about whether health care should be overhauled and, if so, how. There’s no right or wrong answer, obviously, but it’s a worthy issue to discuss. Instead, however, the whole thing has been hijacked. Words like “death squads” and “socialist” have reigned, and those screaming loudest seem to know the least and make minimal sense.

People like … Joe Wilson.

Thank you, sir. Thank you.

PS: My favorite moment, hands down—Obama giving the ol’ bitch slap to Sarah Palin.

8 thoughts on “Thank you, Mr. Wilson …”

  1. I’m surprised you thought it was a relatively forgettable speech. I thought it was remarkably good, with more than a couple extremely memorable and powerful lines. Thought it was the smart and passionate Obama I hoped we were electing, but have missed a little thus far.

    But yeah, Mr. Wilson. Wow. Nice knowing you, dude.

  2. i think republicans are trying too hard to change their image these days. they used to be the party for white people, by white people. now theyre the party of overly tan-almost orange white people, for the overly tan-almost orange white people.

    whats up with these terrible suntans? boehner (nice name, btw), this guy… dont they know theres a recession going on?

  3. Better than an entire party booing. Besides, even if the bill doesn’t cover “illegals,” they’re still entitled to emergency room care, meaning that losses tied to illegal immigrant related bad debt won’t be eliminated.

    In any event, there were lies and half-truths galore in the speech that would have been better targets for such a tasteless outburst as Mr. Wilson’s. For instance, the claim that you can keep your coverage is misleading, since natural market forces will render this unlikely in most cases. Then there are the “truths” that are just plain bad ideas…

  4. Pretty bad example of a lie there, Classicist, but I admire the way you walk it down from lie to half-truth to misleading to hypothetical Obama didn’t account for in two quick sentences. And then finally, to “truth” in quotes. As a fan of the argument, pretty good rhetorical play. If you are employing this strategy on purpose, you should consider speechwriting. If you didn’t…well, let’s just assume you did.

  5. all of the language about proving citizenship as a prerequisite to health care was in HR 3200, then intentionally removed from HR 3200, by the authors. so, while illegals are noted as being prohibited from the program, there is no process to verify citizenship. if it’s so crystal clear, jus treinsert the proof of citizenship language.

    i agree that rep. wilson helped the President, but question the motivations of those that claim this care will not be provided to illegal aliens.

    i’d say disingenuous is the best way to describe it.

    bottom line, weak speech. still being pushed around by his own party. you got the votes? great – go for it. enact it and own it already.

  6. Apparently Mr. Pearlman has seen something that none of the rest of the public nor anyone outside Obama’s inner circle as — Obama’s bill. Obama has stated many times what principles he wants to see in the bill (they are ever changing), but he has never actually offered up a bill. By my count, there are 4 versions circulating in the House, and both the Senate has 2 — the Health And Human Services Committee and Sen. Dodd’s Finance Committee (Dodd’s is a secret, also). Two of the House bills would cover illegal immigrants, one is silent, the other wouldn’t. The Senate bill that has been revealed wouldn’t. Word circulating among immigrant activists (pro) is — don’t worry, they’ll be covered in the end.

  7. Words that circulate among the type of people who circulate words that are supposedly circulating within spurious immigrant activist groups aren’t worth circulating.

  8. Gosh, who doesn’t love when clown sportswriters try to write about politics? It’s just so gosh-darn adorable, like a little kid trying to walk around in daddy’s shoes.

    BTW, for someone who smacks Lupica around a lot, you sure do a swell job of imitating him.

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