Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican who screamed out "You lie!" last night during Barack Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress, has apologized, and Obama has accepted. Maybe they should have a beer?
Poor Joe Wilson was not ready for the spotlight. In the 18 hours since he attempted to turn a ceremonial speech to Congress into a WWF rally, he has:
- Been revealed as a deadbeat whose debts could very well exceed his assets and a liar (that word!) who failed to report assets on his last congressional disclosure.
- Been revealed as a secessionist dead-ender who fought to the last to keep the Confederate Flag flying over the South Carolina statehouse.
- And turned in, as Talking Points Memo notes, one of the shakiest post-apology news conferences in the history of politics, throwing off flopsweat of Nixonian proportions.
Wilson made clear in that impromptu news conference that he only apologized because he was told to by the Republican leadership, who have apparently emerged from the cocoon of their own white rage long enough to realize that a nearly bankrupt Stars'n'Bars-waving congressman shouting "liar" at a black president from the floor of Congress is not good optics. His confederate in the Senate, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), says ol' Joe's gonna be just fine, and manages in the video at the top of this post to somehow pivot from why his fellow South Carolinian couldn't avoid attempting to shout down the president to a discussion of what an unreasonable partisan hack Obama is and how it's his fault that people call him a liar while he's trying to address Congress anyway and don't you know Joe Wilson has four kids in the military!?
Obama, of course, accepted the apology because he's just that cool.
Oh, and as for the substance of Wilson's charge, that Obama was lying when he said his proposal wouldn't extend healthcare to illegal immigrants? We could link to stories that give the answer, but you know it already, and what's the point? Obama tried to play grownup last night and raise the debate above bullshit hyperbolic charges and while he was doing that someone hurled a bullshit hyperbolic charge at him. And what are we all talking about today?