Sunday, September 13, 2009

Joe Wilson

Can someone do us a favor and send Joe Wilson flowers or a fruit basket ... or even just pat him on the back for us? It'd really mean a lot. Thanks!

This guy really is a piece of work. On Wednesday he makes an ass of himself at Obama's speech to Congress. On Thursday he gave a totally unconvincing account of his apology to the White House. On Friday he could be found asking people for money. This morning he hit the talk show circuit, claiming he wasn't going to back down. This guy is apparently for real.

Evidently, Joe Wilson aspires to be the least effective representative in the House and he's in the midst of setting a land-speed record for accomplishing this feat. Prior to getting his 15 minutes of fame this week Wilson was a back-bencher whose only legislative accomplishment was getting re-elected several time. Now he's trying to parlay a stupid mistake into enhancing his stature in Washington.

The problem is that he's clearly not up to the task.

Wilson has made repeated PR mistakes in the wake of his "You lie!" comment. First he admitted that the GOP leadership basically forced him to apologize to the President. This made him look like both a tool and like he's not smart enough to realize that an apology was in order. Then, Wilson foolishly tried to do some fundraising, something that should have been done by proxy. Now he's refusing to apologize again, which suggests that his first apology wasn't genuine.

He is the reason why the House GOP leadership must be buying antacids in bulk this weekend.

A sane person would have apologized profusely at the indiscretion while remaining silent on the substance of the disagreement. In fact, Wilson should have just quietly dropped out of the health care debate altogether (it wasn't like he was making much of an impact prior to Wednesday). In Washington he should have groveled to the right people behind closed doors and just laid low til the whole thing blew over. Instead, he's decided to become the public face of the anti-reform effort -- the modern day equivalent of the blind leading the blind.

Judging by his on camera arrogance and/or obliviousness, Wilson hasn't done the requisite groveling that could save him from an official rebuke. That should be the least of his worries. Wilson is perilously close to being blackballed by the House Dems, if he hasn't been already. Maybe there's a defense contractor in Wilson's district vying for a lucrative Pentagon contract and they need Wilson to make a push for them? Yeah, that's not going to happen now. If the Dems were smart they pull every earmark request, kill every pet project and basically turn off the spigot of federal funds flowing to his district. That will voters' attention in hurry.

Right now Reps. Boehner & Cantor should be doing everything in their power to shut Wilson up. They should bring in crack PR pros and promise to help Wilson fundraise to offset gains made by his opponent because they can not let the health care debate turn into "Joe Wilson vs. Barack Obama." Wilson -- and the GOP by extension -- will lose that battle. Then he's likely to lose his job.

Then again, the GOP leadership might be in the process of letting go of the leash they have on Wilson so that he can hang himself with it. Wilson has been carrying himself like someone who's gone off the reservation. It wouldn't surprise me if they started giving Wilson the Tancredo treatment: making him a persona non grata with the leadership, but sort of an emissary to the lunatic fringe.

The most striking thing about Wilson, however, is the utter selfishness of his actions. He's demonstrated no regard for his party or his district since he made his debut as America's most famous heckler and he doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon. I didn't think it was possible but Wilson behavior since Wednesday has been even more deplorable than at the joint session of Congress.


Ron said...

I have to share this somewhere.

I was at Fighting Bob Fest this last weekend, and his awesomeness Bernie Sanders was one of the speakers. He began his remarks comparing Vermont to Wisconsin, and then had the audacity to claim that Vermont's cheddar cheese was better than Wisconsin's. Amid the hoots and laughter someone in the grandstand shouted out


Sure to become as popular as "going postal" or "Don't tase me, bro!"

CJ said...

Ron- That's a hoot. Thanks for sharing.


Send him (Wilson) flowers? Nah.
How about a book on etiquette and Robert's Rules of Order.

Jb said...

Thanks, Ron -- that was definitely a great story.

But seriously, Vermont's cheese is frequently as good and occasionally better than Wisconsin's. It really is pretty well made.