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Joe Wilson’s Medical Diagnosis: (Hypo)critical condition

Rep. Joe Wilson claims he feels so strongly that illegal immigrants should not benefit from health care reform that he shouted “You lie!” at the president during a joint session of Congress.

Now, let’s ignore whether Wilson’s outburst was rude or disrespectful. Let’s also ignore whether providing health care for illegal aliens is a good idea (since emergency rooms won’t turn anyone away, we’re already paying for health care for illegals anyway).

In 2003, Wilson himself voted for a bill that provided federal funds to pay for the health care of illegal aliens.

My question is, does that make Wilson a flip-flopper, or merely a liar?

Maureen Dowd has an interesting read about Joe Wilson and South Carolina politics in general, that might explain the real reasons for Wilson’s outburst.

Or for a fun rant, read this.



  1. Sammy wrote:

    I read Dowd’s op ed piece and then re-read it. I don’t think I’m comfortable with her leap in logic from him being a South Carolinan white male conservative to that meaning he’s probably opposed to a black man in the White House.

    She makes an effort to connect the dots to make that point, but I don’t think we really know enough about Wilson to know anything more than he may dislike the president and his politics.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    The “leap” you’re uncomfortable about includes several other data points along the path, including Wilson leading a campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above the SC state capitol, and his attack on the black woman who revealed herself as Strom Thurmond’s daughter after his death. Just based on those two things — which Dowd included in her article — and what I’ve read about them, I’d be willing to believe that Wilson is racist.

    Wilson is also a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group whose leadership is full of white supremacists and members of listed hate groups, and whose newsletter has defended the KKK, argued that the US was created “for white people”, and stated that “when a Negro has learned to read he ceases to work”.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  3. Sammy wrote:

    IK, while I agree that defending the Confederate flag is objectionable for reasons that have solely to do with its racist implications, I do not believe that the act of defending the flying of that flag means that someone IS a racist. And the same goes for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Yes, it has among its members avowed racists, but its only real requirement is that one is a descendant (male) of a Confederate soldier. And in a cursory Google search regarding the group, I found far more benign actions by the group (gravestone maintenance, etc.) than those of a political nature. It would seem that a subset of a group does not a group make.

    I believe that there are whole generations of Southerners who have been taught such nonsense about the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression or whatever they call it) and the South’s “great” history, that it’s often difficult to separate white male Southerners from redneck racists, even though they are not always one and the same.

    My point is, while Wilson may indeed harbor bigoted or even racist beliefs, connecting those dots is too flimsy for my tastes, especially for a New York Times op-ed piece. Glenn Beck does that kind of thing all the time (Van Jones anyone?) and I would prefer to see more than “associations” before I make those kind of inflammatory judgments.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink