Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Joe Wilson Takes One For The Team

Joe Wilson Takes One For The Team

I can only find one explanation for the episode of Tourette's by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-Asshole) during the president's health care speech: stagecraft.

Joe Wilson took one for the team. They looked at the advance script, picked the point in the speech, and through some process Wilson's the guy. Relatively safe district, though he got a scare in 2008.

If we've learned anything in the year of tea parties and town halls, it's that the media loves a dramatic distraction. Even if it's by a tiny minority. (One in this case).

The stunt will backfire, of course, just like the tin-eared official response by Rep. Charles Boustant (House of Lords-La.) Despite the birthers and the anti-school speechers, people still want the President to get a minimum level of respect, especially in a State of the Union style setting. But this wasn't for the masses. It was, as in most things GOP these days, a move for the base.

The "not in my House" look on Pelosi's face is priceless:

What this does is keeps us from paying attention to the gems in Obama's speech. Without the shouting, we'd be remembering the ghost of Ted Kennedy and the actual calling out of insurance companies as the bad guys and the most impassioned case for liberalism that Obama has yet made, as candidate or as President.

Instead, a cheap, probably staged moment of mock outrage takes a bit of the shine off a fine speech. I give Obama an A minus, with a couple points deducted for using single payer as a straw man.

1 comment:

Daniel Brenton said...

John --

Oddly enough, Wilson's little outrage actually didn't sidetrack me personally when it happened. I was caught up in the craft and execution of what I felt was a brilliant speech, hitting all the points and using Ted Kennedy's efforts towards health care reform as the emotional keystone for his call to action.

I consider myself a Conservative, and I was persuaded. That's all there is to it.

I do feel the State of South Carolina should send Wilson packing, if, for no other reason, general principles.