There must be something in the water down there that causes Republicans in South Carolina to take complete leave of their senses. First, the governor leaves the state on Father's day weekend, lies about his whereabouts and goes to Argentina to fool around with a woman he would later describe as his "soul mate." And last night Congressman Joe Wilson, shouted "You lie!" at President Obama as he was addressing the Congress about health care reform in question.
Now there has been no dearth of lyin' during this exceedingly fractious debate on health care. Most of it, if not all, has been put out by right wing radio pundits and the whack jobs that subscribe to their bullshit. Think "death panels" and "no health care for Gammie." What riled Rep. Wilson was Obama's statement that he never proposed health care for illegal immigrants. Which actually is the truth.
Look, I think it might actually be a good thing for the President to go to Capitol Hill from time-to-time to take questions from the legislative branch much as the Brits do. I used to watch various Prime Ministers engaged in vigorous debate during "Question Time." It was great fun to watch and damned if the participants didn't seem to be enjoying it as well.
But the Brits are a civil lot who enjoy verbal jousting. Here across the pond we have folks who are convinced despite all evidence to the contrary that the President was not born in the United States. We have guys packing guns outside venues where Mr. Obama is speaking. Here we have a radio host who says that the President "obviously has a deep seated hatred of white people." This despite the fact that Obama's mother was white as were one set of his grandparents. And we have at least one Member who called the President a liar on national TV. There is a difference between strong disagreement with a proposed policy and calling somebody a liar.
But Wilson's big mouth and hot temper may have backfired on him. His opponent in the next election raised $300,000 overnight. His behavior has been condemned by people on both sides of the aisle. Undoubtedly some folks who might have approved of such an intemperate display were disappointed when Wilson apologized. That's not gonna help him any with the wing nuts. And he may have stiffened the resolve of wavering Dems to get some version of this damn thing passed for no reason other than to show folks that the country is not run by utter fools.
But in the meantime maybe the GOP ought to check the water down there in the Palmetto State. There's something that's making some of your elected officials bad crazy.