Sunday, September 13, 2009

Go On, Discipline Joe Wilson: Give Him a Show.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives should discipline South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson, who behaved like an a**hole during President Barack Obama's nationally televised health care reform speech to a joint session of Congress. Joe's breaking bad now and dancing on the money he's raised for disrespecting the Office of the President.
Wilson said he already apologized to Obama and that the president accepted it. However, he insisted that Obama "was misstating the facts," and that Democratic leaders in the House were "playing politics" by continuing to focus on the issue. (CNN)
In the meantime, fellow Republicans are stepping forward to tell us what a decent, nice, sensible fellow Wilson is, and he appeared on Fox News today, oiling the machine for claims of his crucifixion. Undoubtedly he's fantasizing daily about rising to a higher political office for behaving like an idiot. So, once Wilson's disciplined, this is what will happen.

1.) Paranoid far right-wing conservatives will jump up and down saying the Obama administration is like Hitler and wants to deny Wilson his right to free speech. (If you're not crazy but you are a conservative then don't whine to me to stop calling you "paranoid." If you're not part of the paranoid, crazy side of the conservative camp, then I'm not talking about you. If, however, you think Joe Wilson, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc., tell the truth, then ... you're it.)

2.) Conservatives will a.) either ignore that the House of Representatives is not the Obama administration or b.) declare that every member of The House who is a Dem is a socialist or communist.

3.) Conservatives will scream foul and ignore the following information. Wilson crossed a traditional line of respect and decorum at a formal event.
So when he (Joe Wilson) blurted out what many other Republicans probably were thinking, he crossed an invisible but firm line of decorum on the House floor. Under House rules, you are prohibited from casting aspersions on the motivations of your colleagues. There is even a procedure for punishing those who do. You can be stripped of your right to speak for the rest of the day on the floor if your words are taken down and ruled out of order.

No such specific prohibition exists in the House for when a president is speaking because, well, it is just not done. Members understand that presidents, no matter who they are, deserve respect. (Words of conservative Republican John Feehery)
An informal apology to the POTUS should not be deemed sufficient by conservatives who claim to love tradition, rules, and decorum. They should be talking to Joe, saying "The loss of the right to speak on the floor for one day is hardly anything to sob about. You've got something to say, Joe? Say it the next day. Be a man, Joe, and take your licks. After all, unlike Van Jones, you'll get to keep your job." But tradition, rules, decorum will be ignored in favor of their playing their self-fabricated martyr roles.

4.) It will be obvious, but not to paranoid far-right wing conservatives, that there are parallels to Van Jones's situation and the Joe Wilson insult. Van Jones was forced to resign as the "green jobs czar" because he signed a petition requesting an investigation into potential U.S. government involvement in the bombing of the WTC on 9/11. The petition indicated belief in a government conspiracy and by extension implied that former president George W. Bush lied. Joe Wilson yelled "You lie" at the sitting POTUS, also suggesting the government, under the Obama administration, is involved in a conspiracy to commit fraud by using tax dollars to give free health care to illegal immigrants.

Van Jones called Republicans "a**holes" during a Q&A segment following one of his own relatively unimportant speeches and his language meant Republicans are pushy and will run over efforts to build consensus. As a result, he lost his job. Joe Wilson called the POTUS a liar during a presidential address. As a result, he's being rewarded with more campaign funds and more air time.

Van Jones, referring to his anger about the 1992 acquittal of white police officers who beat Rodney King in 1991, said he was a a communist back then. He was 24 years old in 1992. Conservatives see his honesty about his shifting beliefs as some kind of treason even though Jones's expression is devoid of allegiance to another nation. Joe Wilson, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, has defended American fascism, the cousin of an ideology the U.S.A. fought in World War II. In addition, his declaration that the Confederacy was "honorable" indicates that he supports the overthrow of the U.S. government for the purpose of asserting white superiority and the abolition of rights for people of color. (You can't penalize someone for saying "I was a communist" who is not really a communist and applaud someone who is actually a member of a group that idolizes the Confederacy and calls its deeds "honorable.")

White Southerners who cling to the "values" of the Confederacy like to say the war was about their rights:
The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the Second American Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on which this nation was built. (Sons of Confederate Veterans website)
They ask us to conveniently forget that an assertion of their rights meant the right to hold black people captive, and very much like ultra conservatives today, they will tell you that nothing about their beliefs indicates racism. In addition, Republicans wink at the Sons of the Confederacy re-imagining their working to overthrow the government for the purpose of asserting white superiority to be not treasonous but heroic.

5.) Conservatives will do a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth, claiming Obama is treated like a king but that he's a socialist who pals around with radicals. In the midst of all this right wing fervor, the fact that Joe Wilson is wrong regarding health care tax dollars going to illegal immigrants under current proposed health care reform bills will get lost:
Obama was correct when he said his plan wouldn’t insure illegal immigrants; the House bill expressly forbids giving subsidies to those who are in the country illegally. Conservative critics complain that the bill lacks an enforcement mechanism, but that hardly makes the president a liar. (
Furthermore, that Wilson himself appears to have voted in 2003 to give tax dollars for the health care of illegal immigrants will never be addressed.

What we have here is a failure to communicate the true nature of right-wing hysteria to the right wing, and that may be because they have their fingers in their ears. Certain white conservatives lay outrageous requests on sane people to look the other way when white people who champion the historic figures who fought to keep black people enslaved also show blatant disrespect for the Office of the President in which a black man sits at the moment. They call Confederate soldiers who fought to keep black people in chains "heroes," but declare the sky is falling because a black man expressed in his youth anger over proven wrongs to people of his ethnic group. Furthermore, they get away with persecuting that black man while comforting rebels in their midst.

What is this burden that's placed on Americans, in particular African-Americans, to turn the other cheek for patriotic impostors and ignore the symbolic lynching of anyone who has a legitimate objection to actual oppression?

We are a dysfunctional nation, perhaps the incubator of a new Confederacy of Imbeciles. Consequently, if the House of Representatives disciplines Joe Wilson, the actions and behaviors I've listed will materialize, and the fact that Joe Wilson is an a**hole will swiftly be swept under the Confederate flag. That's the way it is.


msladyDeborah said...

It seems like giving this nitiwt the blues would be the right way to go. But, I don't want him to have the attention that this type of reprimand would bring. This would only give him a long portal to whine. I'm more inclined to support the candidate running against him. Because he has a long record of being stuck on Stoopid.

Vérité Parlant said...

Hi, Deborah. I don't think it will matter one way or the other. There's nothing they can really do to Joe Wilson. He's an elected official and I think his constituents support him. But when I say "Give Him A Show" what I mean is he will be boosted by disciplinary action against him, not harmed.

Kate Burton said...

I'm starting to think we should be using the time out system with politicians. Lately it seems the bigger the "scandal" the sooner they're guest on talk shows and acting as "commentators".

If we ignore them will they just go away?