Having caused a bit of a ruckus last night of a sort unmatched in incivility and depravity since... 2005, when Democrats booed the President at his State of the Union address... Representative Joe Wilson (R, SC) wants you to know that he is very sorry if any one was offended that he pointed out that the President is a liar:
“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”
Notice that he didn't say anything about a lack of accuracy - then again, as Legal Insurrection notes, this would be because Joe Wilson was being accurate when he called the President a liar: HR 3200 covers illegal immigrants, and every attempt to make it explicit that it wouldn't has been blocked by Congressional Democrats. No, it's just that Joe Wilson recognizes that it was mean of him to wreck the President's narrative that way by calling the President a liar. And it was mean of him: as we saw last night, President Obama isn't exactly what you'd call quick on his rhetorical feet when things don't go his way.
As you might have guessed, I'm amused at the outrage shown to Joe Wilson's calling the President a liar by the professionally outraged: not only because it's fairly provincial of them*, but because the outrage fairly clearly covers a certain uneasiness. This is new for Republicans and conservatives, you see. We don't march. We don't gather for protests. We don't gather for protests in large numbers. We don't take time off to go to protests. We don't force the opposition to react to what we say. We don't interrupt. We don't push back when pushed. And we don't loudly call out people for their lies when they lie. At least, we didn't do all of that, on a regular basis - but we're doing it now. Change!
And Hope, too.
*You should see what legislators in other countries get up to. This was nothing.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.