I'm seeing a distressing amount of criticism of Joe Wilson around these parts, for the sole reason that issued the following statement after shouting at President Obama during his "reform" sales pitch:
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.
Nobody should criticize Joe Wilson over this apology who thinks the President is lying on illegal aliens.
We deal in weak apologies all the time at RedState. Trolls pretend to apologize, then get banned for failing to making a genuine apology for their transgressions. So when I first heard Wilson apologized, I immediately hoped he made one with lots of loopholes, and was gratified to see this statement. Let me take it bit by bit to show you what I mean.
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. I'm sure we all can understand where Wilson is coming from here. I never listen to Obama speak, and never have. This guy had to sit there listening during the joint session. Hearing the President lie repeatedly probably got Wilson angry, and put him in a state of mind where he might speak out in a way he ordinarily might not.
While I disagree with the President’s statement.... Right here, Wilson sends a message. He does not retract his statement about the lie. He does not retreat, he does not compromise, and he does not waver. This phrase boils down to 'The President is still lying.' Do not condemn him for this; praise him for having the temerity not to back down in the face of pressure.
...my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. Firstly note the bland, generic use of 'comments,' which is another sign that this apology is insincere. If he meant it, he would have said 'comment,' because this is about one comment. The use of 'comments' marks this as a statement against his heart for political gain.
Then note his descriptors. He does not call his comment incorrect. He does not call it unfair. He merely calls it inappropriate, as it clearly was in that context. It was rude, and against the accepted protocols of such a speech. He also calls it regrettable, which makes sense given all the lefty death threats he's probably receiving right now. He didn't say he regretted speaking the truth; he regrets the manner in which he did it.
I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility. And to conclude, Wilson reiterates that he is not apologizing for speaking the truth about the President's lies, but merely for speaking the truth in an uncivil way. Every line of this piece is crafted not to apologize for the accusation of a lie. It only apologizes for the way in which the accusation was delivered.
So please, lay off of Joe Wilson if you agree with what he shouted. He's not backing down. He's just playing the game.