Deep thought

No one could have predicted that a white southern Congressman would heckle a black president.

84 replies
  1. 1
    LosGatosCA says:

    It turns out there was a good reason that Joe Wilson (Republican-Krazy) shouted out.

    “When the Cracker Caucus met in the morning everyone agreed to shout out ‘You Lie’ when he mentioned illegal aliens. I haven’t been pranked like that since all my fraternity brothers said everyone was going to the Klan Halloween party as drag queens. Boy did those baseball bats hurt.”

  2. 2
    Angela says:


  3. 3

    The sweetest part of this whole thing is according to TPM he called POTUS personally to apologize and he got connected to Rahm, oh to listen in on that conversation!

  4. 4
    Augustine says:

    Stupid question, but is ActBlue the right clearinghouse for $$$ to his opponent in 2010?

  5. 5
    RedKitten says:


    He phoned in the apology? What a chickenshit.

  6. 6
    Angela says:

    @Augustine: Yes, he has raised almost $160,00 so far.

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    No one could have predicted that a white southern Congressman would heckle a black president.

    I eagerly await the Republicans to deny this even happened.

    Also, Democrats did it too. But worse!

  8. 8
    Ajay says:

    I am just shocked that he called WH to apologize. Whats this world coming to? These guys bask in this glory(standing up to a librul) and this was the second odd news of the day(apology). The first was how quickly that CA assemblyman resigned after the taped conversation came out.

    Keep in mind, Faux had started the ball rolling by saying it was hilarious for JWilson to do it. They expected everyone to go along with it. Blogsphere did, but surprisingly senate didnt. They are not conservative enough I guess.

  9. 9


    My guess is he tried to get into the oval office to do it personally but someone was outside the door with a meat cleaver and a shovel.

  10. 10
    SpotWeld says:

    I assumed that some of the more popular senators made him draw the short straw.

    On the upside Skipper Lou Dobbs has now got a li’l buddy.

  11. 11
    Butch says:

    I guess a lot of folks noticed Cantor staring at his Blackberry, Boehner looking for most of the speech like he had stepped in something, and the House members waving around their little white papers. At least McCain had the grace to smile when Obama sucked punched him by noting part of the plan had been McCain’s own proposal.

  12. 12
    Skepticat says:

    Now I can’t remember where I saw it (yeah, I’m as bad as a Republican, I know, sorry), but I noticed on a blog this morning that he had tweeted earlier that he planned to do this. In the heat of the moment, of course. Does anyone else have a better memory/source for that than I?

  13. 13
    someguy says:

    Oh well, DougJ. At least he was polite enough not to dangle a noose around. So you have to give him credit for being one of the more enlightened Republicans…

  14. 14
    Butch says:

    That should have been “sucker punched.” Sorry…I can’t figiure out how to edit it.

  15. 15
    Lola says:

    Too bad the media doesn’t painstakingly analyze every glance and personal slight from Republicans toward President Obama. They only pay that much attention to Democrats. It is somehow understood that Republicans don’t have to respect anyone. The media loves that about them.

  16. 16
    Skepticat says:

    @RedKitten: When you consider how heartfelt we’re sure it is, this is the more technological version of mailing it in.

  17. 17
    Justin says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: It was Biden.

  18. 18
    Frank L says:

    Skepicat, if you have a vague recollection of something that may or may not have happened (or happened in a movie), then that’s all the fact checking you need to do.

    Unless you’re not a Republican

  19. 19
    Angela says:

    So my husband had a meeting with a big cheese at his office today. A big Republican cheese. The guy stated about what you did and indicated his disgust with the tactics of his party. I’m hoping there are more who are seeing the reality.

  20. 20
    AB says:

    I guess he accomplished his job, since as far as I can tell, “people” are talking about the outburst rather than the content of Obama’s speech. Who needs policy details when we can have theatrics?

  21. 21
  22. 22
    slag says:

    To be fair, he heckled our first black president over a concern that brown people might benefit from a government program. According to Byron York, this could mean that health care reform would seem to benefit more people overall than it actually would.

    His cup runneth over.

  23. 23


    I said last night it is obvious Cantor has no interest in the legislation, he wasn’t even paying attention. There was a comment somewhere that summed up the Republican side of the house perfectly. I am going to try and find it.

  24. 24
    Skepticat says:

    @Frank L: This is why I’m asking, not stating.

  25. 25
    Betsy says:


    A big Republican cheese.


  26. 26
    Ash Can says:

    But wait, as they say on infomercials, there’s more. El Cid mentioned this on an earlier thread, and I’ll reiterate it here. Equally white and southern Lindsey Graham lets out a good long blast on the dog whistle tornado siren in response to Obama’s speech:

    “I was incredibly disappointed in the tone of his speech,” Graham said. “At times I found his tone to be overly combative and believe he behaved in a manner beneath the dignity of the office. I fear his speech tonight has made it more difficult – not less – to find common ground.”

    (h/t GOS)

  27. 27
    Harmonika Savingsbonds says:

    We should feel sorry for these poor Repugs.

    Having a BLACK MAN in the presidency finally unhinged every last one of them.

  28. 28
    Joe Beese says:

    Wilson said to Obama, “You lie”. He didn’t say specifically about what. Maybe he was referring to Obama having campaigned on a position of no mandate for adults.

  29. 29
    cmorenc says:

    The scary thing is that Wilson is not merely the sort of incumbent congressperson who gets more or less passively re-elected by inertia, money, and the political machine of the majority party in his district – he truly DOES accurately “represent” the views of the majority of voters in his deep-red district. The real problem is that Joe Wilson feels completely safe around his own district (and among GOP-only gatherings in Washington DC) making scathing, blisteringly disrespectful outbursts against Obama. Last night, he was sitting in the middle, not near the edges, of the GOP congressional section, and he forgot for a moment that he wasn’t simply among his own kind of folk.

    Folks, this is truly how he and most of the McCain voters in his district feel toward Obama. He’s apologetic only because he realizes his remark may have inflicted some collateral damage on the GOP in more purplish areas of the country, and thus some of his fellow GOP congresscritters are pissed off at him (especially those who are stuck running from purplish districts themselves). But it’s a safe bet that inside, he doesn’t feel one dust mote apologetic or regretful toward Obama himself – what Joe Wilson said in his outburst toward Obama last night (Liar!) is actually a very mild, watered-down version of what he likely says in safer gatherings with no cameras rolling or reporters present. No, it isn’t cool even in South Carolina for a politician to say “nigger”, at least not outside very small intimate private gatherings of a handful of trusted friends and family, but – there are plenty of more polite, obscure code phrases which mean pretty much the same thing as “uppity nigger”.

  30. 30
    Angela says:

    Joe Wilson’s opponent, Rob Miller, has now raised almost $185,000. In a campaign for the house in SC, how far does that go?

  31. 31
    cleek says:


    and he just got $50 from me.

    bury that fucking turd.

  32. 32
    tc125231 says:

    @Ash Can: How could it be more difficult? They have no intention of making any compromise whatever.

  33. 33
    Michael says:

    I don’t know why he didn’t just come out with it and say “uppity nigger”, because that was pretty much his obvious intent.

    Anybody remember the nasty old Granny in Blazing Saddles, and how she responded to a pleasant morning greeting? Who knew that Mel Brooks could so effectively channel todays GOP via movie that’s nearly 40 years old?

  34. 34

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Damn I can’t find it, anyway to paraphrase they said the republican side of the house was the equivalent of a bunch of teenage boys in a movie theatre, making fart noises and throwing spitballs.

    Cantor gave me that impression like the teenager at the family wedding, sitting in the back of the church texting, cause he doesn’t want to be there damnnit and he ain’t gonna listen.

  35. 35
    lamh31 says:

    No Beer Summit for Wilson

    There will be no beer summit or even a telephone conversation between President Obama and Rep. Joe …

    … Wilson (R-S.C.), according to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

    Asked if the president plans to meet or talk with the congressman who interrupted his speech Wednesday, Emanuel gave American Urban Radio’s April Ryan a flat: “No.”

  36. 36
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I fear his speech tonight has made it more difficult – not less – to find common ground.”

    I pay no more attention to what southern senators and congressmen have to say than I do Kim Jong Il. How’s that for some common ground, Lindsay?

  37. 37
    slag says:

    @AB: To be honest, I didn’t find much new policy in the speech. It was all stuff we’d heard before, but I guess a little more strongly worded. Personally, I liked how Obama said that we would provide a choice for people who can’t find affordable healthcare. I’m in the Sherrod Brown camp on this. I still get queasy on mandates, but I understand the need to insure everybody. And I still hate the disingenuous 1/6th of the economy argument against single-payer because it presumes that I’m an idiot who believes that health insurance makes up 1/6th of our economy. Other than that, Ted Kennedy won the day.

  38. 38
    babs says:

    Source: Associated Press

    Shares of health insurers wavered in premarket activity Thursday after President Barack Obama made clear he is sticking to his goal of health care reform in a televised speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night.

    The final impact on the health care industry is still far from certain as legislators continue the debate. Analysts caution that the stocks will remain volatile until the debate ends…

    In electronic trading ahead of Thursday’s market open, shares of Wellpoint Inc. added 16 cents to $53. UnitedhHealth Group Inc. lost 40 cents to $28, and Aetna Inc. added 25 cents to $29.50.

    For health insurers and their shareholders, the uncertainty over reform has made for a roller coaster throughout the year, driving shares lower, then higher depending on which way the political wind blows in Washington. Stocks dove deeper than the broader market in early March, after Obama described reform as “a necessity we have to achieve.” They have since mostly climbed as opposition grew in Congress to a proposed public health insurance plan that would compete with private insurers.

    Read more:

  39. 39
    Zam says:

    Well he’s accomplished what he wanted. No one is gonna give a fuck about the actual speech, we will now just have a bunch of back and forth on his shout.

  40. 40
    babs says:

    Flashback: Democrats Boo Bush At 2005 State Of The Union
    President George W. Bush is booed and heckled by Democrats at his 2005 State of the Union address.

  41. 41
    Skip Intro says:

    I live in SC and am surrounded by Republicans, and all of them at least are pretending to be appalled by Rep. Wilson.

    I think most of them see his antics as a very real affront to the President, and a real screw-up, politically.

    The racial component is not at all lost on them.

  42. 42
    Tom Hilton says:

    A white southern congressman who was an aide to Strom Thurmond.

    Nope, nobody could have predicted.

  43. 43
    GregB says:

    You lie!

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    @Ash Can:

    I fear his speech tonight has made it more difficult – not less – to find common ground.

    Oh noes! We’ve lost Lindsey Graham! Without a progressive like that, how will anything ever get passed?!

  45. 45
    Ash says:

    @babs: People have ALWAYS booed at these things. That’s not what Wilson did.

  46. 46
    Angela says:

    @Skip Intro: thanks for letting us know what you see. That is, at the least, a little heartening.

  47. 47
    smiley says:

    Shaw has some images of the republicans:

    Love the woman in the second one. I disagree, however, with his interpretation of Pelosi in the last one. She looks pissed, not scared.

  48. 48
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: The sweetest part of this whole thing is according to TPM he called POTUS personally to apologize and he got connected to Rahm, oh to listen in on that conversation!

    Now if Rahm can use the same famous take-no-prisoners style to twist some Blue Dog arms to actually give some oomph to the huge Democratic majority instead of acting like Republicans and weakening it.

    I’m always a little puzzled hearing about “Ho ho, boy, he’s such a macho tough guy” followed by another chorus of “We haven’t got the votes”.

    “He doesn’t take no for an answer” and “he’s powerless to do anything to get the Blue Dogs in line” would seem to be slightly incompatible, it always seems to me at least.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    BDeevDad says:

    I only hope there is follow through on this:

    But know this: I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it. I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out.

  51. 51
    gex says:

    @babs: Fair point, but there is one word that is verboten in our political discourse and that is “lie”or “liar”. No one, not even Oily Taint ever gets called a liar. This is an escalation we have not seen before.

  52. 52
    LD50 says:

    Google ‘Preston Brooks’. Things haven’t really changed *that* much.

  53. 53

    I really enjoyed this from HuffPost:

    Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest serving member in House history, said he was not impressed by the GOP antics. “Well, you’ve got to understand: They’re Republicans. They’re just doing what comes natural,” he told HuffPost.

  54. 54
    Bill E Pilgrim says:


    Damn I can’t find it, anyway to paraphrase they said the republican side of the house was the equivalent of a bunch of teenage boys in a movie theatre, making fart noises and throwing spitballs.

    Oh I think that was me. Early this AM.

  55. 55
    J. says:

    or that Ellen DeGeneres would replace Paula Abdul as a judge on American Idol.

    @DougJ: Loved your opening line. For the record, he later apologized. And I am sure it was sincere. (Not.)

  56. 56
    calling all toasters says:

    I was really hoping for Saxby Chambliss to yell out “show some humility there, boy!”

    But this will do.

  57. 57
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Angela: My GOP girlfriend (we have an interesting relationship, and a good one) is going down to the registrar’s office today to change her party affiliation to independent. She may not like Obama, Pelosi, or Democrats, and surely does not like the health plan, but as she said last night, “you don’t heckle the President in the middle of a nationally televised joint session of Congress. You just don’t.”

  58. 58

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Yes Bill you are right and I thought it was a perfect description.

  59. 59
    Ella in NM says:


    “Joe Wilson’s opponent, Rob Miller, has now raised almost $185,000. In a campaign for the house in SC, how far does that go?”

    The pessimist in me says that no matter how much money he has, he won’t change the mindset of a bunch of morons who voted for Wilson in the first place.

  60. 60
    Augustine says:

    +100 from me. Now over $200k TYVM…

  61. 61
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Thanks. Now and then I become momentarily coherent despite my best efforts.

  62. 62
    LarryB says:

    @babs: Babs, I followed the link, but the story you cite isn’t there. Better source, please?

  63. 63
    georgia pig says:

    The thing about Obama speeches is that there is a lot more packed in there than you pick up on at first glance. I was talking about the speech to a colleague who is a recovering repub but still has flashbacks. Obama really threaded the needle with that speech. Someone was noting that Obama seems to have good luck in his opponents, that they tend to be loons. There’s some truth to that, but some of it is his skill at bringing out the loons and capitalizing on their looniness by picking the fight on your terms. Think of this way, you have opponents that rely on cheap theatrics and paranoia. How do you get them to fuck up? Use a bunch of proxies (the evil Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank) to put out trial balloons that include items that are bait for their hot button issues, and sit back and let them go to town. The repubs score some cheap quick points with their nutjob base, the idiot press concludes that you’re weak and have lost control of the debate. However, your opponent soon loses control because their nutjob base is running only on emotion and tribal madness and starts to scare the shit out of everyone with half a brain. How fucking rich is that a “patriotic” republican like Joe Wilson gets goaded into dissing the President of the United States in front of Congress? Then step out with something completely reasonable and 80% anodyne and noncontroversial, throw in some chum that they’re sure to rise to and costs you nothing (e.g., tort reform –who actually gives a shit about contingency fee trial lawyers?). Make everything revolve around the dreaded menace of the “public option.” If you get it great, but then you have to make it work. If not, and the exchange turns out to be inadequate in keeping costs down and requires too many federal subsidies, then you can blame the fucking republicans for blocking the one cost-saving measure in the whole plan because they’re whores for the insurance industry. You’ve succeeding in reframing the whole debate. If it’s fucked up costwise, you won’t have calls to return to Galtian paradise because that never happens. You’ve moved the boulder. Once people have enjoyed portability, caps on payouts, etc., they won’t want to go back.

  64. 64
    Ella in NM says:


    Well he’s accomplished what he wanted. No one is gonna give a fuck about the actual speech, we will now just have a bunch of back and forth on his shout.

    Actually, I’d say that it’s a given that Obama’s speech was great (there’s now 67% support for his healthcare plans in the CNN poll). What people are talking about is how USELESS the Republicans are in solving the problem, exemplified by Mr. “Whineyass Puss” Wilson.

  65. 65
    anon says:

    OT: Glenn Beck gets a taste of his own medecin

  66. 66
    GregB says:

    The GOP believes in leadership by heckling.

    Everyone hates hecklers.


  67. 67
    AB says:


    Fair enough. Actually to be honest, I was kind of wondering what the speech was for in the first place. I find it difficult to believe that a speech can alter votes in Congress. Actually, it really seems that Congress is going to do the same thing it does no matter what public opinion is, so…

  68. 68
    Angela says:

    @Ella in NM: Miller’s first run against Wilson he lost 46% to 54% and only had half the money ($600,000 and change) that Wilson did. I think there is a good chance a well-funded campaign could turn that seat blue.

  69. 69
    Zifnab says:

    @Ash: Nah, it’s six of one half a dozen of the other. Wilson didn’t do anything “abnormal” per say. And if the wingnut Republicans want to heckle the President during a nationally televised address, I encourage them to let out their inner town-haller.

    Joe Wilson stuck a cattle prod in the arse of the progressive movement. Nothing gets liberals up in arms like watching a GOoPer publicly humiliate himself.

    His heckling was only different because no one else had the balls to make any noise. He got singled out. But he wasn’t the only one that heckled by the end of the speech.

    I absolutely want the media to single out the anti-Obama Congressional hecklers.

  70. 70
    El Cid says:

    You know, I think the part of South Carolina’s Senator Lindsay Graham’s statement on Joe Wilson which stuck with me was when he said Obama’s behavior during the speech was “beneath the dignity of the office”, by which he meant the longstanding tradition of U.S. Democrats to do and say whatever it seemed like Southern Republicans wanted them to do.

  71. 71
    Tsulagi says:

    No one could have predicted that a white southern Congressman would heckle a black president.

    Nor Commander Cracker of the ball buying RSSF calling Wilson a “Great American Hero!” You would think if the best they have is a petulant dweeb with no mouth control that might prompt some introspection, but then you would be wrong.

    Not afraid to prove it and proud of it, the commander later trained his clown gun on the Democratic chair of Wilson’s state. Called her a “dirt bag” after her comment Wilson had embarrassed their state along with their soulmate searching governor, Sanford.

    Speaking of which, really wished Sandford had given the R-rebuttal last night instead of the non-elitist nobility-title chasing birther. Sanford could have shared that every soulmate he’s had in foreign countries confided health care in the USA was better than theirs. Would have been powerful testimony.

  72. 72
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I imagine a pitchfork and a hoe. And dressed up like black share croppers. And then the tune from the twilight zone comes drifting in as “Joe” spins to try to find the door he came in . . . but there is no escape, only Rahm, and he’s holding the biography of Malcolm X! Gah! Run away Joe, run!

  73. 73
    Ella in NM says:


    I think there is a good chance a well-funded campaign could turn that seat blue.

    [Tiny spark of hope forces a “Yay!!!!] ;-D

  74. 74
    Shell says:

    “and believe he behaved in a manner beneath the dignity of the office.”

    Yes, that’s the tone of the wingnut apologists for Wilson’s tantrum. ‘The poor man was just pushed too far!”

  75. 75
    Ella in NM says:

    Awe inspiring and so very true reader’s comment over at Sullivan’s blog:

    Yes, the GOP of 2009 is the party of torture and fiscal recklessness. But as Joe Wilson’s outburst last night made clear, it is every bit as much the party of the College Republicans.

    Wilson’s catcalling was only part of it. This is the party of Colson and Segretti, Atwater and Rove, Kristol and Norquist. It is the party of Joe Wilson and the odious Patrick McHenry, the latter a bad caricature of a South Park or Simpsons character. Just look at them, with the “What bill?” signs around their necks, waving the copies of their “bill” in the President’s face as he patiently explained to them why they are so very full of shit.

    Optics, not reality, is what matters. Everything can be massaged with a Mission Accopmlished banner, a sympathetic interview on Fox News, or a whisper campaign that your opponent is a faggot.

    Juvenile, manipulative, impossibly smarmy, hateful – or at least more than willing to use the weapon of other people’s hate – and, above all, relentlessly cynical. To these (mostly) men, politics is not the “art of the possible”, not a means for peaceably grappling with the most difficult and complex issues of the day, or for attempting to improve the lives of people you will never meet. It is nothing but a game, one where the object is not just to win but to destroy your enemies with a weird mix of angry slander and junior high insults – and to have a good chuckle while admiring your handiwork.

    It is an attitude that enables one to label a respected judge who worked with disadvantaged children a pedophile (as Rove’s minions did in an Alabama Supreme Court race in 1994), or to put Sarah Palin on a presidential ticket.

    Just as for the neocons it is always 1938, for the professional College Republicans in the House GOP, it is always the annual convention, with the hotly-contested race for treasurer or secretary between one guy from Michigan State and another from Clemson. Accusations of fraud abound, frat boys and bookworms alike go berserk as they see their chances of interning with the RNC slip away, and desperate calls are made to worshipped alumni with the hope that some measure of revenge can be exacted. Nerd libido harnessed to cynical rage.

    Welcome to the House the College Republicans Built. For our benefit, President Obama is more than happy to let them live in it.

    (Republican) America, FUCK YEAH!!!

  76. 76
    Ella in NM says:

    Oops–that last sentence was mine, not the author’s. Stupid non-editing capability strikes again.

  77. 77
    slag says:

    @AB: Yeah. I see it as pretext. A meme had developed within the media that Obama needed a “game changer” on healthcare. So, even if it had no real substantive impact, the speech was the pretext Obama needed to have a game changer. And it seems like he got one. That’s all.

  78. 78
    Demo Woman says:

    @Ella in NM: The last sentence was appropriate.
    How did you block quote without deleting the blank lines between the paragraphs?

  79. 79
    Bad Horse's Filly says:

    @georgia pig: This is what I’ve been thinking, but unable to express as well as your colleague has.

  80. 80
    wasabi gasp says:

    Time to break out the Purell and have an armpit fartoff.

  81. 81
    Col. Klink says:

    And so the GOP has become Selma, Alabama with Bull Conner and George Wallace writ large. Unfortunately for them, Obama does a pretty good MLK ‘hold your head high and keep your dignity while your enemies make total asses of themselves’ impression.

  82. 82

    I think the GOP has found their “Great White Hope”.

  83. 83
    2evolve2 says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: I pay more attention to what Kim Jong Il says than what southern senators and congressmen say because Kim Jong Il runs & controls a country compared to southern senators and congressmen who can neither control their own minds nor run a country. HA LMAO

  84. 84
    Person of Choler says:

    Did you see the 40 foot manila rope, the pile of firewood, the can of kerosene, the box of farmer matches and the 50-foot white oak tree that Wilson had next to his seat? You didn’t? I did because I have the ability to see through the media’s racist image filter and view things as they really are.

    I believe that DougJ has the same sort of enhanced vision as I possess.

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