Wednesday, September 16, 2009

House Rebukes Rep. Wilson

I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the resolution rebuking Rep. Joe Wilson for his outburst. During the proceedings, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer stated that the House will not stand silent in the face of conduct that was universally recognized as inappropriate. To watch the proceedings on C-Span, click this link. The resolution states:

Whereas on September 9, 2009, during the joint session of Congress convened pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 179, the President of the United States, speaking at the invitation of the House and Senate, had his remarks interrupted by the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson; and

Whereas the conduct of the Representative from South Carolina was a breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives disapproves of the behavior of the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson, during the joint session of Congress held on September 9, 2009.

Since Rep. Wilson apologized to the President, Wilson’s supporters assert that Wilson should not have to apologize to the House. That argument fails for the following reasons. Rep. Wilson’s apology was insincere. He apologized only after Republican leadership pressured him to do so. In addition, he has exploited the spectacle to raise funds for his election campaign. On his website, he boldly proclaims that he will not be muzzled. Appearing on the Sean Hannity radio program, he embraced his new role as a hero of the right wing anti-immigrant movement. Rep. Wilson’s conduct not only offended the President, he offended the House, the Senate and the American people. If Wilson was sincere, he would have apologized to his House colleagues as well. Instead, he was defiant.

The House did the right thing by condemning him for his breach of civility and decorum. Now, lets focus on getting health care passed with the same efficiency. I hope that Rep. Joe Wilson’s 15 minutes of fame are over.

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