After Jimmy Carter accused critics of President Obama, apparently including Rep. Joe Wilson after his interjection during Barack Obama’s speech to Congress, of being racist, one might think that Wilson would have a pungent response or two to the former President. Melanie Morgan and John McCaslin gave him that opportunity on America’s Morning News today, but Wilson opted for the high road instead. He lamented the accusations of racism and told the two hosts that charges of racism only serve to distract from the deep problems in Obama’s health-care system overhaul, and that perhaps Carter would do better to focus on the issues:
Why shouldn’t Wilson take the high road? Besides the fact that “You lie!” has nothing to do with race, Wilson actually wound up winning this battle. A week after his outburst, which Wilson himself acknowledged was inappropriate and for which he had already apologized, the media finally took a closer look at the issue of illegal immigrants in ObamaCare. The Senate finally acknowledged that HR3200 needed fixing to prevent tax dollars going to illegal immigrants. Wilson raised at least $1.6 million for his next campaign.
What did the Democrats get out of it? A resolution of “disapproval” that carries no penalties at all. Its net effect was to galvanize conservatives to the defense of a backbencher that no one outside of South Carolina could have identified two weeks ago. Instead of moving forward on legislation, the House ground to a halt, not over whether Wilson should have apologized, but on the question of whether the location of his apology was sufficient.
It was a clear waste of time and effort, pursued by a House leadership desperate to distract from the fact that ObamaCare was unpopular before Barack Obama’s speech, and it remains unpopular afterward.
Heck, with that big of a win, even I could be gracious to Jimmy Carter. For a few moments, anyway.