The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

48° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Here’s a Clue: Joe Wilson, on the House floor, with a temper tantrum”

Republican Representative from South Carolina Joe Wilson’s childish outcry at President Barack Obama’s address to congress was disrespectful, juvenile and an unfortunate humiliation for the party he represents.

It is a concern we as future leaders of this country should have, that the highest position of authority in our government is disrespected in such a manner. For all is up for grabs when even the position of president is treated like a contestant on Maury.

Temper tantrums simply have no place in responsible and what is to be respected governance.

On Larry King Live, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shared his opinion of Wilson’s outburst, acknowledging that it was “”totally disrespectful”” and there’s “”no place for it in that setting or any other.””

“”He should apologize immediately,”” McCain concluded.      

Obama spoke in front of Congress on Sept. 9 in an effort to clarify his health care reform proposal and dismiss the fabrications and rumors engulfing his efforts. He confronted concerns regarding the alleged death panels, explaining, “”Such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible.””

“”It is a lie, plain and simple,”” Obama reiterated, blatantly addressing the fallacious beliefs.

He then moved on to the next “”bogus claim”” requiring elucidation, the coverage of illegal immigrants granted within the bill.

But as he announced that this reform “”would not apply to those who are here illegally,”” Wilson, unable to contain himself, pointed his outstretched finger at the president of the United States, interrupting the democratically elected commander in chief, hollering above the audience, “”You lie!””

According to The New York Times, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, encouraged senior Republican lawmakers to find the person responsible and implore him or her to apologize.

In accordance, Wilson’s office issued an apology stating: “”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.””

In addition, Wilson called the White House with an apology, which Emanuel accepted on the president’s behalf.

Despite his concession, Republicans and Democrats alike remain outraged by Wilson’s disrespectful actions.

In The Huffington Post, Robert Creamer, a political organizer, strategist and author, wrote an article with the headline, “”Wilson is the Poster ‘Child’ for the New Republican Party.””

Creamer suggests that this action merely amplified the childish antics the Republican Party has taken part in since Obama took office. He proposes that the powerful speech Obama presented to congress directly contrasted Wilson’s immature hue and cry.

With two simple words, Wilson’s past is under magnification, questions about his participation in a white supremacist organization have arisen and an entire political party is perceived as infantile and inappropriate.

According to Associated Press reports, if Wilson doesn’t apologize on the House floor for disrupting Obama, which as of Sunday he has refused to do, there will be a vote next week on whether to reprove him.

He doesn’t seem to be shedding any tears of remorse in his video that can be seen on JoeWilsonForCongress.com.

“”On these issues, I will not be muzzled. I will speak up, and speak loudly, against this risky plan,”” he explains after a halfhearted apology for his heckle.

Clearly Wilson is attempting to transform his embarrassing outburst into a political opportunity and re-cast himself as the victim, and it seems to be working.

According to CBS News, Wilson has raised around $200,000 since the incident and has received a disheartening amount of encouragement for his behavior.

Even Wilson’s son Alan, who is running for attorney general of South Carolina, announced in a video that can be found on thesunnews.com, that though he is proud of his father for apologizing to Obama, he is “”even more proud of him for telling the truth.””

This is outrageous. Regardless of the legitimacy of Obama’s statements, which could take up an entire column on its own, interrupting the president to accuse him of being dishonest in a civil and formal speech is entirely out of line and is a deliberate attempt to undermine Obama’s presidency.

— Rachel Leavitt is a creative writing sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

More to Discover
Activate Search