Representative Joe Wilson, Heckler

Thursday, September 10, 2009

There was a moment during the president's address to Congress last night when all eyes were not on President Obama. As the president called "untrue" the canard that health care reform would provide coverage to undocumented immigrants, Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) broke a decades-long tradition of comity and heckled the president, shouting "You lie!" The room booed his poor manners. To find out who Joe Wilson is, we talk to Mark Quinn, host of South Carolina ETV and Radio’s Public Affairs Program, The Big Picture. And for a look at the history of congressional comity we speak with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Watch Wilson's outburst in this clip from last night's address:


Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Mark Quinn

Hosted by:

Lynn Sherr

Comments [14]


"I can't help but to see this outburst as racial."

Well, that's because racists see racism everywhere, even where there is none.

Sep. 15 2009 04:17 PM
arthur lapierre

I bet is the state of Illinois love Governor Stanford and Rep Joe Wilson of South Carolina make Illinois look good.
I can't help but to see this outburst as racial.

Sep. 13 2009 10:39 AM
Grumpy Old Man

Can't you get over the fact that President Obama won the election. You throw all this mud around that has no basis in reality. The complete lack of any attempt at reality in your paragraph is truly awe-inspiring - there is not one accurate statement of fact in the rant. I might think that you even lie when you use the word 'and' but ....

Sep. 12 2009 09:45 PM
Grumpy Old Man

No - it is interesting that the one who shouted 'you lie' was yelling a lie. He is a white supremacist (show by his membership in several organizations that advocate old style Confederacy, pro-slavery agendas). The bill states in all capital letters that the recipients of government subsidies must be a legal resident of the country. Old Yeller was actually telling a lie.

Sep. 12 2009 09:39 PM
c snider

Doesn't the President cause great shame on the Office when he knowingly misrepresents what he himself knows is egregiously false? The opposition, in this alarmingly socialistic think tank called democracy, believes that anyone who disagrees is without merit, brain or ability. The personal attacks from the current Administration and their followers, while wanting to attack the less than proper Joe Wilson, leaves the rest of us staring in unbelief at their inability to see who they really are. They can attack a deceased Tony Snow and a handicapped baby (T. Palin) but they hold the high road when someone speaks against their idol! How amazingly tragic the farce has grown.

Sep. 12 2009 02:25 PM
DR Moss

Congressman Wilson's outburst is representative of the section of people who feel disconnected from the process. We didn't hear Harry Reid apologizing for his remarks about Bush.

Sep. 12 2009 09:09 AM

the difference is that no one disrespects the pres at an open session of congress .booing is not allowed either

Sep. 12 2009 06:47 AM
B J Williams

Wilson showed his ignorance. More embarassing are the numbers of people who approve of his behavior and believe he's right.

Sep. 12 2009 04:58 AM
Hema Easley

I've heard people say that Wilson's iterruption was not a big deal, that it happens in parliament all the time. This is not an appropriate comparison. When MPs yell at each other, they are interacting with their co-workers, so to speak. In the US, the president is not a member of Congress. He's an honored guest, and yelling "You lie" is an insult. There ar no two ways about it.

Sep. 11 2009 09:27 AM

At Merle Miller, Have you actually read the bill? There is NO coverage for illegal immigrants. Read the bill, get the facts, then make up your mind.

Sep. 11 2009 05:38 AM
Carolyn Doucette

Joe Wilson's behavior was shameful. He is the reason that intelligent Republicans will have to leave the party rather than be identified with the "craziness" that is occurring more and more.

Sep. 11 2009 02:40 AM
Frank Highly

If the President wants to oppose coverage for undocumented workers he can do so. It's his right to announce his preference. But presidents don't write laws - the Congress does. Rep. Wilson doesn't seem to get this basic fact. There is no final bill in Congress and there is no law yet. If Wilson wants to help shape the legislation then he can get off his ass and do so. Of course Republicans have a long way to go as they've had no concerns with this issue until this year. Democrats have had to wrestle with the issue for decades. And what about the Independents?

Wilson disrespects his own government, his own people, by his behavior. And this goes for any congressperson. He is precisely the kind of "representative" we don't need in the Federal government anymore: an unthinking lout.

Sep. 10 2009 09:58 PM
Merle Miller

It is so interesting that the one who shouted "You lie" told the truth,
while the ones who fail to defend him continue the deception he decried.

Go Joe!

Sep. 10 2009 09:05 PM
Patrick Carroll

Comity. Yeah. Right. Like when the Democrats booed President Bush during hte 2005 State of the State of the Union address. Of course, times have changed, right? Who dares question the God Emperor, The Won?

Sep. 10 2009 04:01 PM

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