Despite treating this earlier this week (and breaking my self-imposed schedule change in the process), I’ve decided that Joe Wilson’s outburst requires one more cartoon. The House, voting mostly along party lines, voted yesterday to give Joe a stern "wag of the finger." Naughty, naughty Joe. For those of you who have been lost at sea for the last week, Joe, whose name, by the way, isn’t really Joe, but Addison Graves Wilson–and with a moniker like that, I’d tell everyone my name was Joe–interrupted President Obama’s healthcare speech with a shout of "You Lie!"–ummm, what was your name again, Joe?–claiming he was so upset by the prospect that, under the still-in-proposal health care plan, illegal aliens might get free treatment in emergency rooms without being deported, that he burst out with his now famous cry, gaining some truly terrifying looks from Nancy Pelosi and over a million bucks in new campaign contributions. I’d believe him more if he’d said that he was confused and thought he was at a town hall meeting, what with all the protest signs other Republican congressmen were carrying. Of course, he should have known he wasn’t, because no one seemed to be packing heat. I have already said (as did Chris Matthews) that perhaps this wasn’t as spontaneous an eruption of emotion as Addison Graves said it was. But let’s set my misgivings on that point aside for the moment. Joe, when he realized he had not gotten a standing ovation, called the White House after the speech and immediately apologized to Rahm Emanuel. When Rahm relayed the apology to President Obama, that sweet darling nitwit accepted it without a single caveat.
Now if I’d been Obama, I’d have said one thing to Joe. "Public insult–Public apology." I mean, really, even Kanye West knows THAT one. And for those who have been at sea, when young Taylor Swift won an award for best female video at some awards show that I’d never even heard of before, Kanye leaped onto the stage, grabbed the mike from her and dissed her and the entire awards show by claiming that this award had been stolen from Beyoncé, without considering that Beyoncé might be getting the Best Video of the Year honor. To his credit, Kanye not only apologized to Swift, but also apologized publicly on his blog and on Jay Leno’s new ratings bomb show. And POTUS called HIM a jackass. But obviously , only one private apology is necessary to the President of the United States–he doesn’t have the commercial clout of the young country singer. Joe knows full well that any kind of public apology would totally negate whatever political advantage the incident has gained him. Perhaps he’s seen "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" once too many times and John Wayne’s "Never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness," has stuck to him tighter than a vending machine condom during an overdose of Viagra. Because we all know, only total rudeness is seen as strength by the kind of person who tries to drown out the speaker at a public gathering. And that’s the kind of person Joe Wilson wanted to impress
And unfortunately for Joe Wilson, that’s the kind of person he’s become.
Greg Uchrin is the cartoonist and writer of Intravenous Caffeine, his post-Bush Administration successor to Hail Dubyus.