How about a “Let Joe Go” party?


Yesterday, my wife got the envelope above in the mail.

It contains the usual “paint-yourself-as-a-victim-of-the-inhuman-opposition” language that we are accustomed to seeing in fund-raising appeals:

I’ve been under attack by the liberal left for months because of my opposition to their policies, especially government-run healthcare. They’ve run commercials in the Second District and flooded my office with phone calls and protestors. They’ve done everything they can to quiet my very vocal opposition to more government interference in our lives. Now, it’s gotten even worse.

Hmmm. Could the fact that it’s “gotten even worse” have anything to do with the form that Joe’s “very vocal opposition” has taken?

Of course, Joe goes on to express regret — but not really — for his outburst, in a classic political non-apology apology:

I am also frustrated by this and, unfortunately, I let that emotion get the best of me. Last week, I reacted by speaking out during the President’s speech. I should not have disrespected the President by responding in that manner.

But I am not sorry for fighting back against the dangerous policies of liberal Democrats. America’s working families deserve to have their views represented in Washington. I will do so with civility, but I will not be muzzled.

Of course, he needs your money to buy himself a bigger megaphone…

Call the tone “defiant regret.”

You see, in the world of hyperpartisan politics, you NEVER really give ground to the other side, because it is ALWAYS wrong. Raking in the big bucks means never having to say you’re sorry and mean it.

You can’t mean it, and you can’t be seen as meaning it, because you’re counting on getting contributions from the very people who are GLAD you yelled “You lie!” at the president.

This is why I don’t mind Joe’s outburst nearly as much as I mind his continued, deliberate efforts to cash in on it. Anybody can lose control for a moment. Remind me to tell you about the time I yelled out in church when I was four years old, an incident that some old folks in Bennettsville still talk about. I didn’t mean any harm.

But this cold-blooded campaign to benefit from that outburst is what I find unforgivable. I find it contemptible on all sides: Democrats demonizing Joe, and Joe demonizing them back. But Joe is my congressman, and he’s the one I hold accountable. I’ve always liked Joe personally. We get along fine. But that’s because I always thought he was the sort of guy who’d REALLY be sorry about such an outburst.

Anyway, this mailing was an invitation to a “Welcome Home Reception” for Joe in West Columbia on Sept. 28 at Kenny Bingham’s house. One is asked to RSVP to fellow blogger Sunny Philips… and to contribute between $25 and $500, or more.

The “LET’S GO JOE!” seems an unfortunate choice of a battle cry. It sort of begs the opposition to come back with “Let Joe Go,” which has more of a ring to it. Maybe someone — someone other than Rob Miller — should have a party with that on the invitations, and welcome Joe home for good.

11 thoughts on “How about a “Let Joe Go” party?

  1. Santee

    Brad, you were four years old when you yelled in church. That is excusable. If we elected four year olds to Congress we would have to excuse their behavior as well. Joe Wilson, on the other hand, is older and should have learned his manners. We don’t have to excuse any of his unfortunate behavior.

  2. Brad Warthen

    More to the point, I was REALLY sorry I had yelled out. The adults all forgave me for it. In fact, I was yelling something they were thinking.

    But I didn’t hit them up for money afterwards…

  3. RalphHightower

    I’d change the slogan to “GO HOME JOE!”

    I’m beginning to believe that Joe is sincere in his apology to President Obama.

    However, he is revelling in his transformation from an obscure House Representative from South Carolina to a national “Cult Hero” for being disrepectful and violating House Rules and parliamentary procedure (Robert’s Rules of Order).
    He autographed a picture of his “You lie!” moment at the 9/12/09 march in Washington. On his Twitter and Facebook page, he claims he is “under attack”. He’s appeared on Fox News, Sean Hannity, and Sunday news shows. His actions don’t demonstrate someone that is repentant, much like SC Guv’not Mark Sanford is acting.

    He is milking his new found infamy for all that it is worth.

    At his press conference at Lexington Medical Center on 9/18/09, he said he wants to put the past in the past; that’s the same thing SC Guv’not Mark Sanfords been saying for a while.

    The only way he can do that is:
    1) Apologize to the House;
    2) Apologize to the citizens of South Carolina for making an ass out of South Carolina;
    3) Make a public apology on his Facebook and Twitter.

    That’s the only way that Joe Wilson can move forward. He is now in the same class as SC Governot Mark Sanford.

  4. Karen McLeod

    All this is doing a wonderful job of distracting everyone from actually looking at what’s being presented as health reform. If the democrats can somehow calm down long enough to present what’s actually there instead of letting the republicans shape the debate with incivility and scare tactics, it might have a chance of passing.

  5. Lee Muller

    Now that Obama has been caught on tape telling Latino groups that he does want to cover illegal aliens with free medical care, and does want to grant instant citizenship to them……

    ….what is the appropriate time and place to call him out for lying to Congress and America?

  6. Brad Warthen

    Actually, I’m not sure I should have called Sunny Philips a “fellow blogger.” For one thing, she’s not a fellow. For another, I can’t find her blog, “Crunchy Republican.” Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen it in a long time. Does she have another one now? I don’t know. I do follow her on Twitter, though…

  7. Santee

    “UK doctors let baby, two days premature, die.”

    And still their infant mortality rate is far lower than ours! Amazing! What must be going on here???

  8. Lee Muller

    Infant mortality rates in the UK are actually DOUBLE those in the United States.

    European countries not only are comparing different populations than the US, but they report infant mortality differently, which vastly understates the actual number of newborns which die.

    Eberstadt N. The Tyranny of Numbers: Mismeasurement and Misrule. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute; 1995:43-83.


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