Just got a tweet from Karen Floyd — remember Karen? she’s the state GOP chairwoman now — calling my attention to this item about Joe Wilson “thanking the Upstate’s ‘talk radio community’ that he said sparked a critical shift in his approach to fighting Democratic health care reform efforts and ultimately led to his now-celebrity status among some conservatives across the state.”
As I’ve said before, I wasn’t bothered nearly as much by Joe’s Tourette’s Moment during the president’s speech as by his subsequent behavior. We all lose control now and then. No, the thing that is really, profoundly offensive is the way Joe has embraced the extremists who embrace him, and decided to make the foolishness of a moment his new guide for political life.
OK, but even that is understandable to a certain degree. It merely illustrates a weakness common to politicians. It’s related to the “dance with the one that brung you” phenomenon. Since the talk-radio screamers are the only ones asking Joe to dance these days, he’s decided to go home with them. It happens, all across the political spectrum. If these are the only folks who will support him, he’ll support them back, under the logic of political survival.
But you’d think that a state party would want to maintain at least a certain neutral aloofness from this process. Not that I expect them to cast him into the darkness or anything; you’d just sort of think they’d stare into space and try to act like they didn’t notice the faux pas. Think about it: Karen is the chair of a party that contains both Joe Wilson and Bob Inglis, who voted for the resolution to express “disapproval” of Joe’s big moment. In fact, Joe was visiting Inglis’ part of the state to deliver this collective hug to talk radio.
Seems like the state chair would just want to stay out of that, and call as little attention to it as possible. I mean, as silly as the action of the S.C. Democrats often are, do you see Carol Fowler putting out a release to call attention to a Democrat who is making a career out of the most embarrassing moment of his life? Maybe she would. There’s no accounting for parties, and I gave up long ago trying to make sense of their doings.
But this sort of stood out, to me.