Editorial in The State explains Wilson ethics case well

I’m going to shock my ex-colleagues at The State by saying “nice job” on today’s lede editorial, “Joe Wilson’s goblets.”

This would be a shock because, as former military writer Dave Moniz (who now works at the Pentagon) once observed when I was his editor in the early 90s, praise from me doesn’t go higher than “pretty good.” (Dave’s on my mind because, not knowing my current situation, he passed on a tip about a Defense-related job this week, a gesture which I appreciate.)

But this was better than that. The piece accomplished several things:

  • Gave a clear sense of what little is known about the investigation, which was handy to have. I feel I have a slightly better grasp of what we’re talking about now.
  • Called Wilson to task, in no uncertain terms (essentially saying him, “You lie!” but without the shouting), for his bogus response and misrepresentation.
  • Called Rob Miller to task for his equally bogus and untrue assertions in trying to capitalize on the case.
  • Explained clearly just what is wrong with Joe Wilson in general, not just in this case: He sees EVERYTHING in the universe as a partisan struggle against “liberals.” Nancy Pelosi is his Great White Whale. And I’m sorry, Ahab, but that Unified Field Theory simply does not always apply.
  • Showed just how irrelevant such a worldview is to this situation, since the ethics panel investigating him is “composed entirely of people outside the Congress, four Republicans and four Democrats,” in in this particular case is investigating two Republicans (Joe being one) and three Democrats. Of course, we knew that latter part, but I had not yet seen a clear explanation of the Office of Congressional Ethics. After reading this, one can only be outraged by Wilson’s attempt to play on voters’ ignorance by claiming this is a a partisan, personal attack on him for being a self-styled hero of the angry right.

And while it was sort of an afterthought, I particularly appreciated this summary of just how totally screwed we, the voters, are in this situation:

Unfortunately, these two are the choices voters in the 2nd Congressional District have in November. Oh how we wish that were a lie.

Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could?

8 thoughts on “Editorial in The State explains Wilson ethics case well

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Joe Wilson’s Goblets struck me as some sort of euphemism…

    Great piece (the editorial)–Joe is also a piece, but not great.

  2. bud

    Miller could have come off looking really good if he had simply stuck to the known facts without embellishing. The amount of taxpayer money “You Lie” has spent on travel is more than enough to paint him as a big spending elitist. Why Miller had to suggest the entire amount of money was spend illegally makes no sense. I would suggest the money was wasted regardless of whether it was legal or no. And we know at least $12 of this WAS illegal.

    But the real villian here obviously is “You Lie”s continued braying about the “liberals”. Come on Wilson. This isn’t about the liberals. This is about ethics. And you sir are without one shred of integrity on this or most other issues. You are a danger to the treasury of the United States and to the ideals of the Constitution. In short, you are a disgrace to your office and to your manhood. Just for once try to stick with the issue at hand.

  3. Ralph Hightower

    Joe Wilson could have saved taxpayers money by not taking those trips to Afghanistan to buy cheap trinkets (shot glasses) for the troops.

    Instead, he could drive his own car from his home in Springdale over to the Barn Yard Flea Market in Springdale to buy cheap shot glasses for the veterans as tokens of his appreciation.

  4. Lynn

    You know it is never the “act” it’s the cover-up that get’s ’em. Where would this be if Joe just said, “Perhaps it was an error of judgment on my part. I’m sorry. I will do better next time.” Is Joe capable of that? Probably not.

    Wonder what those brave soldiers think about a cheap “shot glass/goblet” from a Congressman showing up in a war zone? Wouldn’t they rather have better bomb-proof vehicles?

  5. James

    I can’t buy that it’s NOT about Pelosi wanting to get in a couple hits. You don’t become speaker of the house without some bareknuckle boxing. The fact that both Democrats and Republicans are being investigated is more about the composition of the committee than actual malice. Really, if you doubt firing a few salvos at Joe wouldn’t be nice to Democrats in Washington, take a walk around Capitol Hill.

  6. Tim Barnes

    So, perhaps members of Congress shouldn’t go overseas to see how conditions are, for themselves? Congress is spending more money, our money, than most people can think about, in all corners of the globe. I would definitely want my congressman on the ground figuring it out instead of blindly appropriating money. Wilson should be commended for going to Afghanistan and looking at the conditions. If he picks up some inexpensive Afghani goblets for some troops and their families back home, then all the better.

  7. Cameron Shutt

    About that everything in a partisan universe thing. It’s like you and The State’s editorial board have never seen a campaign before, or like some Northeastern sports columnist writing about college football, simply hate what’s a major part of your job, and pass it off as reasoned judgment. Joe’s an effective campaigner and an effective legislator. Period.


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