Joe Wilson accused of disaster hypocrisy

… or at the very least, inconsistency.

I’m not going to quote the whole thing because of the language that he used, but here’s part of what someone named Jonathan Valania had to say about Joe Wilson’s vote against Sandy relief last week:

… this despite the fact that South Carolina has had 13 major disaster declarations and two emergency declarations in the last 30 years, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The worst storm to ever hit the Palmetto State, Hurricane Hugo back in 1989, caused over $13 billion in damage and left nearly 60,000 people homeless.

Guess who picked up the tab?

And back in 2003 when the South Carolina suffered through a severe drought, all 46 counties in the Palmetto State were declared federal disaster zones at Wilson’s urging. In 2005, he voted for a $10.5 billion Katrina relief package.

“The compassion, generosity, and solidarity of the American people during difficult times are one of our most cherished blessings as citizens of our great nation,” Wilson said after the Katrina relief bill passed the House. “As we now face the severity of this historic natural disaster, Americans must do what we do best: help each other.”...

That was then and this is now.

Indeed. That was before the Tea Party, and before Joe decided he must do its will. And this is now, after Joe has followed the Four Freshman (OK, so now it’s Three Sophomores) through the looking glass.

18 thoughts on “Joe Wilson accused of disaster hypocrisy

  1. tavis micklash

    Sucks that this happens. I disagree with the way he votes but Joe Wilson isn’t a bad guy. He does care about people.

    You must stand on your voting record though. I doubt we will see him run against Sandy Victims like he ran against Obama for fundraising.

  2. JasonG

    Well, as usual, it’s worth reminding that South Carolina, and really the whole Deep South, as far as I know, gain far, far more in Federal income than what they send out. We’re poor states with some long standing social issues.

    The state is sunk without things like Department of Defense and Energy Department funding. Literally. No way around it.

    I like to think I’m a traditionalist conservative sort, but everyone hates crony capitalism until their cronies get capped.

  3. bud

    Did Joe give a reason why he voted against Sandy relief? If it’ that old canard that disaster relief should be paid for with cuts in other parts of the budget then shame on Joe. That’s probably the most outrageous excuse ever for denying disaster relief. Of course if the funding were to come from closing Ft. Jackson or Shaw airbase I’m sure Joe would sign on. What a bunch of hypocrits the SC Republicans have become.

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    Actually, I don’t think “hypocrisy” is the word — which is why I sort of corrected myself above.

    Joe was sincerely willing to vote for such things pre-Tea Party. Now, he’s sincerely afraid to.

    The test, of course, would be if a similar disaster were to strike here again…

  5. Kathryn Fenner

    So does Joe sincerely believe in the Tea Party, or sincerely believe it is in his best interests to be sweet to them?

    Has he really changed his core beliefs, or was he simply doing what was in his political best interests both times. I mean, he has principles, and if you don’t like them…..he has other principles.

    The unifying principle seems to be what is good for Joe.

      1. Doug Ross

        That was supposed to say “The unifying principle seems to be what is good for INSERT NAME OF ANY POLITICIAN HERE”

  6. Brad Warthen Post author

    Actually, now that I look back in the extensive archives, Joe’s conversion may predate the Tea Party, at least on earmarks. I think he was influenced by former Sen. DeMint (I like typing that, “former Sen. DeMint”) on that issue.

    Here’s a post that includes a 2006 video of Joe explaining that it’s hard to be “pure” on earmarks, together with a 2008 (two year before the Tea Party) release promising to be pure anyway, henceforth…

    1. tavis micklash

      2008 was also the McCain presidential election. Earmarks were a big no no for him.

      I think maybe that was more him flying his kite in the prevailing political wind rather than a new leaf.

      For the record I always though earmarks were terrible and dirty too. Ive soften my opinion somewhat on them though. Earmarks were a way to bring people on board. i know your not big on XXX but vote for it and Ill give you some bacon to take home for the constituents.

      It wouldn’t be an issue if every bill was simply judged on its own merits and not its party sponsorship. Thats just not whats happening though.

  7. bud

    Doug I would be totally inclined to agree 100% with you but the simple fact of the matter is that Joe Wilson will never be challenged for his seat regardless of what position he takes on any issue. He could support eliminating the Navy and still get re-elected. Folks just don’t seem to care about issues when it comes to their congressman. That is especially true in SC.

  8. barry

    Joe is actually one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.

    8-9 years ago I ran into him and his wife at Disney World. He didnt know me at all. I introduced myself and told him I lived in South Carolina. He didn’t ask where- and my wife and I didn’t say. We made some small talk, and we told him about our little ones (young children) and then he told me about his- and he showed me a picture of one of his that was in Iraq at the time. Pleaseant conversation- extremely nice and cordial. Didn’t talk about politics at all- never came up once.

  9. bud

    Barry that story goes a long way to explaining why congressmen never lose their jobs, they are very nice folks in settings like you described. Sadly, voters can’t seem to separate the cordial Joe Wilson from the politician Joe Wilson.


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