First of all: I’m back! Somewhere in the Bible it decrees that blogs must be left fallow in August, which explains my absence.
Like everyone else I watched the speech last night. (Quick review: deft explanation of the policy, a few unnecessary political concessions, extremely aggravating lefty-bashing, and genuinely fantastic inspirational finish). And like everyone else I’ve been following the Joe Wilson "You Lie!" flap.
Now here’s what I think is most fascinating about the incident: It’s pretty clear to me that Wilson’s outburst wasn’t calculated grandstanding but a genuine moment of rage and frustration. Just look at the photo. That’s a genuinely pissed off dude.
But the thing is: Obama wasn’t lying. Illegal immigrants are explicitly barred from the provisions of the legislation.
Here’s what I find fascinating. There’s been a ton of viral emails floating around the right-wing making the claim that the bill covers illegal immigrants, and talk radio has been whipping up the fervor as well. Wilson clearly thinks that is, indeed, the case. But he’s a sitting member of Congress! One would imagine he gets his information about pending legislation from reading it itself or being briefed by his staff, not from viral emails in his inbox.
But that sums up the House GOP caucus. By and large it’s made up of absolute and total wingnuts, people who are in ideology disposition and even function much more like talk show hosts or RedState commenters than they are legislators.