You know, for a guy who says he's sorry for having called President Obama a liar, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson has a funny way of showing it. Since he basically continues to call the president a liar.
Wilson exposed himself and the modern conservative movement as the idiots they are when he yelled at President Obama during his address to Congress. I was listening to a NY-based sports talk show hosted by Mike Francesa, who is a Republican, and he even mentioned the outburst on his show. He said that he's always been interested in presidential speeches and he's never seen anything like that in his life before and thought it was outrageous.
So it's not just the blogosphere or political news shows that have expressed their disdain for Wilson's outburst. It is all over the country, among all kinds of sensibilities.
For a man like Wilson, there's only one TV show he'd rather be on to try and defuse the situation. And that would be "Hannity." So when he went on last Friday, he basically set the tone for what has followed: He explained that he apologized, but he still believed Obama was not telling the truth.
After Hannity downplayed Wilson's outburst and and after Wilson said that the WH had put it behind them, they went on the attack. No need to bring up an embarrassing event like that, so Hannity went right into his usual hit-piece television and attacked health-care reform. He renewed the bogus claim that health care reform would cover illegal immigrants so that Wilson could attack the president after he called him a liar.
Hannity: Are illegal immigrants covered in this bill?
Wilson: In fact they could get insurance, they could get the benefits, they could get the subsidies and the reason I know this is I serve on a committee where ewe considered amendments and then I foll lowed the amendments on other committees, the energy and commerce, on weighs and means and I noticed that the democrats had defeated the amendments that would provide for enforcement and the verification of citizenship and so when the president said this I knew what he was saying was not accurate, I do apologize for speaking out, but what was said was not accurate.
Wilson was talking about Section 246 in one House bill---HR3200, but even if it's not spelled out in that bill, there are four others, and the House and Senate have to get their bills together first and then head into conference to come up with the final bill. So Wilson was completely out of line for calling the president a liar even by his own logic. Heather and David explain more about this here. (By the way, Mark Williams is one of the most vile people in America.)
The NY Times dispels the Republican lie that Joe Wilson is promoting in an op ed:
Mr. Obama didn’t lie. The bills before Congress declare illegal immigrants to be ineligible for subsidized benefits. It is impossible to imagine any final bill doing otherwise. Mr. Wilson was a boor, but some Republicans still insist that he was right because the bill doesn’t ensure that the undocumented have no insurance.
Time for a reality check. Illegal immigrants are here. They are not eligible for Medicaid, but many still get sick and many get care, often in emergency rooms. The current proposals would likely not stop them from using their money to buy coverage through an insurance exchange, without subsidies. Just as they can do now.
Should we take a harder line? Force people to prove citizenship in emergency rooms? That’s illegal, for good reason. Make verification requirements so onerous that not a single illegal immigrant slips through? Very expensive, and not smart. It would be highly likely to snag deserving citizens — like old people who don’t have their original birth certificates. And besides, we’ve tried that: A House oversight committee reviewed six state Medicaid programs in 2007 and found that verification rules had cost the federal government an additional $8.3 million. They caught exactly eight illegal immigrants.
In the case of an epidemic, like swine flu, should illegal immigrants go untreated so they can infect legal residents and American citizens? Hard-line Republicans insist that they will fight for citizenship verification. They could, in theory, get the country to spend whatever it takes to do that and proudly report back to their voters. But there is a line beyond which antipathy to the undocumented can be damaging to those voters’ health, not to mention the federal budget. Mr. Wilson and his admirers seem to have crossed it.
Teabaggers would rather the country go broke by requiring emergency rooms to make people prove citizenship before receiving treatment, but that's teabagger logic for you.
It's just like the logic that says you apologize for calling someone a liar by calling them a liar all over again.