Can We Please Shut Up About Joe Wilson?

Last night the President of the United States spoke before a special joint session of Congress to defend an issue that may very well come to define his first term in office. He also gave a stirring defense of good ol' fashioned American Liberalsim with no apologies, something we haven't seen a Democratic President do so blatantly in generations. But instead of all of that, let's talk about some idiot congressman from South Carolina! 

Maybe you'd expect the media in Miami-Dade County, which has the highest cost for health care in the entire nation, to not get sidetracked, but alas, Rep. Joe Wilson's "You Lie!" outburst is the top story on The Miami Herald's website right now. CBS4 sought out the ever-important South Florida reaction. NBCMiami is 50% thrilled about his apology. If WSVN and Local 10 had half-way useable websites I'm sure I'd be able to find their coverage. Oh, wait, they're just running AP articles here and here. Of course, if you've visited a website, turned in to the cable news, or picked up a newspaper (but really, who does that these day ...unless they are free weeklies! *power of suggestion*) you'd know it's not just a local thing. Though seriously, if I want real, hard hitting coverage of weird political things (read: with actual jokes) I'll be reading Wonkette.

But honestly, is a politician from South Carolina doing something dumb even news anymore? Isn't it just expected? Their Governor is Mark Sanford, who, if you haven't heard(?) disappeared for five days to break up with some South American chick he'd been having an affair with. One of their senators, Jim DeMint, a known Marco Rubio supporter, who believes a bunch of comically backward things, like --oh, let's just pick one at random-- that gay people shouldn't teach in public schools. Their other Senator Lindsay Graham and Lt. Gov Andre Bauer are both anti-gay Republicans who support upholding the sanctity of marriage, but don't actually feel any need to marry some lady themselves (though, a source familiar with South Carolina political circles say both men have been seen in public with women named Dorothy, but he suspects that they might just be friends). 

It's not a recent thing either. Hello super-racist Strom Thurmond. It's not even a South Carolina Republican thing either. Back in the days when South Carolina was solidly Democratic (you know, before the Democrats decided that ingrained racism wasn't the best thing for America) they were still insane. In 1902, the two Democratic senators from the state, Benjamin Tillman and John L. McLaurin, beat eachother on the Senate floor. Seriously, Tillman claimed in the Senate that McLaurin was a secret Republican because he voted with the GOP on a treaty to annex the Philippines. Apon hearing it McLaurin ran to the floor and accused Tillman of spreading "a willful, malicious, and deliberate lie." Which is a hell of a lot more elequant than "you lie." Tillman literally jumped at McLaurin and the whole thing turned into a giant brawl on the senate floor. 

So maybe Joe Wilson and his fellow South Carolina politicians can't help it. Craziness is part of their heritage. Or, as Andrew Jackson put it, "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."