You Lie!

House Votes to Punish Joe Wilson

They may have won the battle—but will it help them win the war? House Democrats led a winning 240-179 vote Tuesday to formally sanction Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) for his outburst during Obama's health-care speech last week. Wilson and other Republicans argued strenuously against the Democrats' resolution: "When we are done here today," said Wilson, "we will not have taken any further steps toward helping" America solve its problems. "It is time that we move forward and get back to work for the American people." But Democrats argued that Wilson's behavior was exactly the type of divisive behavior that prevents political productivity by degrading House decorum and the dignity of political office. What's more, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia noted, "It only happened when this country elected a president of color." Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia added, "No president has been subjected to that type of treatment on the floor of the House of Representatives, and if we go down that road, then it's the law of the jungle, and I think that's just wrong." Wilson called his outburst a "town-hall moment—a type of moment that the Democrats appear to be losing patience for."