Second District Congressman Joe Wilson may be facing a “slap on the wrist” from his colleagues in the U.S. House for shouting “You lie!” at the President of the United States Barack obama during the chief executive’s speech last Wednesday night before a joint session of Congress. Democratic aides say House leaders are preparing to introduce a resolution of disapproval this afternoon, with a vote likely later in the day. Democrats said Monday night that they were moving forward to formally rebuke Wilson for his outburst.
Appearing on Fox News Tuesday morning, Former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian says the rebuke of Wilson is justified. “We need to make a clear statement that this will not be tolerated in the future. If they in some way sanction Joe Wilson today, I think that may just put an end to this kind of conduct in the future and that’s what we’ve got to do. I was a prosecutor for 12 years, I believe in sanctions. If a kid had done this in the clsssroom and screamed “you lie!” to the teacher, they would be in the principal’s office, they would be out of school.”
Wilson has stated that he apologized to the White House after the president’s speech and the White House accepted his apology and that should be sufficient.
Harpootlian says he doesn’t think Wilson will be viewed as some sort of conservative martyr, if he is rebuked. Harpootlian says Wilson’s action should not simply be dismissed. “I don’t think anybody is going to feel sorry for Joe Wilson after his outburst the other night. I’ve stood in too many courtrooms, prosecuted too many people who looked at the victim and said “I apologize” or “I’m sorry for what I did” and the victim takes that. But there needs to be a sanction aside from the victim. This is not about Barack Obama. This is about the Office of the President of the United States and the decorum of the House and Senate of the United states and we need to draw a line in the sand.”
Harpootlian says a formal rebuke for Congressman Wilson will be a step toward returning civility and decorum to governmental proceedings. “Maybe, perhaps this could be the beginning of a process. If they sanction Joe Wilson for his outburst, perhaps in the future that will be the standard that applies to Charlie Rangal or Nancy Pelosi or anybody else but if we just let it go again, this process will continue forever.”