You have to love the Republicans: always ready to turn lemonade into lemons. For once they had a chance to act classy by castigating one of their own, Joe Wilson, for his teabagging of Obama's address. And Lindsey Graham did slap his wrist, but he couldn't leave well enough alone...
As James Rosen reports:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, scolded Wilson without mentioning him by name.
"Our nation's president deserves to be treated with respect," Graham said. "It was an inappropriate remark, and I am glad an apology has been made."
Fair enough, although it's clear he doesn't want to include Wilson's name in his utterly passive statement so it can't be used later outside the context of the day's news.
But it's in the nature of Republicans to turn every problem with their party into an attack on the Democrats, part of their "but we're not as bad as them" strategy for excuses.
Graham, however, also criticized Obama.
"I was incredibly disappointed in the tone of his speech," Graham said. "At times I found his tone to be overly combative and believe he behaved in a manner beneath the dignity of the office. I fear his speech tonight has made it more difficult - not less - to find common ground."
Wilson screams out "You lie!" when Obama was telling the truth, but he's merely "inappropriate." Obama catalogues the many lies the Republicans have been spouting for the last month, and that's "combative."
Wilson screams out "You lie!" in defiance of all convention, respect and the Republican's own belief that criticizing a president is treason, even when he actually was lying, but Wilson's merely "inappropriate." Obama lays out the truth of the health care debate, and he "behaved in a manner beneath the dignity of the office."
Graham is right on one account, though. There's obviously no common ground here to find.
Update: REC LIST! Thanks. And if you live in SC's 5th District, vote for John Spratt, a champion of reason and civility.
Update 2: Here's a link to MSNBC's coverageof Wilson's statement, in which, visibly nervous, he tries to euphamize his way out of the sh*tstorm he's caused, then grows more confident as he defends his indefensible point: that Obama lied.