On Joe Wilson, did you notice that his official U.S. House web site was shut down much of the day. Instead, you’d get indications of high traffic or down for maintenance.
In the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s health care reform speech to a joint session of Congress, the blood-boilers of each side have burners set on high. The PAC “Americans for Legal Immigration” applauds Republican Joe Wilson and says more should have done what Wilson did. In ALIPAC’s words, “It is a real shame that the rest of Congress was not on their feet pointing out the President’s lie.” 180-degrees from there, backers of Wilson’s Democratic opponent in South Carolina says he has raised $200,000 or more not even a full day later from Americans outraged by Wilson’s remark.
I asked Delaware Republican Congressman Mike Castle about the Wilson outburst. Castle says it was “not good from a lot of perspectives.” He says Wilson “lost his composure for a moment” and that it “will hurt the GOP to some degree.” Castle says Republicans cannot have blanket opposition to the President but rather need to be focused. As for the speech, Mike Castle calls it “persuasive,” “eloquent,” and that it contained “valid points,” but that it falls short. The Congressman says President Obama needs to sit down with Republicans and moderate Democrats to resolve the many details not talked about, including questions about how Obama reform would be paid for. Castle does not believe fraud and waste elimination can be relied on. Says Castle, “I have rarely seen this place cut a lot of costs.” He also reflects what many Republican members of the House feel. They say they don’t know what President Obama’s plan really is, as opposed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s. They do believe the Senate Finance Committee legislation expected in the next week or two will be more reflective of Obama’s desires.
Generally, Democratic elected officials tell me that the President hit the ball out of the park with the speech. We’ll see if more people play ball together or blow like Joe.