“There’s no question that Democrats were justified in rebuking” Rep. Joe Wilson for his “disgraceful outburst,” said Dana Milbank in The Washington Post. Interrupting the president by yelling “You lie!” is, after all, “a clear violation of House rules, not to mention all standards of civility.” But that doesn’t mean it was a good idea, or even a political victory, to make Wilson a “martyr” by passing a largely party-line censure resolution.
Worse, it means “the Democrats are a bunch of idiots,” said Brian Hicks in The Charleston Post and Courier. Wilson already apologized—who cares if he was sincere?—and the president accepted. It’s horrible politics to prolong Wilson’s “15 minutes of fame” and turn him into more of a “folk hero” through this “prissy” reprimand.
That was my “initial impulse,” too, said Jo-Ann Armao in The Washington Post. But then I heard the Republicans “rail on about how much time the House was wasting” on this resolution, not realizing “how silly they looked taking up so much time to rail about the Democrats.” The GOP should have been “smart enough to do what the Democrats should have done: rise above it.”
No, the Democrats (and a “handful of Republicans”) were right, said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times. Formally reprimanding Wilson was “a rare triumph for civility in a country that seems to have lost all sense of it—from music arenas to tennis courts to political gatherings to hallowed halls.” Hopefully, rebuking this “chucklehead” will help to “improve America” and its “terrible” manners.