In President Obama's health care speech Wednesday evening, South Carolina U. S. Representative, Joe Wilson shouted "You Lie!!!" at President Obama, as Obama stated the truthful fact that no contemplated health care legislation would pay for the medical care of illegal aliens:
If I had my way, South Carolina would be another country, and Wilson wouldn't be allowed to disgrace the public discourse. A lot of South Carolinians would like to secede, so it might be doable. Many South Carolinians weren't, aren't and never will be "real" Americans, to purloin a term used by one of their current heroes, secessionist fan, Crazy Woman of the North.
Does 21st Century South Carolina traitor Rep. Joe Wilson equal 19th Century South Carolina traitor, Sen. Preston Brooks in his mendacity?
It was on the same floor that this despicable traitor yelled "You Lie!!!" at President Obama, that, 153 years and four months ago, Wilson's South Carolina predecessor in the U.S. legislature, Sen. Preston Brooks, helped precipitate the most costly war in our nation's history, by another cowardly attack. South Carolina Senator Preston Brooks may be the biggest coward in U.S. legislative history:
As most American school children who aren't kept out of class for trifles know, South Carolina, five years after this cowardly incident, began the war that killed more American young men than Kaiser Wilhem, Mussolini Tojo and Hitler combined. That's right - South Carolina is responsible for more dead Americans than Hitler and Tojo.
At first intending to challenge [Massachusetts Sen. Charles] Sumner to a duel, Brooks consulted with fellow South Carolina Rep. Laurence M. Keitt on dueling etiquette. Keitt instructed him that dueling was for gentlemen of equal social standing, and suggested that Sumner occupied a lower social status comparable to a drunkard due to the supposedly coarse language he had used during his speech. Brooks thus decided to attack Sumner with a cane.
Two days after the speech, on the afternoon of May 22, Brooks confronted Sumner as he sat writing at his desk in the almost empty Senate chamber. Brooks was accompanied by Keitt and Henry A. Edmundson of Virginia. Brooks said, "Mr. Sumner, I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine." As Sumner began to stand up, Brooks began beating Sumner on the head with his thick gutta-percha cane with a gold head. Sumner was trapped under the heavy desk (which was bolted to the floor), but Brooks continued to bash Sumner until he ripped the desk from the floor.
By this time, Sumner was blinded by his own blood, and he staggered up the aisle and collapsed, lapsing into unconsciousness. Brooks continued to beat Sumner until he broke his cane, then quietly left the chamber. Several other senators attempted to help Sumner, but were blocked by Keitt who was holding a pistol and shouting "Let them be!"
South Carolina is responsible for 200 or more times as many dead Americans as Al Qaeda.
Wilson is just one of the most recent in a long line of South Carolina traitors. Good people who live there have to deal with that.
But Wilson was probably being more cynically craven than his predecessor, the cane-wielding Sen. Brooks. What Wilson was actually doing, by yelling "You Lie!!!" was baying for money.
The health care battle is, among other things, about attenuating rapidly growing corporate power. The people fighting against sensible health care reform aren't the "Don't Tread on Me" Xianist teabaggers, so much as they are the behind-the-scenes corporate funders of this movement that has sucked in so many innocents, through the corporate-encouraged fear invoking imagery and tactics.
Today, the same day our president had to carefully say very little that would encourage true progressives in his health care speech, because Obama is also baying for corporate money, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that I predict will vastly increase corporate power over our political life, and to the secrecy of people who donate to corporate campaigns that erode democracy and the basis of our Republic.
Here's NPR's Nina Totenburg's report:
It is an excellent report. The claim made by people seeking to overturn almost all existing campaign finance reform law through this case, who state "money is speech," and "people should be able to articulate free speech," are speaking for shadowy, immensely powerful global corporate interests, who are already able to claim the unique advantage of being "persons" who never die, and know no national borders, yet are able to be represented in our courts as if they were you or me.
Here are Sen. John McCain and Sen. Russ Feingold, speaking about today's high court hearing:
It is interesting that Sen. McCain, a man whose closest chance at the U.S. Presidency - in 2000 - was shut down in a South Carolina primary election, refers specifically to Teddy Roosevelt's early 20th century efforts at campaign finance reform. Roosevelt's efforts were spurred on by his disgust at heavy-handed and secret machinations by insurance companies. Roosevelt also, as a 1912 presidential candidate, campaigned aggressively for health care and health insurance reform. South Carolina voted against him.
American history is as rich in irony, as it is in tragedy and treachery.