I guess we’ll see a lot more of this over the next 3 years, but I’m a little surprised that some people have been so quick to claim that Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” during Obama’s speech because Obama is black. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that Maureen Dowd thinks so:
New York Times: Boy, Oh, Boy by Maureen Dowd
The congressman, we learned, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above South Carolinaâ€™s state Capitol and denounced as a â€œsmearâ€ the true claim of a black woman that she was the daughter of Strom Thurmond, the â€™48 segregationist candidate for president. Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.
Iâ€™ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer â€” the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids â€” had much to do with race.
I tended to agree with some Obama advisers that Democratic presidents typically have provoked a frothing response from paranoids â€” from Father Coughlin against F.D.R. to Joe McCarthy against Truman to the John Birchers against J.F.K. and the vast right-wing conspiracy against Bill Clinton.
But Wilsonâ€™s shocking disrespect for the office of the president â€” no Democrat ever shouted â€œliarâ€ at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq â€” convinced me: Some people just canâ€™t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.
Other people have come out with columns, statements, and comments along these lines, but I think they’re missing the point. Joe Wilson might be a racist, he might not like black people, but I think it’s more likely that he just couldn’t contain himself during the address because he hates Mexicans.