Why formally rebuking Joe Wilson would be a good thing (updated x2)

Update September 16: And now we're onto the debate about racism. But we've spotted an interesting piece that mitigates that theory. Get connected.

Update September 15, 8 p.m.:

The vote tally is in with an interesting fact: Two of South Carolina's four GOP House reps not falling in complete line. Gresham Barrett did not vote, and Bob Inglis was one of only seven Republicans to vote "Yea."

In all -- including Wilson's vote -- 3 S.C. reps voted to rebuke, 2 said no, and one didn't vote.

The New York Times has a map of how all the Representatives voted.

Update September 15: By a vote of 240 to 179, the House has formally rebuked Wilson for his action.

The New York Times has details on how the voting went.

First reporting:

Over the last several months the rapid decline of a constructive dialog by the American people and their leaders has continued, if not outright accelerated.

Read more stories on this subject in our politics topic page.A summer of rough discourse has brought faux headlines like "Wrestling match devolves into town hall meeting." And now we've witnessed the most raucous breach of political politeness in some time.

While supporters of Joe Wilson have been quick to defend his "you lie" remark by pointing to Democrats that booed President Bush, there's quite a difference between a static of sounds and an outright statement.

Such a debate distracts from us recognizing that the whole disc of government has gone far too unstable. But a rebuke of Wilson -- which now appears probable -- would do much to help fix things at the center.

While it would be yet another innocuous partisan-inspired action, The New York Times points out that GOP members would be in the awkward spot of having to decide if they felt Wilson was in line or out.

Undoubtedly many would be forced to vote with the factual reality that Wilson broke House rules and decorum.

Such a thing surely wouldn't sit well with Republicans. So the next time Democrats are the underdogs they might hold back with their own boos or "you lie" as they'll know the other party is waiting for a revenge.

As Wilson's supporters say, sometimes not holding back can lead to a lot of indirect good.

p.s. There's also the matter of Wilson apology to Obama seeming less sincere by the day.

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