Moments after the American public learned that South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson was the one that pointed a finger at the president and called him a liar on national television, the digital race was on to see who would flame Wilson the most, and how big the fire would spread.

The digital world came alive, and Wilson was quickly one of the most “trended topics” on Twitter.

Then Wilson’s website, went down with a placeholder page that said: “This site is down for maintenance. Please check back soon.”

Then he became one of the most Googled terms of the day.

Some people even fired back. According to CNN, some new Twitter accounts were created, with their first and only Tweets being in support of Wilson.

But even other members of Congress went public and digital with their condemnation of Wilson: “Biggest disappointment of evening, the total lack of respect show by one member for the president,” Tweeted Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. “Never acceptable to behave like a jerk.”

According to CNN, South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler capitalized: “Once again a South Carolina Republican has embarrassed our state,” Fowler’s office said, referring to S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s extramarital, international affair. “Never has any member of Congress shown such disrespect for the president during a speech. … Joe Wilson is a poor example of a statesman and an American.”

Wilson currently faces Democratic challenger Rob Miller in the mid-term election in 2010.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

61 Responses

  1. diann harris

    koodoos to the congressman. Its about time someone stood up and told the truth. Did everyone forget the speech to congress that Bush gave where he was heckled ? Good for We the People

    • Steve

      Apparently, I did forget the speech where Bush was heckled. Can you supply any documentation of this? Wilson is an embarrassment. It’s amusing that all the Bush supporters are so eager to (falsely) call Obama a liar when Bush and Cheney lied us into a war (then lied that it was over.)

      • RCMartin

        Amazing, every time this president is called out for his lies his minions rush to his defense by citing that other people may have lied also. Seems its fine with them that Obama lies and deceives because, well, other people lie too. Great rationalization

      • mo

        No matter who you are in this country, you do not disrespect the president like that. Don’t care if you hate him or love him. I really disliked Pres Bush but he was my president and I accepted and respect that.

      • Belinda Szmytke

        I will respect this man when he respects us. He is a committed liar and radical, and undercover racist. There, I said it! I applaud Joe Wilson and only wish there were more “leaders” willing to speak the truth – the time and place does not matter. God bless you,Joe, and God bless America.

      • John Q

        Belinda, the truth according to you is garbage according to me. You + internet = worldwide idiocy

      • Leader

        George W. Bush was never heckled while making a Congressional speech. It never happened. The only time a President has been called a liar in Congressional Chambers is when Joe Wilson did it last night.

    • Donna Geyer

      Apparently you are among the throngs of ignorant people who have no idea what they are talking about. The language in the health care bill could not be clearer stating that illegal immigrants will not be covered. You might want to know the subject matter and get your facts straight before you begin postulating. Ignorance is never attractive, neither is rudeness.

      • Roy

        Donna Geyer you are among the privileged few in America known as Congress who can get your little grubby hands on a copy of the actual healthcare proposed bill. I never have seen a congresswoman post on here before. Heresay only proves that you are the misinformed omniscient one who is truly postulating. So you are correct when you say ignorance is unattractive. Thank-you for making the point valid.

  2. Marie

    Its about time someone begins to stand up against what the government- Obama- Baden- and the staff of the White House- is doing. I have more respect for Wilson than any other senators because he is speaking up and why not during a speech to show that not everyone is on board with this new health plan and some of the other things that the White House is trying to do. Does the White House not remember all the things it says? I have lost my job twice in the past year and I have to pay for my sons insurance. I don’t want the government to be part of my or my sons health care. What happened to America where the government stayed out of our lives and let us figure out what to do? Why am I paying more taxes to help out the wealthy? Why do I have to pay taxes for the illegals to live here when I had to go through the process of becoming a citizen of the US and have to pay taxes? Why is America and Americans that work so hard for the little money they have have to pay for those that don’t want to work and live off the government and others? My parents taught me that you have to work for what you have and be proud of it. I am a very proud American but not with this new administration or for our representatives that we put in congress to stand up for all of us that work so hard for the money we make and to have a shot of the American dream.

      • Belinda Szmytke

        Marie is not stupid at all – but you are still FREE to think so. I stand with you in your comments, and bless you for following your dream. My father fought to defend this country and what we stand for in 3 wars, and would be immensely disappointed in what we the people have allowed to happen. Those of us who have had enough and have stayed silent are going to be silent no more. Too much is at stake.

      • Scott C

        Nice reply Beth,

        Grow up and stop acting like a 3rd grade bully!!!

      • Dool

        Beth is correct. Stupidity reigns.

        To begin with, we already pay for other people’s health care; that’s how insurance works, with customers guarding collectively against risks that none of them can afford to face individually.

        The only truly individualistic health-care choice is to forgo insurance altogether, paying out-of-pocket for health services as you need them. Of course, such a system would eventually become the opposite of the moral test imagined by our Calvinist friends, with the market slowly weeding its true believers out of the population.

        The righteous individualists of Belinda and Marie might consider that our current health-insurance system, which delivers them the medicine they think they’ve so nobly earned, is in fact massively subsidized by government, with Uncle Sam using the tax code to encourage employers to buy health insurance.

        That modern-day image we cherish of our ruggedly self-reliant selves, in other words, is only possible thanks to Lyndon Johnson and the views of our New Dealer ancestors.

        I prefer you just said thank you, and be on your way.

      • Karen Conduff

        Seems there is at least one educated thinker among us. Thanks for your well-reasoned post, Dool.

        While the “individualists” are cancelling their insurance, perhaps they will also call the local fire department and put themselves on the “Do Not Rrespond” list. After all, the fire department is a socialist entity which no self-reliant American would want to utilize!

        And have the Republicans forgotten about how quick their leaders were to insert government into a family’s health care decisions (in the Terry Schiavo case)?

      • Marie

        Its great when have a job that pays you more the $7.50 an hour to be able to pay out of pocket. This insurance that I get is not based by an employer, I have gone out on my own to get it. Being noble- no its what you have to do to take care of those that you love.
        As you might know if you have a child or children accidents always happen and you don’t have $3000-5000.00 in your pocket to go to the ER or for each doctor’s visit because your child is sick. The only person that would say something like this really doesn’t have to worry about money. For the average Joe it matters. Your put your pennies together so that your child has the insurance they need. Any parent will tell you that. When was the last time you sat in the ER and watched someone that did not have insurance get better help then your child? So don’t go calling me stupid.

      • Pamela

        You “individualists” who cite your fathers’ service to our country, you do realize that the military have completely socialized medicine?
        If you are in the military service in the U.S., your medical care is covered completely, as is your spouse’s and your children. Everything is covered: doctor’s appointments, medicine, surgery, psychiatry, etc. Your housing is free. You shop at AAFES and pay way less than civilians for your subsidized food, clothes, sports equipment, x-boxes, etc.

        I say, if it’s good enough for the American military, it’s good enough for me and my family.

  3. Paul

    Listen to yourselves. You “people” are psychotic. Regardless of your politics, you don’t undo 200 plus years of civil discourse and decorum while a President addresses a joint session of Congress. The Republican party and the people that follow them have gone batshit crazy.

    • Mark

      What decorum are you talking about?

      When the President blatantly lies to the American people and to Congress, that is a decorum violation.

      I applaud Rep. Wilson for calling it like it is.

      Good job Joe!!

      • c

        Right, its not like Bush spent 8 years lying to the american people, forget “Obama dies granny dies” crap, over 4000 soliders have been killed and 30,000 + wounded because of Bush’s lies.

        But you don’t mind that right?

      • Joe

        The fact that the Right continues to lie and distort in order to insure that the insurance industry continues to amaze me. Didn’t we learn anything from the financial crisis when we removed regulation from Wall Street and they stole us blind. How anyone can believe that the government will create death panels is amazing and shows a complete ignorance on the part of the right. Quit being shills for the corporations and actually read the proposals.

      • Belinda Szmytke

        This health care bill is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. End of story. We are either a constitutional republic, or we are not. You cannot disregard its tenets when it is convenient for you. It is not a guideline.

        For the government to demand that I hand over what I have worked so hard for to give to someone else (the 50% that I “contribute” is more than enough)is preposterous, and I am unwilling to be further tread upon.

      • Dool

        What constitution are you referring to?

        The US Constitution clearly states (in Article 1, Section 8): “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, … and provide for the … general welfare of the United States…”

        Bush/Cheney. on the other hand, trampled the 4th amendment (warrants must be judicially sanctioned), separation of powers clause, and Article V (all treaties shall be the supreme law of the land), to name a few.

        Stop the Republican lies.

  4. Lydia Moreno

    The congresman not only embarrassed himself, his family, the republican party and Americans. He is a disgrace. Whether he agrees with the President or not his “name calling” and general stupidity again highlight the degree to which policitians will go. Its humorous that his web site shut down. I guess he can dish it out but he can’t take the heat. What a flaming moron…

  5. Leader

    Joe Wilson is a fool. Why would a moron like Wilson blurt out in a speech? It’s simple, Wilson is stupid.

  6. babs

    OUTRAGEOUS behavior! Obviously Joe Wilson lacks control of his emotions. Trigger happy, hot headed, and obviously way more attached to the system as it is then reform. What is he afraid of losing out on$$$$
    Scarry fellow…

  7. Sean

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Perhaps Pelosi/Reid/Obama will not be so quick to call the American people Nazis and the CIA liars and criminals. Obama used this forum to accuse Republicans of lying and hindering progress on his government takeover of healthcare. Rep. Wilson simply offered his own rebuttal, in fashion similar to British Parliament. Thanks Rep. Wilson for voicing the concerns of millions of American taxpayers.

  8. gfy

    Koodos? Wow you Republicans discredit yourselves every time you open your ignorant mouths. Keep up the good work!

  9. Darlene

    What happen to having respect for the President and people in general. American people are never satsified they want change, but when it comes they are still crying about it. It will soon be 2010 and things in America really needs to change. Get with it the rich/some politican wants to keep getting their pockets full. WHAT ABOUT POOR PEOPLE they pay taxes just like everyone else and the DAMN deserved have a better life like the rest of us.

  10. Kate Cordell

    It is horrifying to me that anyone would condone a Congressman calling our President a liar during a Presidential Address to our Nation. Certainly, we live in a country where all of us can express ourselves and disagree. And, yet, Joe Wilson has joined the deathers, birthers and wingnuts who don’t understand that you can disagree with someone and yet still show respect. Representative Wilson is not only an embarrassment to his State but also to our Nation. I do not ever remember President Bush disrespected by Congress People during an address. And, if that did happen (don’t think it did), then that was WRONG too. What is wrong with you people? This is not a gotcha contest. These are important issues that need to be discussed by all sides. We teach our children not to name call. Joe Wilson is acting like a first grader (no disrespect to a 6 year old) who isn’t getting his way. I have heard that his future opponent has already raised 100K for his campaign. AMEN TO THAT.

    • Belinda

      Well, I am putting a check (I do still have a few non-tax dollars left)in the mail to Joe today – The One effectively called out Republicans for hindering his Obamacare plan, but the plain and simple truth is that the Democrats control the House, the Senate and the Presidency, and could EASILY pass this bill. That is, if they had enough people in their own party willing to nullify our Constitution and pass this atrocity. This is not about covering the uninsured, it is about taking control over another huge aspect of our economy and the rights of We the People. And of course, this newly created bureaucracy would be just as effective as Medicare, the VA system, the Post Office, Social Security, Amtrak…

      • Neer

        You’re being ultra-reactionary. Conservative talk radio has done nothing but create a whole generation of panic-stricken, paranoid, muck throwers who do nothing but react in a negative way to anything that they’re told to oppose, regardless of whether it’s their favor or not. Glenn Beck says it’s so, so it must be so. You are a bunch of tools.

  11. Former SC resident

    Rep. Wilson: There is no excuse for your outburst. Show some respect for our president. What’s your problem? Is it simply because he’s black, liberal, and not a damned redneck like your miserable ass?
    You are an utter disgrace to your state, your position, and the good citizens of SC you “represent”. I would strongly suggest that you step down to save face.
    Consider a trip to Argentina with your buddy, the Gov.

  12. Dee

    Joe Wilson ignorance is one more reason why people continue to view North Carolina as racist. backwards, ignorant and not ready for prime time, which is a unfair because I don’t think that’s the case of all North Carolinians. Just Joe Wilson. It is time for people to respect the President and the Office he holds. You don’t have to like him or agree with him but he is still the president. How are we suppose to get respect from the rest of the world when we don’t give it to our own? It’s time real dialog and discourse to solve our problems not shouting matches at Congressional meetings. Joe Wilson should slither back under the rock he came out of and let the grown ups do their jobs.

  13. RCMartin

    This president lies often and with conviction. He apparently believes he’s so smooth that no one will bother to verify his statements. He states emphatically illegals would not be covered yet when an amendment was offered requiring evidence of citizenship he and the Democrats tossed it. Strange way to ensure illegals DON’T get the coverage.

    Wilson should be applauded. He had the courage to speak out to the man’s face what an overwhelming number of Americans are feeling, Obama is a devout LIAR.

    • c

      prove it.

      Stop regurgitating what you saw on Glenn Beck last night, think for yourself for once you fool.

      • Belinda

        Since Glenn Beck was on BEFORE the speech, RC must be a mind-reader to know what Glenn WOULD HAVE SAID. Right on, RC – keep up the good work!

  14. WideAwake

    Joe the slug is a disgrace and dishonorable. No one ever called BUSH a liar while he was delivering a speech.

    This was primetime and no place for the teabaggers minions. I will be contributing to his opponent Rob Miller and I don’t live in S.C.

    Joe thanks for taking off the hood.

      • Antinette

        Your money is going to be wasted as they are calling for his resignation as we are writing here. Good job republicans, you are outing yourselves. This just makes it easier for voters to get rid of the narrow-minded bullies who fatten their pockets on the backs of the American people.

        Remember this, for every act that shows we are divided we also show the world we are vulnerable. Joe Wilson’s act is more far reaching than just our American televisions.

  15. SuzanneWood

    Wow. How hatefull and nasty Americans are acting. It accompolishes nothing and shows total lack of class or knowledge. I feel sorry for the guy who doesn’t want any poker sites on television and wants no health care reform. Seems like he is the real liar. Who’s funding his campaigns? Wants to shut down poker sites? What does he really stand for America? He’s the liar.

  16. Nic

    Seriously…regardless of what side you’re on, Wilson’s behavior was OUT OF LINE! I empathize with everyone’s passion on this issue, but there is a time and place for everything and EVERY President deserves respect. You don’t have to agree, but you need to be respectful. And, let’s be real, ALL politicans lie from the President on down to your local city/county council. Does Obama? Sure. Did Bush? Surely! It’s not about finger pointing or if Obama was telling the truth or not. It’s a simple matter of respect and that’s where Wilson is dead wrong! And, let’s not forget that he’s clearly giving his opposition in the next election plenty of ammunition.

    • this guy

      QUOTE———“”Seriously…regardless of what side you’re on, Wilson’s behavior was OUT OF LINE! I empathize with everyone’s passion on this issue, but there is a time and place for everything and EVERY President deserves respect. You don’t have to agree, but you need to be respectful. And, let’s be real, ALL politicans lie from the President on down to your local city/county council. Does Obama? Sure. Did Bush? Surely! It’s not about finger pointing or if Obama was telling the truth or not. It’s a simple matter of respect and that’s where Wilson is dead wrong! And, let’s not forget that he’s clearly giving his opposition in the next election plenty of ammunition.””

      Seriously, if we are that complacent as a society about our leaders lying to us, then we may as well offer up our lands to whatever foreign power would like to claim them. Far too many good men and women have paid in blood for the freedom and prosperity America has given us. They deserve better for their sacrifice than for an apathetic public to allow rampant immorality and corruption at our heads of state. This quoted statement sickens me and makes me fearful for our future. Any politician who is lying to the people should be recalled by the people who elected them or voted out. The only reason they lie is because we let them.

      • Nic

        Really…be more dramatic next time. You sicken me. Take a statement for what it is and stop reading so much into it that isn’t even there. Every politican lies doesn’t mean that I don’t care. As a matter of fact, i don’t see where I said anything about my personal feelings or stance on this issue. I’m sure “this guy” lies too. It’s a reality of life and that’s my point. Sure, let’s recall the people who are elected and lie. In that case, we have no government. Show me one politician, just one, that’s 100% truthful 100% of the time. As a matter of fact, show me one person, just one human on this earth, that doens’t lie. You don’t need to be fearful of “our future” because of my statement. if that makes you fearful, then you may as well sit home by yourself on a daily basis, because life is just too scary.

  17. DC

    We should not pass judgment on Rep Joe Wilson’s “You lie” comment until we have validated his accusation. In reference to the healthcare reform bill H. R. 3200 (Obamacare): I think America has been asleep for a long time with trusting these folks to do the RIGHT Thing. The FACT is Obamacare H.R. 3200 will cover illegal aliens’ healthcare. Although the bill does not specifically state it will cover illegal aliens, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says it will cover illegal aliens. “Under H.R. 3200, a ‘Health Insurance Exchange’ would begin operation in 2013…..H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on non-citizens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange. CRS also notes that the bill has no provision for requiring those seeking coverage or services to provide proof of citizenship.” Ref: Washington Examiner – August 26, 2009

    • Dool

      Read the bill, not third-party claims. The House bill stipulates that those “not lawfully present” may not receive subsidies to purchase insurance. Under the “Individual Affordability Credits” section of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009::


      (a) DEFINITION. —

      (1) IN GENERAL. — For purposes of this division, the term ”affordable credit eligible individual” means, subject to subsection (b), an individual who is lawfully present in a State in the United States (other than as a nonimmigrant described in a subparagraph (excluding subparagraphs (K), (T), (U), and (V)) of section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act) —



      Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

      Stop the Republican lies.

  18. this guy

    Joe Wilson should be commended for standing up to the Obama machine. Obama has made many false statements in his speeches about health care, Joe is the only politician to finally call him out on it. Consider this also, since when is it considered American to simply lay down for the other side of a political debate? Remember when Hillary was screaming that voicing opposition was a true American value?
    Bush was called a liar by many people in congress and no one was calling for any resignations then. To say that when a Democrat calls a republican president a liar its ok, but the reverse is not, is hypocrisy by definition. In traditional form even the democrats posting on this site are stooping to the level of cries of outrage for a republican speaking his mind.
    Van Jones called all republicans A**holes recently and the democrats defended him like it wasn’t a big deal. Now a republican calls Obama the same thing democrats have been calling Bush since he was first elected and there are calls for censure and resignation! This is absurd! Then to be even more ridiculous about the situation democrats stoop to calling anyone who supports Wilson a “nutjob” or “crazy”.
    Everyone needs to take a step back, examine the bills that are being put forward, look at the representatives voting records, and make your decisions based on that. Both democrats and republicans are flawed, to support one side blindly and call the other names is childish. Grow up people!

    • jeff

      Dear Guy

      Nice to see you coming to life after 8 years of sleep.

      I guess you got those WMD’s,

      and Valerie Plame’s retirement checks,

      and the transcripts of the billions of emails and telephone calls recorded by the NSA over the last 6 years

      and the no bid contracts for billions to Haliburton and KBR

      and the apologies to the US service personnel killed and maimed because of George Bush’s directive from the first cabinet meeting on Jan 31, 2001–“Iraq, find a way”

      and Cheney screaming “Deficits don’t matter” as he channeled billions that would have paid for the health care of every man, woman and child in America fo 20 years

      and republican hacks he appointed to the SEC who stood by as people destroyed our whole economy and stole 17 trillion dollars in retirement savings

      You need to get down on your knees and beg forgiveness for being stupid enough to have voted not once but twice for George W Bush, the man who just about destroyed America. And actually got away with it

  19. Kees

    Not only was Rep. Wilson rude, he was completely gutless. His small act of faux personal bravery was immediately withdrawn as soon as he saw that there were consequences that accompanied the act. He brought the trash talking bravado of the town hall meeting into the established decorum of the Congress. His legacy is now a tiny footnote in history for which any mother would feel shame. Time for the GOP to class up its act. And congratulations to the GOP for giving this dolt no cover.

  20. Scott C

    Well, I guess the Dems now have another serious crises they can take advantage of, “which will allow them to get done things that they did not think they could get done before.”

    How about we move on from Joe and get back to the guy who said this!!

    I believe the above quote can do a lot more damage to this country then calling the president a liar

  21. New Blogger

    Someone said it best.
    Former president Bush paved the way for “narrow-minded bullies who fattened
    their pockets on the backs of the American people.” Rep. Joe just confirmed the incensitive thinking of some, not all, affluent americans. Its time to bring equality to all americans and not just the few that have the right connections. I give 100% support to our president.

  22. Chuck

    Let’s be concrete about this. Most of you all are racist individuals who can’t deal with the idea that a minority is the commander in chief. Any professional politician and leader would know how to control their own emotions. Joe sounds like a little kid who couldn’t get his way. He should resign and let a better professional take over. At the end of the day race matters and most of you all are racist.


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