Teachable Moment

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Memo to Joe Wilson: NICE ONE, FUCKNUTS.

Don't get me wrong. I'm incalculably happy that Joe Wilson's emotions got the better of him last night. I'm so pleased that his "YOU LIE" moment has largely re-redefined the opposition to the health care reform back to what it should be, a bunch of crazy asshole motherfuckers who hate the fact that Barack Obama won in November. But I want more.

Obama is a big fan of the phrase "teachable moment". It refers to an event that allows us to start a necessary conversation, one that perhaps shifts an important paradigm or allows us to reframe a debate. And last night was an eminently teachable moment. And in my magical Utopian universe, here's what my nonexistent Utopian Obama would have done - gone schoolteacher on Joe Wilson's ass.

I wanted Obama to stop the speech right there. Just stop it. Figure out who yelled "YOU LIE", and upon spotting Joe Wilson, drag his ass up to the podium. By his ear. And up there, he would have made one simple demand of Congressman Wilson. A demand that he explain to everyone present exactly how Obama had lied about whether illegal immigrants would get free health care.

Because I don't give a shit that he called the President a liar. I am 100% behind anybody, at any time, at any volume, using any language, calling the President a liar. Any President. Any Senator, for that matter. Or Congressman. The word "lie" has gotten seriously underused of late, and I appreciate Wilson bringing it back into usage.

There's just one catch. You'd better be right, motherfucker. Because anyone who levels a charge like that needs to then have their feet held to the fire. The truth should be determined, and if the accuser is right, the President gets in trouble for lying, and if the accuser is wrong, the accuser should be publicly excoriated and humiliated for being a moron.

And you know, we actually have an institution that exists for the sole purpose of determining the truth of claims like this - to ferret out what is real and what is not, and then let us know the results. You may not know this, because most of them have spent the past 30 years not fucking doing it, but that's supposed to be the main function of the fourth estate. The press. A few people have pointed out that Wilson was wrong, but not nearly enough. Not nearly what we need to create a proper teachable moment about the value of being correct.

Congressman Shoutypants is now reportedly trying to turn his negatives into money, claiming he's being muzzled by liberals. He should count his lucky stars, because we all know what happened the last time a Joe Wilson crossed a president.

On the other hand, Shouty Joe Wilson is now Victoria Jackson's new hero. Literally. She said so last night, along with a bunch of other crazy shit about funnel cakes, because she's insane. And being Victoria Jackson's new hero pretty much guarantees your permanent residence in Wrongville, USA. Still not quite as bad as having your wife's CIA cover blown for political retribution, but it's close.