The Daily Show: Scoldplay

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In Washington, fires still burn over Joe Wilson. Remember? The Republican from South Carolina who suffers from Truth Tourette's? Two weeks ago, he shouted, "You lie," at President Obama and caused a bit of a stir.

He then called the White House, apologized, and they accepted his apology. Everyone, even Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, put the incident into perspective.

"Mr. Wilson has apologized. It's time for us to talk about health care, not Mr. Wilson," Pelosi said on Sept. 11.

Damn straight. It's time to deal with our nation's hurt bodies, not our hurt feelings. It's time to move on.

Cut to two days later, and Pelosi is demanding that Joe Wilson publicly apologize to Congress from the House floor.

And then, seriously, health care.

As you can imagine, Wilson refused to apologize from the House floor, leaving House Democrats no choice but to rebuke him with a formal resolution of disapproval. That goes on his permanent record. You'll never get into Swarthmore now, Wilson.

A formal resolution of disapproval - how's a guy recover from that? It's almost as bad as an article of "I'm disappointed in you." You can imagine how much it hurts when you're disapproved of by people you have absolutely no respect for.

House Republicans were quick to remind us all that Congress had bigger fish to fry.

"What are we really accomplishing here today?" asked Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington. "Let's stop wasting time, let's focus on tackling the challenges that face our country."

Hear ye, hear ye. She's all business. At least Republicans aren't wasting time demanding meaningless apologies.

Well, unless you count back in July, when Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, star of my least favorite sitcom Welcome Back, McCotter, introduced a resolution calling on Obama to "retract and apologize for his remarks regarding the conduct of Cambridge, Massachusetts, police Sgt. James M. Crowley Jr."

These apologies keep going around and around - it appears our Congress is trapped on a jackass carousel. One party demands an apology, the other party declares it a waste of time. Time that would be better spent demanding their own equally pointless apology, which in a beautiful pas de deux, the first party then declares a waste of time.

For example, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel thought issuing an apology to that policeman was a distraction and a waste of time. A waste of time - that's certainly not how he spent his time in Congress ...

"We have to endure the words of a hatemonger like Ann Coulter. Her new book, Goddess of the Right, slanders the 9/11 widows ... She should apologize to all of us who've lost our fellow citizens on 9/11," Emanuel said in 2006.

Of course, if there is to be an actual jackass carousel, the circle must be completed. So, let us call back to our opening jackass, Joe Wilson, discussing the resolution to disapprove of his outburst.

"It is clear to the American people that there are far more important issues facing this nation than what we're addressing right now."

Issues such as ... ?

Here's Wilson in 2004: "Thirty-three years ago today, John Kerry appeared before the Senate to talk about Vietnam ... Kerry accused American soldiers of rape, torture, murder and even offered up comparisons of Genghis Khan ... Kerry owes them an apology."


Visit for more on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, including videos, games and photo galleries.

"The Daily Show"

Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central