Another Letter to Congressman Charlie Wilson

These just seem to be too easy… I wonder if they’ve already assigned my emails to go directly into the trash…

Dear Congressman Wilson–

Sometime today a resolution to punish Congressman Joe Wilson will come before the House.

I do hope you will vote against this resolution, or, if we are to punish wrongs, I hope you will support efforts to punish Congressman Charlie Rangel as well.

Let us be clear: Congressman Wilson should not have shouted out during the joint session of Congress. But his action does not warrant official sanction for a number of reasons. For one, the rule that forbids a representative from calling the president a ‘liar’ only applies during House business. A joint session is not regular House business so the applicability of this rule is questionable, at best. Second, what Congressman Wilson shouted out was true–the President had, for 30 minutes, been speaking half-truths, distortions, and bald-faced lies for 30 minutes. Many independent organizations have affirmed this, and the actions of Democrats, including the President, to include stronger language preventing illegal aliens from being covered by the House bill have born out Wilson’s assertion.

Third, when President Bush spoke to a joint session of Congress on the topic of healthcare in 2005, there was a general, and easily audible murmur of the sort you hear in the English Parliament during ‘Questions for the Prime Minister.’ That general uproar was talked right through by the President and there was never an effort to find out who led it or to punish anyone.

In addition, I find it highly, highly partisan that Congressman Wilson would be held up for punishment for his action, but a man like Charlie Rangel not only gets a pass on his numerous tax evasions and shady dealings, but is permitted to remain chair of the Ways & Means Committee–the very powerful committee that writes the very tax code Rangel has repeatedly flouted.

How is this not hyper-partisanship at its worst? How is this “the most ethical Congress in history”? How is this transparency or post-partisanship? How can any Democrat accuse the Republicans of playing partisan “games” in this climate?

I urge you to vote no on the resolution to punish Congressman Wilson today. And I urge you to support efforts to punish Congressman Rangel. Justice, fairness, and a decent respect for the law demand these things.

Thomas Crowe
Steubenville, OH