Netroots quickly target Wilson for outburst

Blogs on the left and the right moved quickly in reaction to Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) outburst at Wednesday night's joint session of Congress, with one of the biggest liberal blogs pushing for his ouster in 2010.

The blog Daily Kos, arguably one of the most influential left-leaning political blogs, quickly pushed readers to support Democrat Rob Miller, who will challenge Wilson in next fall's midterm elections.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Let's chip in to help Rob -- with early financial support, and with the notoriety Wilson has brought on himself, we've got a chance to help send Joe Wilson packing -- and to bring maturity and decency to South Carolina politics," Jake McIntyre wrote in the site's front page.

Wilson attracted immediate attention during and after President Barack Obama's healthcare address for blurting out "You lie!" when the president explained that his bill would not extend benefits to illegal immigrants. Wilson has since apologized in a statement.

"So, we had the President acting like a statesman and continuing to offer to work with Republicans (even as he did call out some of their lies)," chimed in Joe Sudbay at the liberal AMERICAblog. "And, we had a Republican member of Congress screaming like an idiot."

"It was in a way an inevitable moment -- when they brought the town hall freak show into the House chamber itself," TalkingPointsMemo's Josh Marshall wrote.

For their part, conservative blogs rushed to Wilson's defense Wednesday night.

Where Daily Kos raised money for Miller, RedState's Erick Erickson put up a post urging readers to contribute to Wilson's re-election campaign.

"He gets a drink on me!" Erickson wrote, adding that Republican senators like Bob Bennett (Utah) should face primary challenges for standing up and clapping when the president went after the so-called "death panel" claims popularized by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

Hot Air's "Allahpundit" wrote, "The culprit was South Carolina rep Joe Wilson, who felt moved to act when The One told what was, in fact, a lie," before going after perceived lies in Obama's speech.

But not all conservative blogs got behind Wilson.

"Joe Wilson, the Republican congressman who interrupted Barack Obama’s speech by yelling out 'You lie,' deserves censure," wrote John Podhoretz on Commentary magazine's blog. "There is no excuse for such conduct. That said, he is about to become a folk hero."

The potentially more interesting issue is whether liberal blogs, which had grown anxious over the Obama administration's support for the public option, would find their way back to the president after the speech was largely sidelined by Wilson's outburst.

Preliminary indications from some liberals seemed somewhat pleased by the speech, though.

"I'd say the speech probably helped," wrote Kevin Drum of Mother Jones. "It won't affect Republican votes much, but it will probably move public opinon a few notches and make it easier for centrist Dems to stick together and overcome a GOP filibuster."

"The relentless attempt to appear bipartisan was kind of grating," Drum explained. "Still, he wasn't trying to please me, and I imagine this kind of stuff goes over pretty well with the average viewer."