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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Joe Wilson Must Apologize on the House Floor

According to FOXNews.com (September 13 2009), "Rep. Joe Wilson said Sunday that he will not apologize on the House floor for his outburst during President Obama's health care address, even though Democratic leaders have threatened to formally discipline him if he does not." The outburst triggered a political firestorm, but Wilson told "FOX News Sunday" that Democrats are just "playing politics" by trying to drag out the issue and force another apology. House Democrats plan to censure Wilson if he refuses to apologize on the House floor this week. Wilson says his private apology, reportedly accepted by the President, is enough to atone for his disgraceful public behavior during President Obama's health care address. I disagree. What decorum does Wilson owe the people of the United States of America? To simply dismiss this action as a "town meeting" outburst is ridiculous. We, the people, must demand more respect and restraint from our elected officials. Wilson decided to resort to "shout down" accusatory tactics during one of the most important Congressional addresses by a United States President in recent years, so he, alone, must provide a sincere confession of and apology for his wrongdoing to everyone -- the impressionable youth, the faithful voters, the future congressional delegates -- to appease the nation. By refusing to apologize on the House floor, Wilson is admitting no wrong to those he is supposed to represent and serve. It is evident Wilson is in denial. This defense mechanism occurs when a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. Is Wilson denying fact by blaming his accusation of calling President Obama a "liar" on a spur of the moment reaction? Yes, he is tailoring his story to avoid any painful consequences to himself. He essentially says, "I did it but I didn't mean it" to apologize; then he says to reporters, "I meant it but I didn't but I really didn't do it (in the manner you're thinking). Is Wilson denying responsibility as he minimizes his actions by saying his distasteful remarks stem from righteous anger and zeal for his perceived correct interpretation of Obama's stand on immigrants and health care coverage? Yes, he is making his choice appear to be justified by shifting culpability. Is Wilson denying awareness of his responsibility saying that his loud statement is a "one time" occurrence, a slip of the tongue rant uncontrolled by good reason and proper statesmanship because of some personal healthy passion? Yes, he is claiming he wasn't really aware of what he was doing since his accusation was born in the heat of the moment of justified anger. Is Wilson denying a cycle of such personal behavior as he refuses to look at his past record of emotional outbursts? Yes, part of such a cycle happened in 2002 in a debate about the wisdom of invading Iraq. Once debating Democratic Rep. Bob Filner of California on C Span Wilson spat out: "This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous. And you need to get over that." Filner, who as a college kid was a Freedom Rider in Mississippi, was incredulous. "Hatred of America? . . . Are you accusing me?"
"Yes!" Wilson shouted in response, repeating the phrase four times and then adding to it the accusation that Filner was "viscerally anti-American." After the show ended, Filner told Wilson he thought he'd gone over the line – and that he should apologize. Wilson wouldn't do that; nor would he get on the phone with a Washington Post reporter who called to ask about it. (Carl M. Cannon, Inside Politics Daily, September 11 2009) Is Wilson denying denial? Yes, denial of denial involves thoughts, actions and behaviors which bolster confidence that nothing needs to be changed in one's personal behavior. Wilson if presently begging for more money to bolster his political campaign. He does not intend to change his personal behavior. Psychologist Jennifer Freyd ( Freyd, J.J. (1997) Violations of power, adaptive blindness, and betrayal trauma theory. Feminism & Psychology, 7, 22-32) offers this acronym, DARVO, to describe common strategies of abusers. She writes: "An acroynm to describe common strategy of abusers: Deny the abuse, then Attack the victim for attempting to make them accountable for their offense, thereby Reversing Victim and Offender." Well, hello, Joe. What do YOU know?
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