Premeditated hotheadedness

While skimming a TAP profile of black South Carolina state Rep. Anton Gunn, I noticed this line referring to Gunn’s former peer, Rep. Joe Wilson:

“If you’d have told me someone was going to scream at the president and call him a liar, he’d have been the last person on my list. Joe is an aw-shucks kind of guy,” Gunn says. “When you want to breed negativity, it can infect anybody, and it can take people to a level they didn’t think was possible.”

I have a slightly different take from Gunn here. Obviously, I neither know Joe Wilson nor do I know if Gunn’s observations about his character are that perceptive. But my hunch, after reading this, is that the infamous State of the Union interruption was premeditated. Somewhere a group of GOPer congressmen (possibly the leadership too) decided that yelling at the President would be a good idea, and Wilson was picked to do it.

This, really, is what amazes me about the Republican party and its freakish level of discipline. You have a group of people who know they have no reason to be personally outraged about anything; they themselves are privileged almost to a man, and so are the interests they represent and legislate on behalf of. But they’ve managed this perfect simulacrum of outrage anyway because they know it’s key to holding onto power. You have hundreds of people, most of whom don’t seem to have much talent as actors, and yet once they get to the national level they’re putting on nearly flawless theater.

UPDATE: see also.

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