Joe Wilson’s dirty secret…he served in the Army!

No, really. The South Carolina Republican who yelled “you lie” at President Obama Wednesday night served 31 in the Army and National Guard. Retired as a Colonel. His four sons all serve, too.

That hypocritical bastard. Newsweek’s Adam Weinstein writes:

Cut the man some slack. He’s passionate! I know this because he told me, in the sole message that blazes across his campaign Web site: JOE WILSON IS PASSIONATE ABOUT STOPPING GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE!

Except that he’s not ? at least not when it comes to his, and his family’s, government-run health care. As a retired Army National Guard colonel, Wilson gets a lot of benefits (one of which, apparently, was not a full appreciation of the customs, traditions, and courtesies that mandate respect for one’s commander in chief). And with four sons in the armed services, the entire Wilson brood has enjoyed multiple generations of free military medical coverage, known as TRICARE.

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I wonder how long Weinstein has appreciated those “customs, traditions, and courtesies that mandate respect for one’s commander in chief.” Since Wednesday, probably? Or maybe it goes all the way back to January 20.

Anyway. Rep. Wilson joined the U.S. military and spent a career protecting his country and the freedoms its citizens enjoy. And…so? He expects health care for that?

How dare he.

For that matter, how dare the military offer health care to its volunteers? For that matter, how dare we expect that our government continue to take care of our soldiers (sailors, airmen, Marines, etc.) even after they’ve finished their service? How dare we presume to honor those men and women like that?

For decades — longer, even — Americans have sought military service…as a duty, yes, but also as a method of pulling themselves up. It’s a way, when you might not have another, of earning a decent paycheck; of learning some useful skills; of finding opportunity when you might not have much of that, otherwise.

They join up, serve, earn the compensation they get, which includes health care and, if you serve long enough or under the right conditions, health care for the rest of your life.

That’s the deal. The military offers you that deal. Very few people, probably, join the military for the health insurance, but that’s not relevant. It’s part of the deal. You fulfill these duties, you get health care.

Oh, but: according to Weinstein, if you take that deal, and if you then oppose taxpayer-funded health care for everyone, everywhere, regardless of what they do; regardless of the decisions they make with their lives…

…you’re a hypocrite. That’s what he says.


I don’t know a damn thing about Rep. Wilson. Before the “you lie” incident, I’d never heard of him. And probably never would have.

But his service, and that of his sons, is honorable. Multi-generational service like that is honorable, worthy of our respect and our thanks.

And even if it wasn’t — as Weinstein obviously thinks — that was the deal.

Support for “universal,” government-run, socialized health care for all? That wasn’t.

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