(Washington, D.C.) South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson, who shouted "You lie" during President Obama's speech on healthcare to Congress, dropped another bomb shell today, adding to his initial statement that the remark was not premeditated. He has Tourette Syndrome and has asked the Tourette Syndrome Association to be their spokesperson.
Speaking in front of his congressional office, Wilson was contrite. "I said that the statement made by me, "You Lie", to President Obama, Kenya, not President, bogus birth certificate, was not premeditated, and it was not. However, I have not been totally truthful. It was due to my continuing battle with Tourette Syndrome." Wilson again apologized to members of the House and Senate and "Speaker Pelosi, great rack and Vice President Joe Biden, hair plugs, hair plugs."
But perhaps the biggest bomb shell was Wilson's claim that he was denied treatment for his condition by his congressional medical plan "due to the fact that I had a pre-existing condition that was pre-existing." When challenged by an Associate Press reporter that the statement "makes no sense", Wilson replied, "Just like the Democrat healthcare plan."
It was this statement that caused some political commentators to believe Wilson is simply using Tourette Syndrome an excuse to say anything and get away with it. "I believe Joe Wilson has Tourette's as much as I believe that Mark Sanford needs Viagra," said Democratic strategist James Carville.
There may be some truth to it. In the same statement, Wilson cited a 2004 controversy with Senator John Kerry, demanding he apologize for remarks about soldiers in Vietnam in 1971. "Many veterans, including myself, view John Kerry's testimony as one of the worst public slanders ever against the valor and character of the American military," Wilson said. However, it was later revealed that Wilson was a "chicken hawk", who had received a student deferment and not gone to war. Wilson answered simply, "Some times my inadvertent outbursts are pretty long. But don't hate me because I have Tourette's."
Regarding Wilson becoming a spokesperson for the Tourette Syndrome Association, the organization's communication manager, Jon Reno, released a statement. "While we welcome political representation, we are a Tourette Syndrome advocacy group, not a mental health advocacy group."
The intimations of being called "mentally unbalanced" have not swayed Republican party members from supporting Wilson, as is evidenced by Sarah Palin's most recent Facebook addition. "Representative Wilson is a courageous individual who, despite a challenging disease, continues to fight for America. We can consider ourselves blessed that the Democrat death panels are not a reality, for this voice would have been silenced."