The voices behind Joe Wilson

The South Carolina congressman is representative of the GOP’s talk-radio-led wing.

By Tim RuttenSeptember 12, 2009

When Republican congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina heckled President Obama during his address to a joint session of Congress this week, it was no surprise that the subject was immigration.

It’s also no surprise that while the House Republican leadership demanded that Wilson apologize for his intemperance and breach of protocol, pro-GOP talk-show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and right-wing bloggers have defended him and urged him to stand firm.

For the moment, at least, the most effective opposition to the Obama administration comes not from the Republican Party establishment but from the talk-show/tea-party right, which — if it has its way — will convert the GOP into an almost exclusively white, zealously religious, mostly Southern party. For these people (including Southern Republicans such as Wilson) immigration is a red-meat issue…Read More

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