The past day or so has been fairly brutal for Representative Joe Wilson. Even after his grudging apology, Wilson is still taking heat from his congressional peers, liberal activists, and the reporters intent on digging up unflattering revelations from the past. Let’s start with that last one did you know that Wilson once copped to popping caffeine pills on a regular basis? But only because he didn’t “have time to drink” coffee or “access to it,” which only makes sense if he’s really, really busy and his office is on the moon. It’s unknown if Wilson is still taking NoDoz, but he might be losing sleep regardless, thinking about all the money his Democratic opponent is raising. As of 6:30 this morning, 20,000 donors have sent more than $750,000 to former Marine Rob Miller since Wednesday night, which is more money than he raised throughout his entire campaign against Wilson in 2008.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is still considering whether to give Wilson a time-out, also known as a censure. This form of public reprimand has been used only a dozen times since the dawn of the twentieth century, usually for things like having sex with pages or financial misconduct. Democratic leaders are split on the issue; Nancy Pelosi would rather focus on health care, while majority whip James Clyburn — who wants an apology before the full House — and majority leader Steny Hoyer are said to be mulling it over. All things considered, it’s easy to see why Wilson regrets his impulsive heckling, but one of his colleagues is probably grateful it happened: Illinois Republican John Shimkus, whose arguably jerkier move of walking right out of speech before it was over has managed to fly relatively under the radar.