Tales from the Trail

Tea Party Express names its election-year ‘heroes,’ ‘targets’

U.S. Representative Joe Wilson — the South Carolina Republican who last year screamed at President Barack Obama, “You lie!” — is on its list of “heroes.”

So is Republican Senator Jim DeMint, also of South Carolina, who’s leading a charge to repeal Obama’s landmark overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system.

USA-TAX/The Tea Party Express, one of the most prominent groups in the conservative Tea Party movement, on Thursday wrapped up a 20-day nationwide tour with an event in Washington, D.C., where it formally announced its 14 “heroes” as well as 13 “targets.”

Amid homemade signs reading, “Hope doesn’t create jobs,” and “Congress, you’re fired!” — Tea Party activists vowed to help their “heroes” win in the November election and to work to defeat their “targets.”

The Tea Party Express is dedicated to opposing what it sees as the Democrats’ liberal tax-and-spend policies and to ridding the Republican Party of those it does not consider to be conservative enough.

Tea Partiers converge on Washington to kill the (healthcare) bill

USA-HEALTHCARE/PELOSI

The rally began with an unaccompanied rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” sung to an oversized American flag hoisted aloft by a middle-aged man dressed like Captain America.

But the Marvel Comics super-hero impersonator was one of the few fringe elements on display, when about 200 Tea Party members gathered in a small grassy park in the shadow of the Capitol Dome with Washington-based organizers from conservative special-interest groups, House Republicans and, inevitably, the news media.

They had come from as far away as Texas, Michigan and Georgia for a “Kill the Bill!” rally meant to launch an 11th hour grass-roots lobbying effort to stop House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats from achieving victory for the Obama healthcare plan.

Grayson sweet-talks Republicans on healthcare reform

In the never-ending Democratic struggle to win bipartisan support for healthcare reform, Representative Alan Grayson is probably not the guy to send to the House floor to woo Republicans.

Democrats, he said in a floor speech a couple days ago, want to fix the U.S. healthcare system by expanding insurance coverage to the 47 million people who do not have it.

“The Republican plan,” he said, is basically: “Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.”
 
He brought along big posterboard signs to underscore the idea in the event somebody found his point too subtle.
 
Republicans were not happy with this characterization of their ideas for healthcare and suggested an apology was in order.
 
A much-chastened Grayson returned to the House floor Wednesday to make amends.

No lie! Poll shows Joe Wilson trailing in reelection bid

USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMACongressman Joe Wilson might be tempted to yell “You lie!” again – this time at a poll that shows the presidential heckler trailing in his reelection bid.

The survey by Public Policy Polling found Democratic challenger Rob Miller leading the five-term Republican lawmaker by 44 percent to 43 percent. The numbers had Democrats cheering, and at least one pollster offering a new view of the contest in the heavily Republican South Carolina district.

 It is all part of the fallout of Wilson yelling “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during his address to Congress on Wednesday night on healthcare reform.

Republican “You lie!” outburst becomes Democratic fundraising cry

Rarely, if ever, have so few words moved so many people to contribute so much money so quickly.

PHILIPPINES-ECONOMY/RESERVESWithin 15 hours of Republican Representative Joe Wilson yelling “You lie!” at President Barack Obama, Wilson’s Democratic foe in next year’s election received more than 10,000 donations totaling upward of $350,000, according to the House Democratic campaign committee.

“And the numbers are still rising,” a spokesman said.

Wilson’s Democratic challenger, Rob Miller, an ex-Marine turned small businessman, lost a bid last November to unseat the now five-term congressman from South Carolina, 54 percent to 46 percent.

The First Draft: Congressman Wilson’s big moment

USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMAThe dust is settling — and the political haggling is resuming — after President Barack Obama’s healthcare speech to Congress last night, but the spotlight is still shining, though not very flatteringly, on Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

If you watched on TV, you might not have seen him, but you probably heard a catcall from the House chamber when Obama told the audience that illegal aliens would not be covered by the proposed healthcare plan. That was Wilson, a Republican, shouting out, “You lie!”

Problem is, Obama spoke the truth on that point, and other Republicans acknowledged that. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who ran against Obama for the presidency last year, told NBC’s “Today” show that the plan would not cover illegal immigrants. Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, one of Obama’s most vocal congressional critics, said the same thing on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Cantor and others noted that Wilson apologized, and Vice President Joe Biden figured that Obama would accept that apology. Still, feathers were ruffled.