The Joe Wilson Backlash

One wild-card in all of this is how Congressman Joe Wilson's shout of "Liar!" when Obama said that his plan wouldn't cover illegal immigrants.  Wilson's opponent says he's raised almost $100,000 since that very special television moment aired.  Will Wilson help Obama pass a health care bill?

Pro:  backlashes do happen.  This kind of rank incivility may well make people view the foofooraw at the August town hall meetings in a different, more negative light.

Con:  Wilson has already apologized, both in a call to the White House, and in a published statement.  Other Republicans have jumped on him.  They may succeed in casting this as a lone moment of intemperance from someone temporarily unhinged, rather than a symptom of the broader nastiness in the conservative movement.

Overall, I can't see how this could help triggering sympathy for Obama. But I don't know if the effect will be big enough to make much difference.  I do know that the Republicans had better play very, very nice for the rest of this debate.

Update:  One commenter argues that this could actually help, by moving the focus to illegal aliens

I think this is a win for Republicans as well, in that it calls attention to a point that Democrats would prefer remains unexamined -- coverage of illegal aliens.

I was not aware of this issue until the post-speech coverage last night. I am sure others will be made aware of this as well.

Possible, but likely?  I dunno.  I think predicting how these things are going to play out in the news cycle is a generally unrewarding task.