Perhaps he thought he would win himself some points with his constituents back in South Carolina. Maybe he thought he could parlay his instant fame into a fundraising blitz.
Shortly after the outburst, he hauled in well over $1 million in campaign contributions, so it might just have worked.
Wilson certainly launched himself from an unknown to a darling — at least within the ultra-conservative base of the Republican party. His current bio, taken directly from his personal website, attests to that:
Today, Joe serves as an Assistant Majority Whip and on the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Readiness. He also serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Since the 111th Congress, he has been appointed to the highly influential Republican Policy Committee. He also serves as Chair of the Bulgaria Caucus and the French Caucus, Co-Chair for the Slovak Caucus, and on the Afghanistan Caucus, the Kurdistan Caucus, and the Americans Abroad Caucus.
Wilson was, however, forced to issue an apology, after he received sustained criticism from both sides of the aisle.
Mother Jones reports that Joe Wilson held a town-hall type meeting in Graniteville, SC during which attendees “shouted down” and jeered the congressman with chants of “YOU LIE!” Mother Jones points out that the most eruptive moment of the town hall was when Wilson, “who in 2013 voted against extending the Violence Against Women Act, told the crowd he had advocated to protect women against violence.”
Karma ain’t fun, is it, Mr. Wilson?