The fact of the matter is, Joe Wilson is allowed to disagree with the president. Since the incident, several outlets have claimed that this is just like what happens all the time in Parliament in Great Britain, so what's the big deal? The first argument against that is that this isn't the House of Lords, and we're not in Great Britain. We follow parliamentary procedure to a point, but if you've ever seen video of what goes on over there, you know we're not quite the same.
But even if you believe we should be more like Great Britain in that regard, please be aware that Joe Wilson would still not have been following the rules had he yelled, "You lie!" in the House of Lords. In virtually every country that follows parliamentary procedure, calling a speaker a liar is considered a violation of that procedure. Wikipedia has the list of countries and what the various offenses are in each of those countries.
With that in mind, the only way to describe what Joe Wilson did is to call it disrespectful. Even if he is actually certain that the president was lying, that was not the time or place to let that fact be known. Republicans clamored for years that the president's office is deserving of respect, and that no one should criticize the president during a time of war. Well, let's all try to play by the same rules, okay? No matter how Democrats responded to George W. Bush during his years in office, not one ever called him a liar in the middle of a speech to both houses of Congress.
And for the record, the House bill specifically prohibits illegal immigrants from being covered. The problem is that there is not a system in place to identify illegal immigrants. But that's the case right now, and taxpayers are paying for illegal immigrants' emergency room visits anyway. So why the uproar now, when this bill is at least attempting to work on that problem? Is that really worth yelling, "You lie!" at the president during his speech?
Of course, Wilson has become something of a celebrity because of this. CNN.com has as its lead story the fact that Wilson has raised around $200,000 since the incident. In paragraph seven (of nine) of that story, the writer notes that Rob Miller, Wilson's opponent in 2010, has raised more than $750,000. As I write this, Rob Miller's number is actually $816,097, and rising every hour (when I first went to that site just moments after Wilson's outburst, it showed that Miller had raised roughly $3500 in his campaign up to that point). I donated $25, and that link in the previous sentence will allow you to do the same if you like. My point is, why is Wilson's fundraising the story here? The story, in my eyes, is that people who oppose what Wilson did, who consider it unbecoming of a Congressman, have rallied behind the man's opponent. Money talks in politics, and the bigger story is that the majority of those talking with their pocketbooks are doing so against Wilson, not for him.
Many have noted that this is just a product of the kind of "debate" Republicans want to have. The "facts" are out there, mostly being presented by radio and talk show hosts who want to rally their base with scare tactics. Congressmen (and women) should be above such tactics, but they're clearly not (note Chuck Grassley's speeches in which he told people that they should be afraid of the government killing Grandma), and it's pretty disgusting. Wilson apologized after the outburst, but is now claiming that he will "not be muzzled," and is refusing to apologize to the House for his actions. We shouldn't be surprised by this behavior when the de facto leaders of the Republican Party are currently Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
I, for the record, do not care what Joe Wilson wants to say. If he wants to hop on the scare tactic bandwagon of the extreme right, and win elections by lying to his own constituents, that's their problem, not mine. I do care about when he chooses to make those statements, though. Like it or not, a presidential address is only for the president. Afterward, the opposing party gets to counter the president (and what an amazing representative they chose, huh?). If Joe Wilson had wanted to be that guy, he should have petitioned his party for the privilege. Otherwise, sit down and shut up until it's your turn.