Financial disclosure: Joe Wilson gives me two bits


y conscience dictates that I disclose that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson gave me some money today — to be specific, 4,000 Dong in crisp, new 2,000-Dong notes.

Now, we’ll all pause for a moment while Beavis and Butthead exhaust the adolescent possibilities of that term. All done, fellas? We’ll move on.

Anyway, I ran into Joe downtown this morning with his sidekick Butch Wallace, and the congressman was handing out these souvenirs from his recent trip to Vietnam. He gave me one for me, and one for my Dad, who he knows is a Navy veteran. In his own distinctive rapid, enthusiastic, delivery, he also told me the following as we rode down an elevator together:

  • This was not vote-buying.
  • Each bill was worth about 12 cents — which is pretty much dead-on.
  • Vietnam is the most dynamic emerging capitalist economy in the world.
  • Shopkeepers were particularly glad to take his dollars, which is hardly surprising. Hard currency is hard currency. (It was ever thus. When I called my Dad to tell him I had something for him, he noted that in his 1967-68 tour at a PBR base south of Saigon, he doesn’t recall ever having occasion to use actual Vietnamese money.)
  • On Good Friday, the cathedral he saw was not only full, but the service was piped out to a large crowd outside — a familiar pattern in countries that until recently suppressed religion. (Maybe Western Europe should send the Vietnamese some of those magnificent churches that they don’t use any more.)
  • He really, really loves being a congressman. But we knew that about Joe, right?

3 thoughts on “Financial disclosure: Joe Wilson gives me two bits

  1. bud

    From the words of congress Joe Wilson:
    “Vietnam is the most dynamic emerging capitalist economy in the world.”
    Thank you very much for proving my point about the complete insanity of fighting imperialistic wars of agression. Could this outcome be any different from what was suggested in 1970 by the “stay-the-course” crowd of the day?
    In 2039, thirty years after President Clinton pulls our forces out of Iraq Brad’s granchildren will be writing the following:
    “Today, Iraq is one of the most peaceful, democratic states in world. Historians marvel at how the Sunnis and Shiites were able to work out their differences once the ‘hated’ American occupiers finally withdrew their forces.”

  2. Brad Warthen

    YIKES! I just got this message from Joe Wilson’s office:


    I just saw your post on the
    Vietnamese money Congressman Wilson gave you.  I wanted to let you know that the
    Congressman’s district director is Butch Wallace – not Butch Spires. 

    No big deal here; just thought you’d
    want to be factually correct.



    Kimberly A.

    Communications Director
    Congressman Joe Wilson
    212 Cannon House Office





    Duly noted, and the post has been corrected…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *