So, George, a little context, there, some other legislatures around the world. But the heckle did get so much attention Wednesday night because it was -- we've never really seen it before, something that blunt during a presidential speech.
Is it a sign of the times? WILL: I don't -- I hope so, because what it makes it news is how rare it is.
May 27, 1856, a South Carolina congressman named Preston Brooks -- no relation...
(LAUGHTER) ... offended three days earlier by something Senator Sumner of Massachusetts had said, went on the floor of the Senate, holding a cane and accompanied by a man with a pistol, whose job it was to hold at bay the other senators while he beat Sumner so severely, he was out of the Senate for three years. STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're saying we've got progress now?
WILL: I'm saying that's right.
ROBERTS: And that was progress from earlier times. You know, Burr-Hamilton was just the most famous of duels over political speech. I mean, the sitting vice president of the United States murdered his political enemy over what was said in a political campaign.
But they used to call each other out on the floor of the House of Representatives all the time, go out to Bladensburg and shoot each other.
DONALDSON: That sounds to me civility and disrespect has been with us always. But it very seldom, as in the case of Senator Sumner, wins. In other words, as I recall, the North won that battle, eventually.
And I think, in this case, Joe Wilson, who was part of that skein; Joe McCarthy did it to destroy people with his (inaudible)
They called Lincoln a baboon. In the Jefferson-Adams-Jackson era, you should see those things. I agree. My only question is, how much did Rahm Emanuel pay Joe Wilson to do that?
Because it plays into the hands of the other side. STEPHANOPOULOS: It definitely helped the president on Wednesday.
And one of the other things we've seen, David Brooks, is, since then, both Congressman Wilson has raised -- he's raised more than a $1 million from 15,000 contributors over the Internet; his opponent, Rob Miller, over $1 million from 10,000 contributors
BROOKS: We've got small minorities in this country who love that stuff. They watch Glenn Beck. They watch MSNBC. They love it, and they'll give money to it. But most people, I think, were appalled. Because the -- this is not a parliamentary system like Gordon Brown, that we just saw. This -- the guy's the head of state. And it's not about what you think at that moment. It's about the institution. Ryne Sandberg, George's friend, second baseman of the Chicago Cubs, went to the Hall of Fame.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Here we go.
BROOKS: He said you respect the game. You will respect your opponents. When you get a nice hit, you find the coach or you run to second base. You don't celebrate. It's not about you; it's about the institution. And Joe Wilson doesn't know that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess the question is, are the Democrats pushing this too far? They're saying that, tomorrow, if Congressman Wilson doesn't go to the floor, in respect to the institution, and apologize on the floor of the House, they're going to move some kind of resolution to censure him. ROBERTS: And make him a hero.