Rep. Joe Wilson violated the code of ethics of the Congress. He humiliated both himself, the Republican party (which is pretty hard to top these days) and the State of South Carolina – which seems to be a collective state of embarrassment to the GOP.
This comes via a TPM link:
Parliamentary Outreach Program
RULES OF DECORUM & DEBATE IN THE HOUSE
* Address themselves solely and directly to the Chair. They may not address other Members, individuals in the gallery, or persons who might be observing through the media.
* Refer to Members by state, not by name.
* Avoid characterizing another Member’s personal intent or motives and discussing personalities.
* Refrain from speaking disrespectfully of the Speaker, other Members, the President or Vice President.
* Refrain from referring to the official conduct of other Members where such conduct is not under consideration by way of a report of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct or as a question of the privilege of the House.
* Refrain from referring to the specific votes of particular Senators.
* Refrain from using profane or vulgar language.
* Avoid walking in the well when a Member is speaking.
* Ensure that all handouts distributed on the floor or adjacent rooms comport with the rules of propriety for spoken words, and that all handouts bear the name of the authorizing Member.
* Refrain from eating, smoking, or using electronic equipment, including cellular phones or lap top computers, on the floor.
* Wear appropriate business attire.
NOTE — Debate which violates the rules of decorum may result in a Member’s words being taken down.
FLOOR ACCESS RULES:
* Former Members are prohibited from being on the floor (including the Speaker’s Lobby and cloakrooms) if any matter in which they have a personal or pecuniary interest or are employed or retained as a lobbyist is pending before the House. Matters are considered pending once full or subcommittee hearings have been held, or once a bill or resolution has been called up by a full or subcommittee.
* Committee staff are permitted on the floor only during the consideration of measures reported from their committees. A maximum of five committee staff (for the majority and minority) is permitted.
* Personal staff are not permitted on the floor of the House except when their Member has an amendment actually pending under the five-minute rule. A Member offering an amendment under the five-minute rule may be accompanied by one personal staff Member.
* Staff are not permitted to pass out literature or otherwise attempt to influence Members or their votes.