Joe "the Screamer" Wilson really stepped in it. He needs to do some sort of pennance for what he did to the president. And, quite honestly, the Shimkus guy should get the same treatment.
Censure isn't the right call here. It simply becomes the Red Badge of Courage for more of the people to act like idiots. "Hey, Wilson was the first to get the censure, what do I have to do to be next line line"? We are dealing with a pre-teenager mentality here.
I know, we've got teens. We've lived through it. Here are a couple alternate of suggestions.
Take his time away. Since every thing in Congress runs on a seniority system, why not penalize him 2 years plus one day of seniority. Since Wilson is a 4th term congressperson, that puts him in line behind all other 2nd, 3rd, and 4th term congresspeople for committee assignments and pecking order. It doesn't penalize his constituients by making him resign. We avoid the media circus that would ensue when Mark Sanford attempts to appoint an Argentine Reporter in his place.
How about "Slave Time"? No, this isn't a racial thing. It is a concept of disipline we used in our household when the kids were younger. Since we are dealing pre-teen behavior, let use solutions proper for the age frame.
Slave Time means that if Kid A (Joe) does something nasty to Kid B (Barack) then Joe has to do everything that Barack wants to do for a fixed time frame. When you have an older brother giving a beat down to a little sister, it is entertaining to see the older brother play nicely with his sister and her dolls for 20 minutes or so.
It would be neat to see Joe Wilson as the point person for healthcare for a while. He has to suck it up and play nice, or his time gets extended. I'd love to see him on Fox or MSNBC touting the president's ideas for at least a month or so. Who knows, he might convince a few of his collegues to go along with Barack. They can sit down for a few beers afterward.
I can see Shimkus playing dolls with the first children for about an hour.
Mumbled apologies or standing up in front of everybody for questionable dress downs, doesn't really do much for moving forward. It just gets people madder and more resentful.