A few weeks back, I wrote about the wild scenes taking place at health care town hall meetings across the country. Shouting matches and even physical altercations were occurring with alarming regularity as constituents – many of them overtly encouraged by anti-reform special interest groups and right-wing media personalities – did their best to disrupt the discourse on the subject. But as the summer came to a close and President Obama planned to ratchet up the pressure on Congress during a nationally televised address, the worst of the rhetoric seemed to be over.

When all else fails, shout.

During the speech, which saw all of Obama’s oratorical skills meshed in support of an uncommon emotional intensity for the reform at hand, Obama pleaded for civil discourse in the health care debate.

“I still believe we can replace acrimony with civility and gridlock with progress,” he said.

Apparently, Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, wasn’t listening.

Towards the end of his speech, Obama took a few moments to itemize the false statements that had been propagated about the bills currently up for debate. When mentioning that nothing in the reform would increase or change medical coverage for illegal immigrants, Wilson, from his seat, shouted, “You lie!” His outburst interrupted the president, led to a stunned silence and then a chorus of boos, all of which could be clearly heard on television.

Rep. Wilson comes from a long and proud tradition of lunacy in South Carolina. This is the state, after all, that refused to remove the Confederate flag from the dome of its Capitol until 2000 (and Joe Wilson, then a state senator, voted in the losing effort to try to keep it there) and more recently discovered that its governor, Mark Sanford, was entertaining an Argentinean mistress when his staff claimed he was on a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail (By the way, Sanford’s still in office.). Wilson’s inexcusable outburst epitomizes the offensive manner in which the most conservative elements of the Republican Party and its nuttiest supporters have accepted with relish their new position in the governmental wilderness, shouting insults and falsities from the fringes of policy.

I tried to log my opinion of Rep. Wilson’s impromptu additions to President Obama’s address, but, surprise surprise, his Web site was down. More technically, “Due to exceptionally high traffic, this site is temporarily unavailable,” read the disclaimer under the Congressional seal.

That’s democracy. Make a mistake, be a jerk and then shut down any way for people to contact you. Bravo, Joe. You’re officially a Creep of the Week.

A bit closer to home, we have our own creeps on this coast to contend with. Reported in the Daily Trojan and on CNN and across the country, the USC populace is now contending with a fake Campus Cruiser van offering dubious rides to female students.

Campus Cruiser, the university’s authorized transportation service around the University Park campus, has long been offering a vital (and drama-filled) service transporting students – from late studiers going home from the library to unaccompanied walkers to excessively inebriated roving bands of partiers – by a reservation-only system in their fleet of cardinal and gold Ford Foci and vans.

As reported by the Daily Trojan, “There is a possibility that it is an unapproved, unauthorized taxi service trying to make money, but our concern is that their intent is something much more serious,” said Department of Public Safety Capt. David Carlisle, displaying the flair for inciting fear so keenly practiced by the DPS.

The van or vans, appearing gold in color and similar to the Campus Cruiser vehicles, apparently have twice been seen prowling around the streets adjacent to campus. It’s a good idea to get the word out as quickly as possible about these creeps.

I can attest from personal experience that a great many Trojans, fed up with the traditionally significant wait for a Campus Cruiser car, might very well try to take their chances with these tricked-out gold vans. These drivers unnamed are also co-Creeps of the Week.

Congratulations to our winners (read: losers). To paraphrase the president, I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that creepiness and crassness will go unpunished. Wear your Creep of the Week badges with shame and get the hell out.