Joe Wilson has behaved like a d_mn'd fool, and there's not much reason to expect him to stop behaving like a d_mn'd fool, but he's being offered a Golden Opportunity:
Tensions remain after Joe Wilson Apologyby Josh Gerstein and John Bresnahan at Politico
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) says he’s done apologizing for his outburst during President Barack Obama’s prime-time speech Wednesday, but two House Democratic leaders are calling for a formal reprimand if Wilson continues to refuse to make a public statement of contrition on the House floor.
A clever politician would agree that such an apology were required, and then proceed to deliver something that were indeed an expression of regret, and impossible to fault on technical grounds, but that wrapped an explanation of Wilson's ostensible concerns. The apology could be formally very polite and yet a strong declaration of belief in opposition to the President's programmes. Listeners at all inclined to sympathy for Mr Wilson or to anxieties about the President would have that sympathy or those anxieties greatly reïnforced.
Were I a Democrat then, while I'd generally bet on Wilson's continued foolishness, I wouldn't take this particular bet. The chance of losing is quite low, but the loss would be far too great.