Today a familiar face returns to bigotopia. Regular TSM readers may remember Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) who sat out a chance to work with the President on jobs for Americans and played the racist elected-while-black card when criticizing the President. This week he sank to a new low in his bid for re-election.
Walsh’s opponent for IL-8 is Tammy Duckworth. A Black Hawk helicopter pilot, she was one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq until November 12th, 2004 when her helicopter was hit by an RPG. She lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm in the explosion, and was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries. Duckworth ran for Congress in 2006 and narrowly lost. Since then she has served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and as Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Walsh, whose career consists of venture capitalism and lobbying for school voucher schemes, has no record of public or military service until the Tea Party swept him into office in 2010 (after three failed election attempts). He has mounted an attack on Duckworth because she has the audacity to mention that she served her country and was injured.
Now I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about. That’s why we’re so indebted and in awe of what they’ve done.
Bizarrely, Walsh was comparing Duckworth to the supposedly reticent John McCain, who has mentioned his military service and injuries just as prominently in every campaign he has ever run. This is nearly identical to the sadly successful campaign run against Sen. Max Cleland, a disabled U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, by Saxby Chambliss, who sat out the war on deferments. Clearly, these Republicans believe serving your country only counts if you preach the Republican gospel.
As a delightful side note, musician Joe Walsh (Eagles, James Gang, etc.) has endorsed Duckworth, disgusted by his namesake’s behavior.