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Rep. Joe ‘misogynist’ Walsh, goodbye and good riddance

While Republican pols, pundits, strategists, propagandists, apologists and failed candidates blame everyone and everything but themselves for their Nov. 12 6 election debacle, we will offer two of many reasons: ignorance and misogyny.

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Rep. Joe Walsh

Voters of Illinois’ 8th Congressional District gave Rep. Joe Walsh the boot Nov. 6. / DCCC

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That, from self-styled medical expert, board-certified deadbeat dad and soon to be ex-Rep. Joe Walsh, tea party Republican of Illinois. He should have to explain the impossibility of women dying during pregnancy and childbirth to John Weaver of Milo, Iowa.

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Wife’s death leaves husband with 3 kids
KCCI Des Moines, Nov. 12, 2012

MILO, Iowa — A mother dies while giving birth, leaving behind her husband with a newborn and two other young children.
Almost a decade ago, John Weaver took a trip to Honduras that would forever change his life.

“(Reina) was his translator. They just kind of fell for each other, and it’s fate,” said Weaver’s niece, Rhonda Pearson.

“There are some married couples that are married, and they’re OK. Then, there are others that just can’t make it without the other,” said Weaver’s mother, Sandra Weaver.

On Oct. 14, as the family welcomed their third child, complications during childbirth changed everything, and Weaver’s family has had to say goodbye to the woman they considered the backbone of the family.

“He’s lost without his other half. He’s lost without his best friend,” Pearson said.

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Then there’s this sad current-news item from Laguna Niguel, Calif.

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Illinois race pits decorated Iraq War veteran
against tea party dittohead and deadbeat dad

Walsh

Rep. Joe Walsh, tea party hard liner and deadbeat dad who represents Illinois' 8th Congressional District.

“W hat else has she done? Female, wounded veteran … ehhh.”

That was U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., commenting on his Democratic opponent in the November election to a Politico interviewer, as quoted in a Daily Beast article by Michelle Goldberg.

You might recall Duckworth as a decorated Iraq War veteran — Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Purple Heart — and one of the few women to fly a Blackhawk helicopter in combat. She was doing that in 2004 when her chopper was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. As a result, Duckworth lost both legs and had an arm severely injured.

You might also recall Walsh as part of the tea party scourge that made it to Congress in the 2010 election. He beat a three-term incumbent, Democrat Milissa Bean, by an unimpressive 291 votes out of 202,000 cast.

You might remember Walsh for refusing at the beginning of his congressional career to participate in the health care insurance exchange offered to members because he didn’t want any part of a federal health insurance program. Never mind that it’s an insurance exchange in which private companies compete for Capitol Hill customers. Walsh did that despite the fact his wife had a pre-existing condition that would’ve been covered.

You might remember Walsh for headlines about being sued by his ex-wife for $100,000 in unpaid child support. The two have since settled. Remarkable commitment to traditional family values there.

But if those pieces of Walsh’s history didn’t win your attention, surely his angry diatribe during a town hall meeting at a Gurnee, Ill. bar and grill that was caught on video must have. After all, members of Congress don’t swear at their constituents every day.

Then there’s Walsh’s Wikipedia profile, which includes the following:

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He has also raised venture capital for a living, according to the Chicago Tribune[3] with his campaign website indicating that he worked for Ravenswood Advisors, a Chicago boutique investment banking group which raised early-stage investment capital for new and small businesses.[19][24] However, he never made much money[8] and has pointed to salaries of $30,000 to $40,000 a year in the past.[15] In 2010, he had a negative net worth of $317,498 according to the Center for Responsive Politics

. . . Walsh has maintained a no-compromise approach to legislating. He consistently voted against raising the federal debt ceiling and authored a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. During his 2010 campaign as a fiscal conservative and following his election to Congress, several media outlets reported on Walsh’s personal financial issues, such as past due child support, a recent condo foreclosure, and tax liens from the 1990s.

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There’s something about venture capitalists, isn’t there. We’re impressed with how financially responsible Walsh is. And, did we mention that since becoming a member of Congress Walsh has also been in trouble for driving with a suspended license?

Duckworth

Decorated Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, Democrat, is challenging Walsh in the November election.

Duckworth ran for Congress in 2006, while still being treated for her injuries. She lost that race but has since worked for the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, is a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois National Guard and has earned a private-pilot’s license.

Duckworth was so turned off by the viciousness of the campaign her ’06 Republican opponent ran against her that she wanted no more of politics. She lost by 2 percent of the vote. However, being a fighter and not a quitter, Duckworth decided to run again, this time in a district less tilted against a Democrat.

We salute Duckworth’s service to and sacrifice for our country. We admire her determination, decency, and her night-vs.-day opposition to where Walsh is on virtually every issue. The people of Illinois-8 will be better represented by her than they could ever be by a dittohead heel with a loud mouth and sociopathic attitude.

As for Walsh, tea-party fringe crackpot, deadbeat dad, cited by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as one of the most corrupt members of Congress . . . ehhh.

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Mean-mouthed ‘activist’ gives fresh evidence
tea party is rife with hate-driven extemists

“We have to get Claire McCaskill out. We have to kill the Claire Bear, ladies and gentlemen. She walks around like she’s some sort of Rainbow Brite Care Bear or something, but really she’s an evil monster.”

—Scott Boston, tea party activist, at a St. Louis rally,
speaking in favor of a Republican challenger
of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., May 3, 2012

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Scott Boston

Tea party activist Scott Boston, who seems to think 'kill' and 'evil monster' are acceptable terms to use in expressing political views.

To any well-brought-up, emotionally balanced, even minimally informed person, former prosecutor and state auditor Claire McCaskill has shown herself to be a moderate, borderline conservadem during her first term as a U.S. senator. But to a hateful tea party yahoo carried away with the sound of his own voice at a political rally, McCaskill is an “evil monster” who must be killed.

Is Boston another Jared Loughner in the making — a homicidal maniac working his way up to a murderous rage?

Perhaps not. After his hate speech drew media coverage and the attention of authorities, Boston claimed he was just speaking metaphorically. A newspaper story quotes him as saying, “In no way do I think the senator should be at all harmed.”

Yeah, right; “evil monster” and “kill” are just words. What harm could possibly come to a thoroughly decent woman and legislator because of a little hateful demonization? After all, isn’t that how we do politics in America: dehumanize politicians with whom we disagree; characterize political opponents as dangerous animals and call for them to be exterminated?

Maybe Boston doesn’t have a loaded gun and voices in his head urging him to use it on McCaskill. So, why should he bother himself about the possibility there might be a Lee Harvey Oswald, a Sirhan Sirhan, John Hinckley, Jr., a Sara Jane Moore, Timothy McVeigh or Jared Loughner out there whose madness could be unleashed by a stiff dose of hate speech?

Republicans have spent nearly 40 years routinely demonizing political opponents, treating them in word and deed as the enemy. Sarah Steelman, the GOP candidate Boston spoke in support of, fits the mold.

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On Tuesday, Steelman came to Boston’s defense, blaming the “liberal media” that, she says, employs a double-standard when it comes to covering political rhetoric that contain a hint of violence.

“I may disagree with the words Mr. Boston chose in his statement,” Steelman said in her own statement, “but I understand his frustration and I emphatically support his right to express his views.”

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We suppose Oswald, Sirhan et al, also had frustration issues. Try explaining that to the friends and loved ones of those injured or killed.

Just as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle go together to create an image, episodes of hate speech accumulate to create a climate in our political environment.

Looking back over a half century stained with the blood of public officials and bedewed with the tears of those who grieved their loss, we see no excuse, no First Amendment right that in the slightest way excuses Boston and others who mistake hate speech for the making of valid political points.

Great American leaders like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower knew more than they ever wanted to about killing. They won the highest office in the land talking about doing good, decent things. They criticized political opponents on the issues, but never demonized them as dangerous animals. Not one of them ever used the word “kill” in referring to an opponent in a campaign speech.

That’s something hotheads with an ugly mouth, like Boston, should learn. Washington, Lincoln and the others won the presidency. Boston has won the attention of Capitol Police and probably the FBI, and rightly so.

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Tea party bullies pick on the wrong Utah senator

“These (tea party) people are not conservatives. They’re not Republicans, They’re radical libertarians and I’m doggone offended by it.

“I despise these people, and I’m not the guy you come in and dump on without getting punched in the mouth.”

—Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during an NPR interview April 12,
quoted by Ed Kilgore of Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog

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The six-term senator knows whereof he speaks, having long been one of the Senate’s most-conservative members. Even so, Hatch has occasionally worked across the aisle to get things done — a “weakness” that has made him primary bait in the eyes of the piranhas he’s in the GOP tank with.

Sure enough, up for re-election this year, Hatch is targeted for early retirement by Astro-turf-group manufacturer and high-powered lobbyist Dick Armey (Freedom Works) and his tea party minions. So serious is the effort that $900,000 is being spent to defeat Hatch, according to Kilgore.

Hatch’s former colleague and fellow Republican Bob Bennett went down to defeat two years ago because, in the eyes of the same crackpot extremists, he had been too willing to work with Democrats. Which is to say Bennett had committed the unpardonable sin of working with Democrats at all.

But Hatch isn’t Bennett, this isn’t 2010, and the tea party scourge isn’t having much luck throwing the senior senator from Utah under the bus.

We’re not a Hatch fan. We don’t agree with his politics and resent the lying he did about health care reform. Still, we feel some grudging admiration for the way Hatch is standing up to the tea party scourge, causing them to lose face and waste a lot of money.

There’s something about seeing ignorant bullies get the worst of it that makes our day.

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Helpful election-year definitions

Oh!pinion orange logoA merican politics used to be extremely simple: choose a Democrat or a Republican, or kick back in front of the boob tube and let others decide who’s going to run the country.

Things have become a bit more complicated of late, so to help we offer these quick-and-simple definitions of political parties, groups and their philosophies.

Democrats, liberals and progressives are people who would rather take a chance on feeding one undeserving person a free meal than see 99 poor people go hungry.

Conservative Republicans are people who would rather see 99,999 poor people go hungry than feed them a free meal and risk having all 99,999 of them become hopelessly dependent on government handouts for the rest of their lives. That’s on top of Republicans’ deepseated dread of having one undeserving person get a free meal.

Libertarians believe everyone has an unalienable right to starve. More importantly, libertarians believe everyone has an unalienable right to not be bothered in any way because other people are starving.

Tea partyers are working on legislation to promote mass starvation among Democrats, government workers, Occupy protesters, people of color, Hispanics, Muslims, immigrants, union members, the old, the young, the poor, gays, lesbians, the handicapped and anyone else who thinks government programs are necessary and is likely to vote for Democrats.

As you can see, American politics isn’t that complicated after all.

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