Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh is (because why not?) running for President.
Polite society must tiptoe around the language because Joe Walsh is difficult to categorize. I guess he has right wing bona fides on policy but slotting him among the right or the left doesn’t really fit. Before the Civil War, politicians like Walsh were called “fire eaters,” and you knew them by their trail of bombast. While I’m sure that he knows exactly why one needs a balanced governmental budget, that never seemed to be the subjects that set Joe Walsh ablaze.
Simply, Joe Walsh is an asshole. That’s the most simple, honest, and direct way to identify him. His asshole-ery is a thing to behold, and it has always served the same purpose. Joe Walsh is an asshole so he can appear on television. Like many of the other TEA party types, Walsh figured out the asshole ratio which is if you are not appearing enough to your liking, simply be more of an asshole. This is how we had an allegedly drunken Congressman screaming out “you lie” in the middle of Obama’s State of the Union address.
This isn’t unusual. Conservatism that celebrates the asshole. Classical liberalism itself is a political ideology that bases government on telling its citizens what they cannot have. If you have empathy, that’s a tough ideology to rally around, especially if you’ve felt just how cold our society can be. Joe Walsh solves that problem because he’s a bigger asshole than you. He is an asshole so that you don’t have to be. It’s his curse.
So what does one do with these characters in our current politics? Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Before we scamper into the Scaramucci corner, we should pause. That’s how Republicans ended up with the Chosen One. Anyone but Hilary. We should ask ourselves is we should trample where angels fear to tread.
Joe Walsh cannot help Democrats reclaim the federal government, but he can do tremendous damage to the Chosen One. Walsh needs to make enough noise that he actually draws attention from he who has been chosen. So far the President is simply ignoring his Republican primary challengers, a skill we did not know he had. Joe Walsh is an agent of chaos, one that hopefully can take some major punches before Chosen gets into the general.
Just because we are rooting for Walsh does not mean we support him. If he wants to bruise the Chosen One, have at it.