Archive - Nov 14, 2011

Occupy Walsh Treat

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But that's about to change. Joe Walsh, a Republican congressman from Illinois, has been the beneficiary of the shockingly high background stupidity levels caused by the 2012 GOP presidential competition. Without that noise blocking out Walsh's signal, I'd have spent at least a couple of columns on his various foibles and stupidities.

For example, Walsh spent most of the early fall as the awesome nexus of family values, the sanctity of marriage, and fiscal responsibility when his ex-wife accused him of being behind in child support payments. To the tune of $100,000. Oops [(c)(TM)2011 Rick Perry Enterprises].

Hell, if Herman Cain hadn't been hogging all the slots for months, Walsh's claim that "They [the media] are so vested in our first black president not being a failure that it’s going to be amazing to watch the lengths they go to protect him." would have guaranteed him at least a mention in Idiots Say The Damndest Thing. But to make yourself heard in this environment, you're going to have to yell louder. Wait, what's that?

"Don’t blame banks, and don’t blame the marketplace for the mess we’re in right now! I am tired of hearing that crap! This pisses me off! Too many people don’t listen... Quiet for a minute or I’m going to ask you to leave. You need to listen, or I’m going to ask you to leave. - Rep. Joe Walsh, to a constituent, as an, I shit you not, "Cup of Joe with Joe" event, at the UNO Bar and Grill, in a northern suburb of Chicago.

What did the poor dude do to be on the receiving end of Walsh's tirade? Well, he suggested that the financial sector had too much power and influence in government, allowing the kind of unregulated misbehavior that blew up the economy. Walsh... disagreed.

See, Walsh is, like all teabagger Republicans, subscribes to the view that the banks were blameless, and were forced by the government to give loans to untrustworthy minorities, which the minorities, being lazy and untrustworthy, could never pay back.

Never mind that the government just said that banks couldn't discriminate against people based on race or neighborhood. The government didn't invent adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only payments, balloon payments, or mortgage-backed derivatives. The government didn't demand that mortgage brokers process loans without even seeing a single pay stub. Never mind that the trillions of dollars in wealth that vanished vanished from the banks that sold each other the mortgages, sold each other bets based on the value of the mortgages, and sold each other bets on those bets. No, in Walsh's mind, it's poor people's fault for wanting homes, and the government's fault for telling them to want them. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Yeah, they move from Goldman Sachs to the White House, I understand all of that. But you gotta be consistent. And it’s not the private marketplace that created this mess. What created mess was your government, which has demanded for years that everybody be in a home. And we’ve made it easy as possible for people to be in homes."

It was the banks who made it easy, asshole. Because there was a short-term buck in it, and because they could pass off the risk to someone else before the chickens came home to roost. Everyone still got their commissions and their bonuses, and as long as the music didn't stop, nobody would actually bother to count how many chairs there really were. But even with all this, why lose your shit over it? Why get caught on tape losing your shit over it, at your own fucking event? Let's ask Walsh.

"I am very passionate at these events as well as at my town halls. This was no different except I was working on an empty stomach and had a quicker fuse than normal."

I think we've all been hungry like Joe Walsh was. Not, you know, "choose between food or keeping your house for one more month because your mortgage payment jumped four hundred bucks" hungry, but a bit peckish. Too busy to grab a quick bite from the restaurant where you're meeting your constituents. You know how it is. Plus, when you're going to be screaming in spittle-flecked rage at your voters, it's best if that spittle doesn't have bits of pancakes and bacon in it.

But here's the thing. Not having breakfast never turned Bruce Banner into The Hulk. So if this is what Joe Walsh looks like on a shortened fuse, how fucking long can his normal fuse be? How close is this guy to snapping? As a data point, here's how Walsh reacted to his opponent taking a survey that included a question about Walsh's child support problems.

"If he raises his voice and calls into question who I am as a father, I’ll punch him in the face, figuratively speaking." - Walsh, to the Chicago Daily Herald.

Oh, figuratively. OK. That's good. Wait. How do you punch someone in the face, FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING? "I'm going to punch you in the face" is not a figure of speech, it's just... speech. It's almost as if Walsh threatened his opponent, realized what words were coming out of his mouth, then added a tag to it to pretend he didn't mean it, even though language doesn't really work that way.

I hope Joe Walsh can find his center and calm down for a bit, because it's going to be a pain in the ass to take a break from Herman Cain and new Republican up-and-comer Newt! Fucking! Gingrich! No! Really! to cover Walsh's eventual arrest on assault charges.