Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Who gets to boast about military achievement? Not a Dem, says Walsh

WALSH: Duckworth wannabe?
It has become so predicable a political strategy that I can’t say I’m surprised to learn that Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., has a problem with his Democratic challenger, Tammy Duckworth, making extensive use of the fact that she served in the U.S. military.

For it seems that Republican officials believe that anybody who truly is of a military mindset is going to align themselves with the Grand Old Party.

ANYBODY WHO SERVED in a branch of the armed forces who goes on to support somebody of the Democratic Party persuasion? Eh, they were probably a subversive who should get a dishonorable discharge retroactively!

The ideologues who want to engage in military worship and believe that anybody who never served is unworthy of being taken seriously get all confused when it comes to someone like Duckworth – who has worked for federal and Illinois state veterans affairs departments.

That, of course, is in addition to her actual record in the military. She served in combat. And as we all have learned throughout the years, she was a helicopter pilot who got shot down and lost her legs.

Yet has managed to get her life back together and not be defined by her physical disability. Personally, I’m not sure I could accomplish as much if I were to lose body parts.

IT PROBABLY IS the ultimate sign of her personal character that ought to convince us that she is somebody worthy of holding elective office – which is why she’s making a second bid at running for Congress from Illinois (she lost that bid back to 2006).

And when one considers that Walsh, by comparison, is the guy who had financial problems and has an ex-wife whom he was less-than-respectful towards and owed significant child support to, it seems that he comes out ‘third’ in a two-person campaign.

DUCKWORTH: Infuriating ideologues?
So I’m not shocked to learn that during a campaign appearance Sunday in Elk Grove Village, he went out of his way to mock Duckworth’s military service and her life story.

After all, the GOP partisans whom Walsh is counting on to return him to Congress this year and not let him become a 2010Tea Party equivalent of Michael P. Flanagan (a ’94 Contract ‘on’ America one-termer who only got elected because of a partisan electoral fluke) themselves want to think that Duckworth isn’t a REAL veteran.

IF SHE WERE, she’d be aligned with them politically, instead of siding with the Democratic Party.

So to learn that Walsh actually said, “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.”

It’s so predictable. It’s so pandering to the ideologues. And it’s probably the ultimate evidence that there just isn’t much substance to Walsh.

In fact, I probably should (and do) apologize to Flanagan for implying a few paragraphs ago that he is in any way comparable to Walsh.

YES, I RECEIVED an e-mail message from the Duckworth campaign letting me know about this personal slight on Walsh’s part.

She apparently envisions having the veterans of the world (or at least those of the newly-constructed Illinois Eighth Congressional district) know of Walsh’s pandering and cynicism.

It’s your call if you think the Duckworth campaign is worthy of the financial contribution that was being sought in that e-mail. I would never tell anyone whom they should give their money to. Then again, I don’t believe that writing out a check to a political campaign is an act of “speech” – even though the Supreme Court of the United States does.

I’m also not the type of person who believes that one’s military record automatically qualifies (or disqualifies) them for anything.

BUT THE FACT that Walsh seems so eager to engage in such rants makes me wonder if his real problem is a sense of jealousy – that maybe he himself wouldn’t have been fit for military service, but still expects those veterans to automatically align themselves behind him.

All because of that “R” he carries after his name!


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