Tea Party Republican Joe Walsh has never served in the military and therefore can’t talk about personal military experience. And he sure seems to be doing his best to keep his Democratic opponent Tammy Duckworth from doing it either. But Ms. Duckworth has plenty to talk about this regard – she is an Army Lieutenant Colonel who, as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, lost both her legs during combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
On Wednesday, while on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Rep. Walsh blasted Ms. Duckworth, saying, “All she does, guys, is talk about her service.” Last Sunday during a campaign speech, Rep. Walsh also put Ms. Duckworth down, saying, “Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about.” For Walsh, such a hero is Senator John McCain who Walsh claims avoids talking about his service and ordeals as a former prisoner of war in Vietnam. MSNBC blogger Steve Benen, however, presents evidence to the contrary and that McCain did tout his service during his 2008 bid for the presidency.
Joe Walsh also seems to harp quite frequently on the fact that his opponent happens to be a woman, saying, “Now I’m running against a woman who, I mean–my God–that’s all she talks about,” and “What else has she done?..Female, wounded veteran … ehhh.” Would Mr. Walsh be trying to silence an opponent who had the same background and disabilities as Ms. Duckworth, but was a male instead? In that scenario, would Mr. Walsh focus more on meritorious issues and perhaps on his own qualifications? Or it could be that in reality, Mr. Walsh is manufacturing a smokescreen to hide his own lack of leadership and qualifications as compared with Ms. Duckworth.