Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The New York Times Takes a Swing at Joe Walsh (UPDATED)

I guess when The Grey Lady, that bastion of liberal ideology thinly disguised as journalism, takes a swing at you, you ought to regard that as a badge of honor. Especially if you are just a freshman Congressman from Illinois. Whatever you're doing must be really worrying the liberal elite.

Hopefully that's the way Congressman Joe Walsh is taking it, since the New York Times published a nice hit piece on Walsh yesterday.

The NYT goes through Walsh's various troubles with his divorce and other tidbits (have you heard his driver's license was suspended? Twice? Horrors!) to set up the real question so that us parochial voters here in Illinois can hopefully understand it -- don't you people see what kind of a hypocritical, loose-cannon you losers out in the cornfields have elected?

The thing about Joe, though, is that he cares little for what anyone thinks about him, especially an outfit like the NYT, except that he does care for the people who elected him. A lot. And Joe doesn't back down from such criticism, either:

Mr. Walsh, a self-employed consultant whose income fluctuated in the years leading up to his election, shrugs off his financial history, calling it part of why voters related to him during last year’s campaign. “I talked openly about every aspect of my life,” he said. “The fact that I lost a home a few years ago, the fact that I struggled financially. I told people, ‘If you want a building full of millionaires who all have perfect credit scores, then Joe Walsh is not your guy.’ ”

Nor, he contends, do his financial troubles matter much to the job he was sent to do. “I didn’t go to Washington to manage anybody’s money,” he said. “What I want to do is limit what they take from you, so you can manage your money.”

As one of the most visible members of the Tea Party on the national scene, one can understand why the NYT would want to paint Joe in the most unflattering light possible -- take a look at the snapshot they ran on their Internet version of the story -- and implies that, don't worry, his election must have been some kind of fluke, and we're in little danger of being saddled with this bozo a second time around.

What the story doesn't mention, though, is that Walsh had almost a half-million dollars in cash-on-hand in his campaign account, no credible Dem opponent as of yet (yes, we know he has a primary to get past first), and a core group of solid (dare I say rabid) supporters. NYT notwithstanding, anyone who sneers and writes off Joe Walsh at this point would be making a big mistake.

UPDATED: The Daily Herald Blog noted the NYT article too, but they were more interested in what insight could be gleaned into the presumed matchup between Walsh and Randy Hultgren.

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