Joe Walsh (the “Tea Party” Republican Congressman from Illinois) held an event with his constituents which he called “A Cup of Joe with Joe.” The event was staged at a café and was intended to show Walsh having a cup of coffee with constituents.
Seeing the video of Mr. Walsh’s event leads inescapably to the conclusion that Mr. Walsh should avoid coffee altogether, or at the very least drink decaf. Mr. Walsh was evidently asked a question by a constituent. What followed was one of the most amazing meltdowns ever recorded on video. Walsh completely lost his composure, immediately shouting that he didn’t want to hear “that crap” while walking up to the woman who had asked the question and jabbing his finger at her face. He continued to rant, shouting that the banks were utterly blameless and that the entire problem was the fault of the government.
“Do you want more government regulation?” Walsh screamed, shaking his finger in her face. The woman remained courteous throughout Walsh’s diatribe. Immediately after this temper tantrum, Walsh tried to prevent another constituent from stating his opinion by pointing at him and saying “You stop talking or I will ask you to leave.”
This is without any doubt the most shocking conduct by a public official towards voters that I have ever seen. This video must be seen to be believed.
Walsh’s office issued a statement, purportedly from Walsh, claiming that he had been speaking on an “empty stomach” (He was at a café, so whose fault was that?) and therefore he had a “shorter fuse” than he normally did. Perhaps he had also missed his nap time and his staff may have forgotten to bring his pacifier and his favorite rattle, but that hardly excuses a performance such as was recorded on this video.
I had previously witnessed appearances by Mr. Walsh on public affairs programs, and was aware that Walsh is delusional. For example, his temper tantrum about how Wall Street bears no responsibility for the financial crash was not the first time he had said these things.
He had made similar statements on national television in spite of the existence of documentation proving as indisputable fact that Wall Street firms bundled mortgages that they knew to be worthless (documents and e-mails were disclosed during congressional hearings in which these firms describe these “bundles” in terms that are unprintable in this newspaper) into financial instruments which were then sold as Grade AAA investments. These firms subsequently took “short” positions on these investments. In other words, these firms bet their own money that the price of these investments (which they had just sold to their customers) would fall.
Being delusional is one of the characteristics Walsh has in common with the other “Tea Party” members of Congress. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but that facts can be determined objectively and are therefore knowable.
The “Tea Party” members of Congress refuse to accept any facts that don’t fit in with their view of the world. Also, they fabricate things that are not only untrue but often the exact opposite of the truth and present these delusions as fact.
Michelle Bachman has become nationally famous for her delusions but other “Tea Party” members are also delusional, though to a lesser degree.
After watching this video I am convinced that Walsh’s tendencies may well be the least of his problems. I had watched Walsh behave rudely before on television, in interrupting others, talking over others, and generally attempting to prevent others from being heard, but this performance goes way beyond anything he did on television.
It occurs to me that perhaps Walsh was on his best behavior when I saw him on television and this video might be more typical of his conduct when he is back home in his district. If that is the case, then I can’t imagine he will be re-elected.
Paul Schwietering is a resident of Union Township.