A debt is what you owe, and renouncing it doesn’t make it go away:
Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.
“I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.
Walsh starts the video by saying, “President Obama, quit lying. Have you no shame, sir? In three short years, you’ve bankrupted this country.”
Walsh admits he is not wealthy. Some of his financial problems — including losing his Evanston condo to foreclosure — were documented before his out-of-nowhere victory last fall in the 8th Congressional District in Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs. But court documents examined this week by the Chicago Sun-Times during research for a profile on the increasingly visible congressman showed his financial issues also included a nine-year child support battle with his ex-wife.
Before getting elected, he had told Laura Walsh that because he was out of work or between jobs, he could not make child support payments. So she was surprised to read in his congressional campaign disclosures that he was earning enough money to loan his campaign $35,000.
“Joe personally loaned his campaign $35,000, which, given that he failed to make any child support payments to Laura because he ‘had no money’ is surprising,” Laura Walsh’s attorneys wrote in a motion filed in December seeking $117,437 in back child support and interest. “Joe has paid himself back at least $14,200 for the loans he gave himself.”
Walsh’s attorneys responded in court filings: “Respondent admits that funds were loaned to his campaign fund. . . . Respondent admits that the campaign fund has repaid certain loans.”
I don’t watch cable news/opinion anymore, so I missed Walsh’s performance. His approach is trickling down to the local level, though. As a leader of the Tea Party, his words must have weight. My husband attended one of those small town “business” forums yesterday, and a Republican county commissioner opened the event with a joke comparing Obama to Pinocchio. So much for the mythical Chamber of Commerce Republicans that exist only in the imagination of national pundits. My husband said the joke fell flat. Most people were confused rather than amused. Of course, the people in that room probably didn’t watch the “viral video” of the Tea Party star, so they may have wondered why a county commissioner opened a non-partisan community event by calling the President a liar.
Real life is different than cable tv or reality shows.
Maybe after today, when the Tea Party members get their asses in line, follow orders, and vote to pass Boehner’s bill we can all stop pretending they are a separate and distinct political movement and instead call them what they are: the very worst of the Republican Party. The dregs. The Tea Party is what’s left after the folks who had any interest in responsible governance, public service or rational thought left the Republican Party.