Editorial: Rep. Joe Walsh trash talks a war hero
Some politicians embellish their war records. Former Sen. Joseph McCarthy, for example, created a fictional heroic “Tail-gunner Joe” persona for himself.
Others don’t talk much about their experiences in arms once they’ve taken off the uniform.
But that hardly means a politician’s war record is a minor matter. Voters rightly give it serious weight.
Apparently U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) doesn’t get that. He complains that Tammy Duckworth, his opponent in the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District, talks too much about her military service.
“True heroes,” Walsh said, don’t do that.
We’re not sure where Walsh gets that notion. True, there are some pitiable professional veterans out there — we’ve all seen them and wished they’d move on. But we’ve never met a politician with a war record who tried to hide it.
Sen. John McCain, Walsh’s example of a true military hero who never talks it up, wrote a whole book about being a POW in Vietnam — and good for him. Congress needs more members who understand the horrible price of war.
Duckworth, who grew up in a military family and spent 20 years in the Army, would have a tough time talking about any part of her background that didn’t involve the military. And yet when we have talked with her, and in her endless press releases, she has focused on all sorts of other important issues.
Joe Walsh has an easy way of trashing people. It’s a bad habit.
We much prefer the words of another congressman who recently said that military service “demands our utmost respect.”
No, wait. That was Walsh, too.
On a day when he had his thinking cap on.