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Walsh then and now on gay rights

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012

* From a Chicago Tribune profile of Joe Walsh this week

Walsh is also against gay marriage, saying it is a religious as well as a “socioeconomic issue.” Walsh argues that “male-female, two-parent households” produce children who do better in school, stay away from drugs and are less likely to be in poverty.

* But Walsh used to be solidly for gay rights. Check out this 1996 story from the Windy City Times when he ran against longtime Congressman Sid Yates. Click for a better view

* Now for the closeup…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    1996 Walsh is a lot like 1994 Romney.

    Cynical politicians + gullible voters = victory.

  2. - Shore - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    in the future if you are going to send rich opposition research leave the names off the top. I don’t know how this helps duckworth if her goal is to brand him as a “tea party extremist”.

  3. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:38 am:

    I’ll agree with him on one thing- “…two parent households” do better in school. Am in no position to comment on whether or not the sex of the parents is relevant, but doubt it.

  4. - Disconnect - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    Are there any pictures of Walsh actually “pressing some gay flesh”?

  5. - Angry Chicagoan - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    A huckster and a charlatan. That’s Walsh.

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Shore, that was actually sent to me by a prominent Republican in the district.

  7. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    So soundly DeadbeatJoe jumps into first place for nation’s whackiest congressional candidate…Rapid Rodney Davis had been in the lead for losing the SJR endorsement with PizzaBobbyShilling close behind.
    PizzaBobby is always a contender for being a guy who claims income of a few K but is able to flip houses right and left
    Daddy’s Little Deduction — Jason ROmney Plummer was a front runner, but his expectd defeat knocks hime down a peg
    Fire, Aim,Ready!

  8. - Oh, please... - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    This is what makes the public so cynical about people holding political office…I can’t imagine operating like. And few of the elected officials I have interacted with would. Issue aside, he should not be elected on this basis.

  9. - Liandro - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    From what I understand, Walsh used to be a lot more libertarian (and a lot less Catholic) when he was younger. He’s been pretty open about his growth and its affects on his views.

    Everything written above you could have heard at any given town hall, which is exactly where I heard it. He got some frank questions , and he gave some frank answers (this was in Sandwich, IL, when he was running against Hultgren). Love him or hate him, he is frank and honest, and puts it all out there at the tons of town halls he puts up.

  10. - OldSmoky2 - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    It should be obvious by now that the community Walsh really wants “to reach out to” is any community that will give him the support to live the huckster lifestyle to which he’s become accustomed. Not long after losing this election watch for him to get a gig on talk radio or Faux News. Or maybe as a televangelist. Or selling patent medicine out of a wagon.

  11. - Northsider - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 11:56 am:

    Another Republican windsock. What a shock.

    Cynical politicians? Sure. But voters allow them to get away with it. Until voters — and the news media — step up and pay attention to what candidates say, and call them out when they flip-flop or try to hide what they’ve previously said, cynical politicians will continue their ways.

    In this case, 8th Congressional District voters, Joe Walsh has been exposed time and time again for what he is. What are you going to do about it?

  12. - RNUG - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    So what makes Walsh all that much different from the rest of the politicans? When they’re not outright lying, they are shading the truth … and I’ll say that about even the ones I know personally and like.

    Guess if I was a voter in his district, since Walsh has been on both ends of this issue, I wouldn’t be all that worried about him seriously pushing either end of this issue …

  13. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    It is possible his views changed over the years. In this case though, my BS radar is beeping pretty loud.

  14. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:03 pm:

    Wait …here is something for PizzaBobby to grab…he will fly past the Deadbeat and LaundryBoy Rodney presto…
    From INDY
    “Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday night that pregnancy caused by rape can be “something God intended to happen.”
    “I struggled with it myself a long time but I came to realize that life is a gift from God, that I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said during a debate with Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

    Mourdock, Indiana’s state treasurer and a Tea Party favorite, made the comments after saying that he believes abortion should not be allowed, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.

    The comments could hurt Mourdock, who has failed to pull ahead of Donnelly in the polls, despite Indiana’s heavily Republican makeup. Much of that is because moderate Republicans who backed Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) remain undecided. Mourdock beat Lugar in the primary.

  15. - Liandro - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:09 pm:

    @Oh, please…

    And comments like yours are what make me cynical about ever having honest leaders who will admit mistakes, adjust policy as their knowledge and experience grows, and give frank discussions about any changes that occur. When I was younger, I very much supported the Iraq War and neoconservative foreign policy in general. Then I went there, and also did quite a bit of reading and studying. I slowly adjusted my positions to account for the growth in knowledge and experience.

    If you don’t want leaders who will do the same, you are damning our nation to poll-tested fools who will govern only according to their voter base, and rarely according to their conscience. I expect something different: leaders who will do what is best as they see it, and be very frank and honest about it both during campaigns and while in actual office.

    Love or hate Joe Walsh, but he didn’t conform his policy positions or convictions to conform to the supposed tilt of his new district (or the last one, for that matter). He stated, frankly, that he was going to Washington as a tea party candidate, and he got there and voted with tea party principles. In my book, that’s doing what you said you were doing. Maybe Quinn should take some lessons.

  16. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:15 pm:

    Walsh is evolving…

    If he loses his seat, perhaps he’ll evolve back to his original position.

  17. - ZC - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    There’s post-Tea Party Joe, and there’s pre-Tea Party Joe.

    Pre-Tea Party Joe not only supported gay rights, strongly, but was also solidly pro-gun control (he attempted to position himself to the left of Democrat Jeff Schoenberg on this issue, when he ran for IL State Senate), and he was pro-choice.

    Public servants are entitled to change their mind. Heck, for my money it’s not the worst crime if a politician flips to represent a new district; you could lay a case out that Dick Durbin underwent a similar move earlier in his career concerning abortion as well. However, Walsh has undergone -such- a flip-flop, in a relatively short span of time, that it strains credibility to believe that this -wasn’t- a political calculation of that style.

    Unless he suffered a severe blow to the head or something, I don’t understand the shift. Come to think of it, though, that story might explain a lot.

    The one thing I admit strains my thesis is his continuing unwavering opposition to abortion, even in the face of a new district where it hurts him. But maybe he realizes he’s staked his future to the Tea Party flag and he just has to fly with it wherever it leads now, he can’t flip back even if he’d like to.

  18. - charles in charge - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:22 pm:

    It amuses me to hear Walsh’s retrograde movement on gay rights described as evidence of his “growth.”

  19. - Michael Westen - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    Walsh was solidly pro-choice back then, too.

  20. - amalia - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    Mitt Walsh.

  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    –Walsh is evolving…–

    That’s a theory. But I’d say Walsh is a powerful argument against evolution.

  22. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    Joe Walsh is The Music Man candidate, a huckster who morphs into whatever he thinks the voters want to hear at any given time - much like Mitt but I digress.

    Amazing the number of rubes who fall for it.

  23. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    BTW, any word on what top Walsh backer Jack Roeser thinks about wheeling around Boys Town on bikes pressing the gay flesh? That would be a hoot.

  24. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    Walsh was also pro-gun control back then.

  25. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    For Walsh to be evolving, he’d have to be getting better, not worse. That’s called devolution.

  26. - Liandro - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    Amazing the number of rubes who fell for Quinn. Even if Walsh is as slippery as so many here have convinced themselves he is, the simple truth is he voted exactly as he campaigned in the preceding election. Do you disagree?

    As far as I’m concerned, politicians can convert to new policy positions, as long as they vote as they campaigned. It’s the Quinn’s of the world who promise everything and, quite cynically, change as soon as the campaign is over that burn me.

    The bottom line is there are far too many here invested in hating Walsh, and it is blinding you. He’s far from a perfect man, but he voted like he said he would, and that is far more than most of the pol’s that we’re gonna punch the ballot for this election are going to do.

  27. - Oh please... - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    @Liandro: Frank and honest? Seriously? There is no spinnig this one, sorry. That is not “evolving” on an issue, that is being a political opportunist…evolving is learning about an issue, researching a topic and coming to realize your view may not be consistent with the facts and what you’ve learned. It is not doing a complete about-face on a civil rights issue to appeal to the tea party types who would not be supportive of such a stance on LGBT issues. When he made those very strong statements in support of gay rights, he was an adult who was, I might add, talking on the record while running for office. Note this wes pre-tea party. He seems to be molding his political persona to fit a certain audience…not what I want to see in my elected representatives. If you can’t be honest about who you are and what your core beliefs are, that’a a major red flag.

  28. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 1:08 pm:

    One can be extremist and an opportunist. George Wallace comes to mind.

    It seems pretty obvious that Joe Walsh is setting himself up for a gig on cable TV or AM radio.

    Walsh deserves credit for sucking the Oxygen out of the other races. The Duckworth campaign is sucking up money and volunteers.

    He’s done more for Judy Biggert and Bob Dold than anyone else. Walsh deserves a nice gig after losing.

  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 1:11 pm:

    –Amazing the number of rubes who fell for Quinn.–

    Given Quinn’s chronically anemic approval ratings, I don’t think many voters (or “rubes,” as you call them) “fell” for Quinn.

    But 46.6% of them couldn’t pull the trigger for the other guy. The Brady Bunch campaign of demonizing 40% of the state’s citizens because of their residency in Cook County may not have been the smartest strategy ever devised.

  30. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    - Walsh used to be a lot more libertarian -

    Yeah, because the Employment Non-Discrimination Act gets huge support from Libertarians. Nice try.

    As for Quinn, at least he is trying to tackle the major problems our state is facing rather than jumping in line to vote 39 times to repeal Obamacare. You’re right, Walsh did exactly what he campaigned on, voting against Obama rather than trying to accomplish anything.

  31. - Because I said so... - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 1:36 pm:

    Not surprising from a guy who clearly plays for the camera’s.

  32. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    ==The bottom line is there are far too many here invested in hating Walsh, and it is blinding you.==

    Grow up. Walsh is a rube who is so far to the right that it’s laughable that you would defend the man. I have zero tolerance for people like walsh and their holier-than-thou stances on social issues. He is, plain and simple, just like any other politician. And he’s also a bigot and gay hater.

  33. - Liandro - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 1:50 pm:


    “Rubes” was a tongue-in-cheek reference to @just ‘ayin’s attack on Walsh voters. I don’t think “rube is really in my personal lexicon. As for your judgement of Brady’s strategy…I got nothing. Completely true.

    @Oh Please,

    In all your glorious indignation, you never answered my question: he voted exactly as he said he would in the preceding election, no? He was blazingly honest about what he was going to do, and he did exactly that. You think I’m trying to spin something? There’s nothing to spin: he voted as he campaigned. If you think that’s not honest, there’s not really anything I can say to you. If he had changed his policies this election, you might have a case. He didn’t, you don’t. If Wensicia is right, and he changes BACK after a loss, you won’t find me defending him.


    He was pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, etc. I used a small “l”, not a big “L”, and you the difference, so throw that “nice try” back on yourself. As for Quinn, he blatantly lied through his teeth during that whole election, and didn’t even wait for the new Legislature to get sworn in before breaking promises. But that’s alright to do as long as the candidate is “trying to tackle the major problems” in a way a small town liberal likes, I guess? End justifies the means when it’s your side that wins?

  34. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 2:27 pm:

    Walsh: What do I have to say to get elected?

  35. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    Liandro - I actually don’t have a clue what L vs. l means, but the point is that with Walsh there are no values, just whatever he thinks will get him the most votes at any given time. Or more cynically these days, what might get him a spot on Fox when he’s out of office.

    I’m pretty comfortable with my support of Quinn, I don’t always agree with his decisions but at least he’s not sticking his head in the sand. His opponent said he’d balance the budget with cuts alone, unless magic is real that counts as a lie to me. There happens to be a separation of powers in government, so often times Governors don’t get everything just the way they want it.

  36. - titan - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 4:02 pm:

    Wow, someone who was fairly liberal/libertarian when young, and got conservative with age?
    Has that ever happened before?

  37. - Dan - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 4:06 pm:

    Hahhaha hes just the congressional version of Mitt! BTW where is Oswego Willy??!

  38. - MrJM - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 4:12 pm:

    Joe Walsh obviously stopped supporting gay rights after teh gays undermined his traditional marriage.

    Occam’s Razor, people.

    – MrJM

  39. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 4:20 pm:

    I’m with Liandro on this. Walsh holds a lot of town halls, and he doesn’t seem to edit what he says for the audience in front of him. (e.g. Romney who will shift daily)

    I appreciate hearing what he’s thinking. I really don’t care that much about his tone. My problem is that Walsh is demonstrably wrong on many of the facts he claims, and on almost every solution he offers.

    It makes for an easy choice.

  40. - mokenavince - Wednesday, Oct 24, 12 @ 4:20 pm:

    To bad Mitt didn’t pick him as his Veep,they are a couple made in heaven.

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