Poor Joe Walsh.
The “former congressman and syndicated radio guy Joe Walsh,” as he kept referring to himself in the third person, again and again, on The Joe Walsh Show even as he insisted, “I don’t like to talk about me much,” has been enduring the sufferings of Job—or so he indicated during a crazed and pitiable two-hour rant Friday afternoon.
Walsh didn’t sleep a wink, he complained—never mind that MyPillow is his most ubiquitous sponsor (an annoying commercial featuring the right-wing talk jock snoring was played over and over and over)—and he had to prop a shotgun by his bed, he confided, because of all the death threats he was receiving.
Like his rhetorical soulmate, the late Wisconsin senator Joseph R. McCarthy—who could never settle on the precise number of Commies toiling in the State Department—the one-term Tea Party Republican from suburban Chicago could never decide just how many enemies were praying for his termination with extreme prejudice.
It was either “a thousand,” as he estimated at one point during the broadcast, or “seventeen thousand,” as he assured listeners at another point, or, as he claimed at yet another point, “Millions and millions of Americans around the country… all night and all day today… have wished me nothing but death!”
Why the sea of troubles?
Shockingly enough, the 54-year-old failed actor and former social worker had posted something really despicable on Twitter as police officers were being gunned down in Dallas after a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, and his 67,000-plus followers, and many more besides, had the unmitigated gall to read and comprehend each and every word:
“This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”
For reasons that seemed utterly lost on Walsh, many people took his incendiary tweet as an incitement to violence against the president of the United States.
Twitter officials promptly disabled his account, Walsh whined, and informed him that if he wanted to be reinstated, he’d have to delete the threat. This Walsh obediently did, but that didn’t stop him from lying awake—“scared,” he said—and awaiting a knock at his door from the Secret Service or FBI.
“I sent one tweet out that put Joe Walsh on the map today,” he boasted, noting that he was booked Friday night on CNN and Fox News as a result.
“About an hour after I sent that tweet out, Twitter shut me down. And Twitter said they shut me down because I threatened violence against the president of the United States and threatened violence against members of Black Lives Matter. To get back up on Twitter that tweet has to be removed. So it was removed. That tweet was taken down.”
Then—uncharacteristically, as it would have seemed to anyone who recalls Walsh’s brief career as a loose-lipped, loudmouthed, right-wing firebrand in the House of Representatives—he added: “I’d like to apologize for this tweet… For all of you, friend or foe, who were offended by that tweet, I absolutely understand and I absolutely apologize.”
That sounded sincere enough—whatever skills he’d acquired studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute back in the 1980s had not entirely deserted him. But was he really sorry?
“Let me be clear. I stand by that tweet,” he declared moments later, in a head-spinning, whiplash-inducing flight of fancy. “I don’t regret that tweet.”
And then—in his best “sky-is-red,” “up-is-down” manner—Walsh explained that his tweet didn’t really say what people thought it said; instead he was simply suggesting that patriotic supporters of law enforcement officers should “stand up for the cops” and make their feelings known in their own protest marches.
“This former congressman, now syndicated radio guy, would never ever think or wish or encourage violence against the president of the United States or anyone,” Walsh argued. “Because that’s not what I meant. For anybody to think that this former congressman and syndicated radio guy would do something as stupid, political-career-wise, to encourage violence… that’s just crazy stuff! I’m not stupid!… It’s not just stupid, it’s wrong, it’s reprehensible… That’s not at all what I meant—not even close.”
Or, as Humpty Dumpy famously scolded Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, “When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
Indeed, Walsh’s whole show—in which he repeatedly apologized he was too exhausted to raise his voice per usual, but ended up shouting and screeching anyway—had an aspect of Bizarro World unreality.
He predicted that the Left and its handmaidens in the mainstream media will sooner or later “try to blame Trump, try to blame Christians, try to blame angry white Americans, try to blame Joe Walsh” for the carnage in Dallas.
“There are bad cops,” he acknowledged. “There are bad plumbers. There are bad Republicans. There are bad Democrats. There are bad ministers. There are bad rabbis. There are bad news anchors.
“Do you get my drift? Do you see where I’m going?”