In an interview this week with Slate’s Dave Weigel, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) confirmed his reputation as a lightning rod for controversy and for being, as Weigel puts it, “the biggest media hound in the freshman class.” In the past week, Walsh has made a number of outrageous statements, most infamously his admonishment that American Jews “aren’t as pro-Israel as they should be.”
But even that seems to pale in comparison to what Walsh tells Weigel — that Barack Obama would not have been elected president if he wasn’t black. Walsh dismisses Obama’s meteoric rise as essentially a form of affirmative action and a manifestation of “white guilt” in which the media was complicit:
“Why was he elected? Again, it comes back to who he was. He was black, he was historic. And there’s nothing racist about this. It is what it is. If he had been a dynamic, white, state senator elected to Congress he wouldn’t have gotten in the game this fast. This is what made him different. That, combined with the fact that your profession”—another friendly tap of the bumper sticker—”not you, but your profession, was just absolutely compliant. They made up their minds early that they were in love with him. They were in love with him because they thought he was a good liberal guy and they were in love with him because he pushed that magical button: a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that.”
Weigel notes that in the six months since he took office, Walsh has made more TV appearances than any other freshman in the House. He’s become a favorite of cable bookers, who can count on him as “a handsome freshman who will say anything.” This latest outburst certainly won’t do anything to dispel that perception.