Erick Erickson is not impressed by the announcement last week:
In 2016, while many conservatives were being attacked by Republicans for not supporting Trump and then by Democrats for not supporting Clinton, one of President’s increasingly vocal defenders was Joe Walsh. In 2016, as many people, myself included, said that character mattered and it was not worth wrecking the GOP or the conservative movement to back Donald Trump, Joe Walsh was more than happy to push back for the President.
The birther conspiracist who openly suggested Barack Obama was really a Kenyan, defended Donald Trump to the end and became more and more vocal as the election approached.
Once Trump became President and started delivering conservative policies, suddenly Walsh was concerned about the President.
It’s almost as if Walsh figured he could be a dyed in the wool Trump humper in 2016 presuming Trump would never get elected so that Walsh could benefit in his talk radio career as a Trump defender without the consequence of a Trump presidency.
Trump, as President, has moved the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, filled the courts with great conservatives, undertaken a historic regulatory rollback, scrapped the Iran deal, rolled back US commitments in the world, and worked to tighten the U.S. border with Mexico.
Now, suddenly, Walsh has a problem with the President?
The problem Walsh has now is a character problem? The President’s character hasn’t changed. The only thing that has changed is Walsh was a Trump humper defending the President who now suddenly has to acknowledge all the character problems Walsh gave a pass to actually do matter.
But this goes beyond Joe Walsh.
He is being pushed by a bunch of people who claim character really does matter. So they’ve settled for an opportunistic grifter and birther conspiracist. They might as well back Donald Trump instead of mini-Trump humper turned Trump dumper. What a spectacular admission of failure that Walsh is the best they could come up with. And that they would settle for him suggests they really aren’t that concerned with character.
If they just want to beat Trump, rally to Joe Biden — be honest that you’d rather a Democrat instead of pretending to be all about character and conviction while nominating the poor man’s version of Donald Trump.
The Walsh candidacy will get extraordinary media coverage from a media driveninsane by Trump and Walsh will get extraordinary backing from people who otherwise wouldn’t pee on Joe Walsh if he were on fire. Walsh, like Trump before him, is exposing an inordinate amount of people to be devoid of principle and just craving their own path to power.
Joe Walsh won’t beat Donald Trump in a primary. He won’t be a contender in 2020. But he can always retool his messaging and values for a media that wants something other than Trump.
If anything, Joe Walsh is like the evangelical preacher who preaches on sin and damnation only to be found out as a sexual deviant and, instead of repenting, throws out orthodoxy in favor of a book deal and media adoration. He’s Jerry Falwell, Jr. for the anti-Trump crowd.
There has not been a better time for a third party or independent challenger in the United States since 1992. Now is the time for another Ross Perot.
But Joe Walsh is not that. He’s Donald Trump without the conviction.
The would-be DJ in me thinks of three songs, first in Walsh’s announcement …
… then in his own assessment of his chances …
… and in his likely future ending of his campaign:
Think I can keep doing this? I can do this …