I tried to get into the real story about this guy, but it turns into a labyrinthian tale of more and more compromised women, abortions, and unacknowledged sons. So much media attention (e.g., here and here) has followed the Walker revelations that it almost dulls the controversy.
The moral implications of Walker’s behavior have often taken a backseat to the political implications of his candidacy. And columnists love to quote him: “Since we don’t control the air, our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air, so when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move. So it moves over to our good air space. Then, now, we got to clean that back up.”
The consensus is, certainly, that Republicans will never dump him because sanity and morality don’t count but votes do. Conservative commenter Dana Loesch said: “I don’t care if Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles. I want control of the Senate.”
Politico’s John Harris looks at Herschel and similar phenomena from a more global standpoint. He sees a widespread antipathy toward sexual freedom. “This movement—anti-sexual liberationism is a bit of a mouthful—is what unifies Putin, Meloni, the supporters of Herschel Walker and many other people. . . . It is a reactionary movement marked by all kinds of contradictions.” It may also signal a new virulent kind of identity politics.
But most practicing political commenters make the issue a moral one. They find Walker’s lies and breaches of basic decent behavior disgusting and vile, not to be borne in a Senate candidate. The Democrats are betting on this approach, hoping to enlist women in the fight against Dobbs and the Roe decision. No one is sure that will carry the day.
Republicans stress the economic issues as the real incentives that drive voters. Polls seem to support them. Herschel’s jumbled thoughts and word salad won’t deter them. He will parrot the party line where he can and the yahoos will stand up and cheer.
It’s pretty hard to confront these issues rationally. Climate change, race, and abortion won’t sell to those who challenge the fundamental nature of reality—or to those who find these things irrelevant to their lives. And yet, the GOP has blown its case on how such things matter to working people.
They have been into conspiracy theories since the days of Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan. One thinks about the Bush administration and Saddam Hussein. The predictable result is Alex Jones and a Herschel Walker.