This Is All So Predictable
Herschel Walker's abortion revelation is new, but it's hardly news.
By now you’ve probably heard: Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker reportedly convinced one of his (many) paramours to end a pregnancy in 2009, paying for the procedure himself, and even sending a “get well” card to the woman as she recovered. Walker, whose campaign is predicated in no small part on his hardline anti-abortion views, has denied the report, but following The Daily Beast’s revelations regarding Walker’s involvement in the as-of-now unnamed woman’s abortion, the candidate’s aspiring right wing influencer son Christian seemingly confirmed the allegations, publicly denouncing his father as a liar with a lifetime of familial betrayals. Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has offered his full-throated support for his hand-picked candidate, and the rest of the GOP establishment — keenly aware that there are just weeks to go before election day — has largely followed suit.
The degree to which this whole thing is extraordinarily messy is matched only by how depressingly predictable it all is.
In an election season full to the brim of conservative lunatics and freaks, Walker is arguably the freakiest of them all; his history of shocking spousal abuse, revelations about his multiple secret offspring, his largely invented personal narrative, and frequently indecipherable campaign statements have only served to confirm the longstanding fears among Republicans (and hopes among Democrats) that this is a man with some serious problems, both electorally, and just as a basic human being. And yet, if there’s one thing we can count on in this life it is Republicans leaping at the chance to overlook the most egregious examples of hypocrisy and personal failings, so long as it’s in the service of their broader goal of theocratic minority rule.
Put another way: of course the GOP and its nattering nabob pundit mouthpieces are contorting themselves to justify Walker’s long predicted political incompetence and moral vacancy. You just can’t shame the shameless. The calculus here is not one of consistency or even a serious attempt at the appearance thereof; what matters is that Walker is in very real position to help impose the very restrictions on bodily autonomy he personally flaunted on the public at large. The goal is never to be “right,” it’s simply to win, and in winning, have power over others at no expense of your own. That’s why Republicans are circling the wagons around Walker.
As satisfying as is see the Baseball Cranks and Sons of Erik of this world showing their whole entire asses in Walker’s wake, buying into the notion that pointing out their obvious bullshit might actually matter is a fool’s errand. They know their moral high horse is bogus, but they don’t care so long as they can stay on it long enough to win. They’ve played this game before with Donald Trump, and that gamble is still paying off dividends six years later. Why should they change tactics now?