The Zugzwang Train In Georgia

As I write this, I have no idea who will win Georgia’s run-off for the U.S. Senate. Ethically, it doesn’t matter: the prospect of either result—Sen. Warnock’s re-election, or a victory for Republican Hershel Walker—is horrible. This is an even worse ethics zugszwang election than Hillary vs. Trump in 2016, except that the Presidency is obviously more important than the Senate, and an incompetent, dishonest, untrustworthy occupant can do far more damage there.

Ethics Alarms has discussed the awful choice offered Georgians many times over the past few months, mostly focusing on Walker, who is the most unqualified candidate for the U.S. Senate offered by a major party in my lifetime, and possibly ever. Warnock, however, is only slightly better, and he’s representing the political party that is slightly more unethical and incompetent than Walker’s party. Walker’s scandals are marginally more numerous and worse; his lies are more outrageous, his hypocrisy more stunning. But then Warnock says stuff like his ridiculous explanation (on MSNBC, naturally, with Joy Reid, of course) of why he is a radical abortion supporter:

“I have been studying the Scriptures my whole life. I’m committed to the faith. And, as a pastor, I have a profound reverence for life. And, as a pastor and a person of faith, I have a deep respect for choice.  If we care about life, black women are dying three to four times the rate of white women in childbirth, as a result of childbirth. And so, if you care about life, we ought to find a way and address the obvious bias in our health care system….I think it’s exactly what Jesus would do,”

Warnock isn’t just unfit to be in the Senate, he’s unfit to be in the clergy.

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Hypocrisy Check: If You Think Suffering Lingering Effects From A Stroke Disqualifies John Fetterman For The U.S. Senate, How Can You Support Herschel Walker?

Those who fervently believe that it is important to the future well-being of the nation to get the U.S. Senate out of clutches of the Democrats understandably regard the U.S. Senate race in Georgia, where ex-football hero Herschel Walker is attempting to knock Sen. Ralph Warnock out of office using celebrity, Donald Trump’s endorsement, an “R” next to his name and little else, as a crucial battleground. However, one can’t espouse ethical principles and discard them when they become inconvenient. (Well, one can, but it is dishonest and wrong.) The same people who rightly insist that John Fetterman’s lingering disabilities resulting from a May stroke make it irresponsible for him to continue running for Senator in Pennsylvania are choosing to ignore Herschel Walker’s claims that he has been “cured” of dissociative identity disorder (DID), aka. multiple personality disorder, that favorite mental aberration of Hollywood horror movies. Continue reading

October Surprise! Ethics Observations As Herschel Walker’s Past Strikes Back…

The first observation is that neither of the surprises should surprise anyone at all. Former NFL football star Herschel Walker is about as vulnerable a political candidate for high office as one can imagine, even in the “Get Trump!” era. I’ve covered much of this already. He’s exaggerated his scholastic achievements, hidden the fact that he has several children conceived without the formality of marriage, admitted bouts with mental illness and a suicide attempt, and vaguely acknowledges committing domestic violence.

Walker has no political experience or relevant achievements that would make him a qualified candidate for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. He’s a local celebrity and has personal charisma; he is also an African-American in a state with a lot of black voters (and football fans). That’s about it. In the United States of America in the Age of the Great Stupid, that can also be enough.

It was irresponsible for the Republican Party to present such a cynically-chosen nominee to the voters of Georgia, incompetent for voters to check his name in the primary, and certifiably stupid for the GOP to store a substantial amount of their chances of taking back control of the Senate on such a shaky vessel.

Yesterday, they all got what they deserved… Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Georgia Republican Senate Candidate Herschel Walker

“You know, he without sin cast the first stone. Does my opponent believe in redemption, being a pastor? That’s what’s so funny. And I say that because I’m not gonna get into what happened with him in his past. I want him to do—what’s going on with his policy. He’s talking about something I was a part of over 15 years ago, maybe even longer.”

—Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker, quoting Jesus from John 8:7 while ducking a question about allegations of his past domestic abuse.

Atlanta-based magazine Rolling Out asked Walker about domestic abuse allegations that occurred between 2001 and 2008. In Walker’s primary race against Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, a campaign ad posted online claimed that police reports and court records from 2001 to 2008 indicated that Walker had “a history of physically abusive and extremely threatening behavior” involving his ex-wife, Cynthia Grossman who was   married to the former NFL star from 1983 to 2002. The question is a fair one, since earlier this month, Walker released his own campaign attack ad claiming that his opponent in the Senate race, Democrat Ralph Warnock “hit his wife with his car,” was “accused of neglecting his small children” and “ran from the process server” who tried to serve him court papers. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: GOP Senate Candidate Herschel Walker [Expanded]

“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 we to clean that back up.”

Yes, Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker really said those words, in that order. The gibberish is on a recently released video of an appearance he made last week at a local GOP picnic in Hall County, northeast of Atlanta, when Walker spoke, if you can call it that, about climate change. The Republican Party, desperate to take control of the Senate, actually nominated a candidate to defeat Democratic incumbent Ralph Warnock whose grasp of science, logic and language is that infantile.

Walker’s sole qualifications, if you can call them that, for the Senate are that he is a local and national sports celebrity, and black. He has no other qualifications. In addition to his obvious lack of education and erudition, he has also lied repeatedly for years, presenting himself as someone he is not. He is a neon-bright hypocrite, lecturing about the responsibilities of fatherhood while hiding the existence of his own children conceived without the security of a secure relationship with their mothers. Continue reading

It’s True That The Mainstream Media Is Attacking Herschel Walker As It Would Never Attack A Black Progressive Senate Candidate…It’s Also True That He Deserves It

There’s a new scandalous revelation involving Herschel Walker. I’m certain there are more to come. But first, some perspective.

A lot of terrible candidates will be running for powerful positions across the country in November. Neither party has a monopoly on them, or the shame the parties deserve for inflicting them on the nation. Naturally, the unqualified, dishonest and otherwise awful candidates offered by the Republicans have received and will continue to receive the vast majority of criticism from the news media, which, after all, has its mission. That imbalance is unfair, but only in the sense that embarrassments like Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, “The Squad,” Cori Bush and so many indisputably unethical Democrats are allowed to continue to soil the democracy. But in cases like Republican Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, no amount of negative news media exposure is too much. In his case, the news media is doing its job.

Good heavens, what a disgrace! The former college and pro football star has lied about his record as a businessman, his role in a for-profit program alleged to have exploited veterans while defrauding the government, his academic record and more. What Walker has admitted to is also pretty disturbing: in his autobiography, he described playing Russian Roulette, engaging in domestic abuse, and stalking more than one individual with the intent of doing them harm. These are framed as part of a redemption saga, which would be more convincing if Walker wasn’t continuing to lie, obfuscate and generally behave like a con artist on the campaign trail.

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Update On The Uvalde Massacre Extension Of The Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck, Part 1

As Glenn Reynolds quips in such situations, “You’re going to need a bigger blog.”

The most depressing post-shooting development is that the Uvalde police completely abdicated their duty and allowed the maniac in an elementary school to keep shooting children. Texas DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez explained on CNN why police officers were reluctant to enter Robb Elementary School while the murders were going on. “They could have been shot. They could have been killed,” he said.

Oh. Well that explains it then. Of course, the police outnumbered the 18-year-old and presumably had more training, they could hear the shots, and being armed themselves, they still has a better chance at survival than the children , but, hey, look out for #1, right?

The shooter entered  Robb Elementary School through an open door , barricaded himself in a classroom and killed 19 children and two teachers. Nobody stood in his way. He had been outside the school for 12 minutes, firing at a funeral home across the street. The first 911 call was made at 11:30 am, and police didn’t arrive until 11:44. A Border Patrol tactical team finally entered the school almost an hour after Salvador Ramos had started shooting students, at around 12:40 p.m. They were able to get into the classroom and kill Ramos. Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The Washington Post Herschel Walker Attack Piece

The Washington Post has published a full-on attack piece against Herschel Walker, the former college football star and pro player who has been endorsed by Donald Trump in his effort to become a Republican Senator in Georgia. Walker is running against Democrat Raphael Warnock, who probably only won his seat in the January 2021 special election because Trump wouldn’t shut up about how he really won the 2020 election, and then a mob of idiots triggered by those claims stormed the Capitol. The Post’s anti-Walker piece is unusually tough, but Walker is an unusually inviting target. I would be more charitable to the Post’s motives if I had ever seen the paper be similarly critical of a black Democrat.

There is a rebuttable presumption that the Post’s anti-Walker fervor is at least partially a product of Trump Derangement: if Trump has endorsed him, Walker must be…well, cue the Birds Lady:

However, as Ethics Alarms has already noted, Walker does show the signs of an untrustworthy candidate, Trump notwithstanding. Thus the Post’s examination of other disturbing aspects of his character, background and statements would be just good journalism—if it devoted similar efforts to Democrats and progressives. It doesn’t. The Post looked the other way when Warnock was running for the Senate and his wife made credible accusations of spousal abuse, for example. That doesn’t mean the the Post should ignore Walker’s unsavory side, but playing favorites is unethical journalism.

One of the Walker statements quoted by the Post is enough for me: I wouldn’t need more to decide to write in the Easter Bunny rather than vote for him. At a Sugar Hill, Georgia church Walker said in March, “At one time, science said man came from apes. Did it not? Well, this is what’s interesting, though. If that is true, why are there still apes? Think about it.”

Yikes. I have thought about it, and anyone who would say or think something like that has the critical thinking skills of a sea sponge and is brick-ignorant to boot. That’s signature significance for a candidate who shouldn’t get into the Senate without a ticket. Everything else the Post reveals, including disturbing stories about Walker’s emotional stability, is piling on after that.

Additional Observations:

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The Herschel Walker Fake Credentials Scandal: Beyond The Fact That It’s Lying, Why Do Public Figures Do This?

I don’t understand this kind of thing at all.

CNN did a deep dive into the educational boasts of Trump-backed Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, the former NFL star and college running back legend, and discovered that he had been inflating his scholarly achievements to a ridiculous degree. He has said for years (and had the claim on his campaign website) that he graduated in the top 1% of his class at the University of Georgia. Nope. He was a B student or worse. He didn’t even graduate, though that’s the norm for pro athletes. Continue reading

Pssst! Joe! If Your Goal Is To Not Be Petty and Juvenile Like Trump, This Isn’t How To Do It…

What’s going on here? I honestly have no idea, but I do know it’s idiotic. The Council is the ultimate non-partisan body. For the President to boot two celebrities, one from sports, another from TV, off the Council as some kind of political strike can only look bad. Both are also “of color”—Joe knows that if Trump did this, he’d be called a racist. But he’d also be called a petulant child, and rightly so.

Who in the White House thought this was a good idea? It does not fill me with faith in the quality of Biden’s advisors.

Oz, like Walker, says he won’t resign. I wouldn’t either. For a President, this is the essence of punching down.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.