This campaign has been a tough one for football great Herschel Walker, who is running to unseat Raphael Warnock in the Georgia senate race. Walker is an attractive candidate with broad, non-partisan appeal in Georgia. He’s a success story. He’s one of the rare figures in entertainment or sports who was able to build upon his God-given talent and help lift up other kids who are going down the path he could have trod.
First, he was accused of fathering children out of wedlock. Then his son accused him of all manner of bad-Dad-ness. And yesterday, The Daily Beast accused Walker of having paid for an abortion in 2009 despite him being a solid pro-life candidate.
Any or all of those things happened to his opponent, Warnock, a pro-abort grift-meister, Media Matters, and The Daily Beast pulling out all the stops to stomp down the allegations. The response raised by the GOP is weak and uncertain. This is typical as the GOP likes to lose.
All the allegations are geared toward painting Walker as a hypocrite and a bad man (Brandon Morse hits this topic in Don’t Bite the Left’s Divisive Bait On Herschel Walker).
I’m not going to delve into the particulars of all of the allegations. Walker has admitted to having illegitimate children, and he’s campaigned against absentee fathers. Not a good look but hardly disqualifying. The Daily Beast story rests on one anonymous complainant who has produced an abortion receipt for $575 (dated September 12, 2009), a get-well card, and a $700 check from Walker to her (dated September 17, 2009). I’m not sure this adds up to what is being claimed, as Walker has a long record of giving money to those in need. Taken in its worst light, it was 13 years ago, and if the pro-life movement can welcome Abby Johnson, it can show a bit of grace to Herschel Walker. Yes, Walker’s son is a mouthy, ungrateful little punk trying to parlay his cruel attacks on his father into some sort of “social media influencer” grift (Herschel Walker’s Son Calls out His Father for Running for Senate and Airing ‘Dirty Laundry’). Unfortunately, that isn’t unusual. Maybe it reveals a shortcoming on Walker’s part as a father, but it certainly demonstrates a lack of character in Christian Walker. Having a son like that would break my heart, and I’m sure it also breaks Walker’s.
As Erick Erickson noted on his substack, Warnock knows that if people turn out to vote, he loses. So his team strategy is to convince Republicans not to vote in the Senate race. Of course, he’s under no illusion that they will ever vote for him, but he’s sure he can get them to say “a pox on both their houses,” and not vote for either.
Warnock’s team has one of the most effective TV ad strategies in the country. A particularly devastating ad against Walker is an interview of Walker’s ex-wife on ABC’s Nightline about Walker holding a gun to her head and abusing her. You’d never know from the ad that Walker participating in the interview. It was about Walker’s battles with mental health and their shared attempt to raise awareness.
This is the point where GOP voters need to grow up.
We don’t vote for Popes; we vote for candidates. Taken in its worst light, Walker is still a better man than Warnock. Even if the abortion story is true, he will not be in the Senate advocating for late-term abortions like his opponent. Nothing about Walker’s illegitimate children comes close to the souls Warnock has led to Hell with his overtly heretical preaching. In the immortal words of “Warden,” writing at Ace of Spaces after the 2016 election (read the whole thing), “What I will not do is let them play my values against me ever again. I don’t need to prove that I’m better than them. I already know it.”
While I have the utmost respect for former RedStater Dan McLaughlin, I don’t subscribe to what I think is a self-defeating proposition.
I do not know if Herschel Walker paid a woman with his own money to have an abortion. If so, that makes him a bad person unfit for the Senate.
I do know that Raphael Warnock wants to pay women with our money to have abortions, which makes him a bad person unfit for the Senate.
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) October 4, 2022
I’m much more of the Vince Lombardi mode: “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing” with a bit of “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” All of Walker’s past is just that — past. If your perception of character defects manifest themselves in the Senate, primary him in 2028. Nothing he’s done makes him unfit for the Senate unless the murderous Ted Kennedy is retroactively impeached. There is no reason for anyone to show up on election day, vote for Brian Kemp, and leave the Senate race unvoted.
I think my colleague Bonchie is probably right (A Message to the Republican Doomers). A lot of this is wine-box GOP SmartSet™ types complaining about a candidate that doesn’t match their fastidious taste. I suspect most GOP voters will come home on election day because they know what is at stake, even if those who think they are setting the tone don’t. For all of our sakes, I hope Georgia voters ask themselves, “Are we better or worse off with Chuck Schumer calling the shots in the Senate?” before they vote rather than picking lint from their navels and wondering if Walker is really good enough to merit their vote.