Political Correction

Rep. Joe Walsh Answers Constituent's Calm Criticism Of Banks With Screaming, Finger-Pointing Fury

November 09, 2011 11:24 am ET - by Alan Pyke

The "don't blame the banks" crowd has a new champion. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) is on video screaming at his constituents that you can't "blame the marketplace for the mess we're in right now."

"What created this mess," Walsh said, leaning forward and jabbing a finger at his constituent, "is your government, which has demanded for years that everybody be in a home, and we've made it as easy as possible for people to be in homes. All the marketplace does is respond to what the government does. The government sets the rules. Don't blame banks and don't blame the marketplace for the mess we're in right now. I am tired of hearing that crap! I am tired of hearing that crap!"

Having raised his voice to a shout, Walsh didn't really have anywhere left to go when another constituent started to ask him about banks "exploiting the situation" through predatory lending and derivatives trading. Just plain yelling while his employers heard him out hadn't worked, so he stepped closer to her, cranked the volume knob to 11, and cut her off mid-sentence "because this pisses me off!"

Watch (For more video of the exchange, check the eight-minute mark in this YouTube clip.):

If you're susceptible to facts and data, you know Walsh is wrong here. There's not much left to say about the facts of the financial crisis, and if Walsh doesn't know by now that the government policies that get him heated didn't apply to the private lenders who enriched themselves by selling and trading predatory and fraudulent loans, he never will.

This exchange is notable instead because it shows what an absolutist free-market ideologue does when faced with reasoned disagreement: He shouts, and points, and shouts some more, desperate to get you to stop talking because "I am tired of hearing that crap!" Unable to win an argument, and unwilling to attempt a real dialogue with voters, Joe Walsh turns playground bully.

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