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[COMMENTARY] GOP Continues to Ignore 2022 Candidates’ Histories of (Alleged) Domestic Violence

Three GOP Senate candidates who are running for office in the 2022 midterms, including two with Trump’s backing, have been accused of violence against women. But Republicans don’t seem to mind.

The party has a long history of overlooking any unpleasantness associated with their own candidates while getting deeply in the weeds with any Democrat who dares step outside the law. Evangelical Christians with powerful influence on the Republicans enthusiastically backed Donald Trump despite his three marriages and well-documented philandering with adult film actresses. “Forgiveness” is wielded hypocritically; they’re happy to bestow it on the serial cheater who has an “R” after his name, but they’ll withhold it over some emails between Democrats.

Herschel Walker, NJ Generals Running Back, looks on as Donald Trump, JJ Generals Owner; makes the announcement of a new contract for Herschel Walker through the 1989 season; during a press conference held at Giants Stadium. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

The Republicans are also always happy to take any and all shortcuts to success by simply leaning on a famous name. Trump did most of the heavy lifting for the GOP because he came to them already branded and pre-packaged. It’s this ostrich-like approach to governing that allows them to keep supporting any Trump-endorsed candidates who are fine pushing the Big Lie. The problem is, too many of them come with a rap sheet as long as their own arms.

Republicans excel at putting their party ahead of their country; how else to explain Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), herself a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse, acknowledging that Walker “had some baggage there” but added the former football star had “addressed it”? It’s a sentiment echoed by her male colleagues as well. “Americans are pretty forgiving,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said when asked about the allegations against Walker. “I don’t think that’s a deal-breaker. I actually think he’s quite a good candidate.”

Yeah, he’s a great candidate. We have to say “alleged”, but Herschel Walker has a history of violent behavior that dates back to his days as the darling of the University of Georgia, where he won the Heisman Trophy and then traded in on that for the rest of his life. Walker never matched his collegiate success during his brief tenure in the NFL. Post-football, Walker kept himself busy by (allegedly!) beating his wife to the point where she worried for her life, as she stated in their divorce papers. In the filing for a protective order that was granted in 2005, his ex-wife’s sister said Walker directly threatened to shoot both his ex-wife and her new boyfriend. And in his 2008 book, “Breaking Free,” Walker admits he was plagued by violent urges for much of his life, which he blames on dissociative identity disorder. He says therapy and his Christian faith helped him “integrate his multiple personalities”.

Aside from that, Walker believes in the QAnon conspiracy theory and has never held any public office. Super choice to represent Georgia instead of Reverend Raphael Warnock, who took over MLK’s pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. But he’s TFG’s pick, so the Trumpublicans will find a way to support him, even selling out their own lived experiences as victims.

 

But Walker isn’t the only one with a tarnished track record hoping to gain a seat in the Senate. In Missouri, a woman who had an affair with former Gov. Eric Greitens said he sexually assaulted her and blackmailed her with nude photos. And the estranged wife of Army veteran Sean Parnell, the leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania, twice took out temporary protection-from-abuse orders against him.

The GOP is fine with violence against women, ranging from basic online harassment to full-on physical assault. Democrats should be more vocal in holding them accountable, as should voters when it comes time to make their choices next November.



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