Select Page

What happened to Kinzinger and Walsh?

What happened to Kinzinger and Walsh?

No … the headline is not a reference to a law firm.  It refers to soon-to-be-former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger and former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh.

Kinzinger maintains his Republican identity – largely because the label is being inappropriately used to give Speaker Pelosi’s Capitol Hill riot Committee a false appearance of bipartisanship.  Pelosi did not name him to the Committee to represent a Republican view or a counterpoint to her scripted narrative and pre-ordained outcome.

Kinzinger ran for Congress from a conservative Republican district – espousing mostly conservative Republican values.  However, he was not a hardline conservative.  He was more malleable to the political zeitgeist of the moment.

Once in Congress, Kinzinger evolved away from many of the conservative positions he espoused in the campaign.  Trump-hatred pushed him over the edge.  He saw his power, fame, and financial fortunes best served as a leading GOP apostate for the political left.  He became a whore for what he once claimed to abhor.  

Joe Walsh made his claim to more limited fame as a theatrical loudmouth name-calling table-pounding strident conservative on a D-battery radio station.  He has a well-known pronounced craving for the spotlight. In a sense, he is a mini-Trump.  It got him enough local attention to land him in Congress for one term.  Whether you approved of Walsh’s style or not, you had to admit that he was firm believer in conservative ideology.  He was a proselytizer of the first rank. 

Walsh started abandoning his conservative values in the latter half of the Trump administration – when he decided to run for President against Trump.  Really!  

He has since done at least one intellectually honest thing.  He officially left the Republican Party.  That move has rewarded him with the thing he values above all – the spotlight.  He now derives exposure and wealth as one of those analysts … contributors … pundits you see on the hardline left-wing cable shows.

The remarkable thing about both of these characters is that they have not only become harsh critics of Donald Trump, but they have totally abandoned the fundamental political philosophy they used to gain their initial fame, power and wealth.  That means they were never the conservatives they once claimed to be.  Rather, they took on that mantle as a pragmatic means to advance their personal career at that time.

I can understand folks who do not like Trump as a person — good conservatives who prefer that he not be returned to the Oval Office.  Conservatives voted for him only because they were left with a binary choice between a flawed Republican who would advance a generally more conservative agenda and Democrats who are the antithesis of conservative values.  It is the policies that matter most.

Principled conservatives can have differences over personalities but remain bonded by a political belief system.  But not to folks like Kinzinger and Walsh.  Their lust for personal aggrandizement trumps any commitment to core moral or philosophic values.  

Of the number of political apostates serving the interests of left-wing Democrats, I picked out Kinzinger and Walsh because I have known them both personally.  Ironically, they both appeared on the same MSNBC morning show today to heap their venom on all that is conservative – not just Trump.  

They both come from the same region of Illinois.  I managed the primary campaign of a friend, Henry Meers – Kinzinger’s opponent in that first GOP primary.   Walsh and I were allies in conservative activism.  During a pre-Covid visit to Florida, I had breakfast with him and his wife.  At that time, he was still the harsh talking conservative supporter of Trump.  

Walsh’s leap to the left surprised me and his friends more than Kinzinger’s since the latter never seemed fully rooted in conservative ideology.  Kinzinger evolved.  Walsh leap-frogged from one extreme to the other. 

Do Kinzinger and Walsh actually believe the things they now espouse?  Based on their ability to shift from one extreme to the other, I doubt it.  They are devoid of a core belief.  Just seeking out whatever path satisfies their ego – their lust for attention.

However, they may become the ultimate losers.  Those who allow themselves to be conveniently used by those they once condemned are often kicked to the curb when their utility has ended.  Kinzinger and Walsh deserve nothing less.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. tom

    Oh Larry, this piece is full of name calling by you my dear pundant friend and fellow senior citizen! I seem to recall Kinzinger stating in a recent interview that a congressional remap (done by Dems folks) wiped out Kinzinger’s district and put GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger pitted against GOP Rep. Darin LaHood in a newly remapped district. My understanding is LaHood is much more GOP true red than Kinzinger. I do not believe anyone has kicked him to the curb, Dems did this as a strategic move, not showing political favoritism to Kinzinger (GOP folks hate political favoritism) Kinzinger was just on the down side of the decision. He was very responsible in his announcement and gracefully accepted the outcome. Do you have proof of that Dem kick? Seems like GOP wants him out, not the left as you claim, and the Dems did a favor for the GOP. Am I right on that one? My understanding is that Kinzinger wants to bring back the GOP from being entrenched in Christian Nationalism and Trumpism, Trump and his lies, conspiracy theories, election denial and attacks on political norms. As I listen to him in the hearings, he seems to have as much passion and love for this country and you and I and Frank S.. In a “Country First” email Kinzinger sent Friday, he said, the reason he will not seek another term is “simple: Leading a movement to save the Republic is more important to me than winning a seat or title for myself.And let’s be honest, the real progress and renewal that we’re hungry for isn’t going to come from politics as usual. “Instead, it has to come from the outside, from you and me. No one is coming to our rescue. We must be the heroes of this story; we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” He seems to be sacrificing fame for getting the country back on a moderate stance – and that’s a good thing, at least we independents think it is. Just remember my dear pundant friend, 46% of us are non-partisan / independents – we are the ones that will determine the outcome of the mid-term and 2024 elections.

  2. Frank stetson

    Wow, that’s a lot of name-calling by the expert in Republicanism, but barely a fact, just a lot of bloviated opinion.

    I honestly don’t know Joe Walsh so I’m just speaking from the standpoint of Adam Kinzinger.

    First, he’s not even running for office next term, rendering the story useless. Larry must just be schilling for accolades from assholes over the select committee assignment.

    Secondly, during the time of Trump, Kinzinger voted in line with Trump close to 91% of the time.

    Yeah he voted to impeach. Good. Yeah he sits on the select committee and is trying to do the nations work, good. Outta one side of Larry’s mouth he says McCarthy did a bad job and we should’ve gotten Republicans on the committee. Out of the other side of his mouth he says, this man is not a real Republican so the fact that he is doing what McCarthy was too stupid to is bad. The man who voted with Trump 90% of the time.

    Larry feels that unless you march with Trump 100% of the time, you’re not a Republican. Larry continually tells us how he doesn’t like trump the man, but he just loves every Trump policy. Was ripping babies from Mamas arms one of your favorites? Did you vote for that? Apparently he has forgotten American values, he’s forgotten that Republicans the party of values, and he sold his soul to the policies of Trump. Now he’s in the party of force deliveries of rape babies and force delivery of incest babies and if you don’t vote for that, you’re not a Republican. Did Trump ever stand up and say anything against that? Of course not.

    Out of one-side of his mouth, Larry says Trump should not run again, he can’t win, he’s old. Out of the other side of his mouth, Larry says everything Trump put forth in policy was perfect. Worse yet, if you didn’t think so, if you have an alternative view, you are not a Republican.

    Would that be a goose-stepping republican Larry?

    Even today, Larry cannot see one thing wrong with January 6th besides a few protesters gone bad. Yeah, that day was just like a day when Reagan roamed the earth. It was just like a day when George Sr. roamed the earth. These men wouldn’t even stand in the same room as Trump. Larry just hold his breath and walked right in just like Mark Meadows

    Sorry, but on this story Larry, I need to depart now and clean the burger off my wall..


    Justice is coming Larry. As I said earlier, Republicans should have the balls just to impeach this guy and get him out of their hair. He should be moving forward, inclusive to a diversity of ideas, and quit demanding that everyone march in exactly the same footprints.

    If we can embrace the Manchins of the world and allow them to remain in our party, work with them, compromise and get things done like we showed this week, oh never mind.

  3. Mike

    Larry, Just read your bullshit here (as you ended up in the junk email file-which is appropriate). So many of Trump’s policies were completely self-serving and so anti-Republican that a true Republican should have been repudiating most of them-but instead (as a previous commenter pointed out) they had no balls and stuck by the ex-president. A true believer in Republican values would have called those out. So what are those policies? Well cozying up to dictators has to number one on the list (and believing them over our own intel), abandoning the Kurds, negotiating with the enemy without the legitimate government being present, strong arming Ukraine in an attempt to sling mud at Biden. The list goes on-Kinzinger is a true conservative-a valued member of the (traditional) Republican Party. You are just a partisan hack who believes kissing the ass of a terrible person while he is President is perfectly fine because he is a Republican and will cut your taxes…

  4. Frank stetson

    Well I probably have said it, I will not say here that Larry is a partisan hack. That’s Joe. But I feel Larry is lost and I am ever hopeful that he will come back.

    Ari Melbourne, whether you’ll like him or not, had a nice piece on MSNBC last night that looked at all of the different trumpian plot lines leading up to 16/6 and concluding that there were multiple plots aimed at the same conclusion; to overturn the election and steal the presidency.

    The interesting part when you looked at all the timelines together was that you could see where sometimes, many were in progress at the same time, other times one stopped in another started.

    Ari took some of the confusion out of the chaos that was surrounding us and, via the evidence, showed us how that the tragedy of 1/6 did not look like an isolated case, but instead the Hail Mary after a long drive of all the other plans, starting with the legal cases, that ultimately failed

    It is based on the select committee testimonies, but is presented in a much more comprehensive fashion to tie everything together.

    I hope Larry and other Republicans can view this to see if looking at the big picture changes their vantage point. Does not really matter to me, ultimately I think the DOJ will rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, in order to better preserve the office, I wish Republicans would rise up and impeach the guy and we can be done with it and move forward as a stronger democracy.