John Nichols’ Don’t Be Fooled: Scott Walker Is No Reformer played right into my recent screen capture of a headline in the Wisconsin State Journal. Yes, the media campaign is on to define Scott Walker as a moderate and easy going guy with Midwestern sensibilities. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Moderate? Walker’s trick to distance him from everything he actually stands for is obvious, but missed by the media; Walker downplays the extreme legislation coming out of the legislature, because it just isn't on his radar...he’s just not thinking about that stuff.
And then he gives it the governors signature. Poor guy, the reluctant governor.
Here’s Nichols nice attempt to get the national media up to speed on the real Walker, from The Nation:
Of all the “compelling potential standard-bearers” for the party, argues Washington Postcolumnist Marc Thiessen, “none is better positioned to energize the conservative grassroots while winning the center than Scott Walker.” Thiessen imagines Walker “as an across-the-board, unflinching, full-spectrum conservative” with an ability to appeal “to persuadable, reform-minded, results-oriented independents.”
That may be what Walker says. But that’s not the assessment of state Senator Dale Schultz, a Republican who has worked with Walker for two decades and who enthusiastically backed Walker in 2010 … the senator said (Walker) veered—on everything from school funding to academic freedom to tax policy to local control—into territory that was “way too extreme” … criticized Walker for “passing up an opportunity to show independent leadership. No amount of rhetoric or sloganeering will cover up the influence of an out of state billionaire funded and driven agenda,” declared Schultz. “This is not the Wisconsin agenda I’ve fought for over 30 years, and it’s not the Wisconsin agenda I hear from people as I travel around my district and across the state.”
Walker ripped the Democrat he hopes to run against in 2016—Hillary Clinton—for her long record of public service. “She’s been a product of Washington for decades.”
And what of Walker? The governor conveniently forgot to mention that he began his own political career at age 22 and has, since then, run twenty-three years primary and general election campaigns in twenty-three years—making him one of the most determined careerists in American politics.