Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ego Trips Up Walker

If you listen to the Walker taped prank call, you will hear a politician talking himself up to a person he thinks is a kingmaker.

He thought he was talking to billionaire David Koch, of Koch Industries.

Walker brags about his strategies, his appeal to other governors, his appearances on television, his swaggering introduction to David Alexrod, his putting down of the President, and more.

It's almost twenty minutes of "How Clever Am I!"

Walker's rise has been meteoric. The guy is in the middle of a media high not seen since Sarah Palin burst onto the scene in 2008, but look at her now - - an over-exposed punch line with waning influence.

I had said a few weeks ago that transience is the real truth of political influence and fame, with elected officials suffering from a dangerous lack of self-awareness.

Walker today is a case study in the perils of narcissism - - Chuck Todd of NBC calls it a "P.R. disaster."

In this posting, I wrote:

These are heady times for Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan and Scott Walker.. 
But if history is our guide they will bump up against an iron-clad political rule - - that Nothing Is Forever.

And the corollary: There's a lot you can't control, and it can do you in.

And another corollary: You can do it to yourself, too.

Just ask George Bush the first, Jimmy Carter, or Karl Rove and his permanent Republican majority (b. 2000- - d. 2008).

It can come in the form of outside, unforeseen - - even stupid events - - that upset carefully laid plans and upend careers (see: Elliott Spitzer, Mark Sanford, Mark Foley).

There's also deflation through overexposure, turning can't-miss phenoms into a bumbling irrelevancy (for different reasons, Sarah Palin, John Edwards)...
Power and publicity have a way of insulating an office holder while overdosing the ego (see, Palin, and Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney/Libby/Wolfowitz/Firth/, et al)), and fooling leaders into thinking they actually are destiny's political children - - Right and always right, immune from fallibility...
It means over-reaching is just around the corner...
It amazes me that Walker has suffered a self-inflicted political wound so quickly, unmasking for all to see a shady, devious, scheming, dark side - - thus handing his opponents ammunition and advantage.

1 comment:

enoughalready said...

Walker reminds me of another former county executive who gained sudden national notice and soon fell flat on his face: Spiro Agnew. Few have fallen so far so fast as has Walker.