Monday, February 7, 2011

Managing Political Transience In Heady Times: The GOP's Wisconsin Challenge

These are heady times for Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, as the evil mainstream media has anointed our three young guns as ascendant and consequential.

And give them their due: strategically, they were in the right place at the right time, with a right-wing talk radio infrastructure right there as the megaphone. Right, right, right, and right

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).

Walker (State of the State speech) and Ryan (State of the Union response) already erred with high-profile messages out-of-synch for the times, too gloomy and manipulative - - the economic equivalency of Bush/Cheney keeping us on a non-stop, eight year Ultra-High Threat Alert.

Their fear-mongering clanged off the ear like a last-second field goal hitting the upright.

I recommend, in particular, Bill Lueders in Isthmus assessing Walker's speech.

There is an unnecessary but revealing arrogance in Walker's continued push for the filling of a Green Bay wetlands' for a project already vetoed by its designated tenant - - Pro Bass Shops, a national fishing gear firm.

Arrogance Update: I rest my case: Walker announces bizarre pick for top state personnel post.

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: The messy fight underway over wind turbine siting between energy companies and real estate interests, in which pro-jobs Walker has been in the pocket of the Realtors at the expense of a billion-dollar+ new industry, shows that blowback against a bad bill and mindset is already underway.

Walker, Ryan and Priebus are worth watching.

We'll see how they handle the inevitable transience that governs the political environment in which they star today, but not necessarily tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin's Raincoat: Open for Business!!!