[Updated 9:30 Sunday a.m., from Saturday, 12:14 p.m.] Scott Walker - - the self-proclaimed "original" Wisconsin Tea Partier - - still wants us to believe he's got Wisconsin moving in the right direction.
Though the most recent Federal jobs' count - - reached using methods Walker previously praised when the count momentarily made him look like a job-creator two years ago - - showed that Wisconsin had slipped to 37th in job growth among the states, and last in the Midwest.
And he'll pay games with jobs numbers - - even in a hard-hit central Wisconsin community - - to keep that "right direction' fiction alive.
I believe that interpretation of 'headed in the right direction' was among the last assurances given the crew by the captain of the Costa Concordia.
Not to mention the belief of one Douglas Corrigon, a pre-World War II aviator and adventurer who boldly lifted off through clouds over Brooklyn, NY and headed solo, non-stop for Los Angeles.
And earned his life-long nickname "Wrong-Way" when he touched down in Dublin.
Also feel free to Google "Jim Marshall...Vikings...touchdown" for another version of "wrong-way" that illustrates Walker's indefensible argument.
Actually, I'll make it easier for you, with video.
The truth is that Walker knows the data are against him. There's no way you can say 37th is a good spot to hold in anything - - World Cup rankings, best restaurant in the neighborhood, bed bug-free hotel chains - - especially when it's down from your earlier notch, 35th.
So he's trying to nuance his wrong direction through misdirection using surveys of business leaders as evidence that the state is moving in the right direction.
Data are data and feelings are feelings. Evidence is harder, demonstrable.
Technicians scour crime scenes for fingerprints, DNA, physical items. How a homeowner feels about the burglary he found had been committed on his property isn't evidence you can take to prosecutors to get a suspect charged.
Or: do you feel good about driving through a hurricane on your first road trip to New Orleans - - and will that get you there in one piece - - or do you rely on your weather apps and a GPS for a better experience?
Surveys record selectively drawn opinion.
A survey of business leaders about the direction of the state economy is little more than an election-year poll of Walker supporters about their self-interested love for the candidate.
If consensus boardroom feelings really mattered, Wisconsin, after three-and-a-years of Wrong-Way Walker wouldn't remain stalled as a bottom-tier state for growth, and Gov. Wrong-Way would have put far more than 40% of the 250,000 new jobs he promised to create on the books.
Which, by the way, puts the right/wrong spotlight on Walker's jobs' promise articulated in its lede sentence by the Journal Sentinel editorial board nearly four years ago when the paper said Walker deserved its endorsement for Governor:
Scott Walker has said repeatedly during his campaign for governor that he will develop strategies to create 250,000 new jobs during his first term.
It's a big promise - one that has been derided by his critics. But for the sake of Wisconsin, Walker had better be right.The evidence shows Walker was wrong, and responsibility was accurately assigned.
It's time for a new captain, for the paper to say just that, and to stop making arguments editorially to give Walker cover:
We believe there is very little that any governor can do to directly affect job creation. Business hiring decisions are based on demand for products or services.
Wisconsin has been slow to recover from the devastating recession that began with an international credit crisis nearly six years ago. But that has more to do with the state's mix of industries than with anything the governor has — or hasn't — done.
State government can help — or hurt — at the margins of those hiring decisions, but only at the margins.If the Governor is that powerless and irrelevant, let's redefine the position, hire a state administrator, and send the Governor to funerals, parades and ribbon-cuttings.
More context for assessing Walker's term, here.