Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fresh Walkeropathy outbreak

[Updated 11:37 a.m., 5:08 p.m., Saturday 1/31, and 4:15 p.m, 9:14 p.m., Sunday, 2/1.] Gov. Scott Walker has adopted - - without a shred of critical self-awareness - - the right-wing talk radio meme that UW professors do not work hard enough - - though he has recently taken time away from his state duties to travel to Iowa, California and Washington, DC, while simultaneously announcing plans to visit at least five other states, Israel, England and perhaps Germany in the coming weeks and months.

This is the peculiar and intensifying Walkeropathy on full display, a narcissistic focus and rigid certitude combined with a moral blindness preventing his seeing or caring about others, and the contradictions in his wake. Some examples:

 * Update: In over his head when it comes to foreign policy and sending Americans into another military quagmire.

* A Governor with only fourteen of 123 statements vetted by PolitiFact as fully true, while 33 are fully "false," or worse, "pants on fire."

*Yet feeling no shame calling himself "nice, Midwestern nice."

More examples:

*  He felt free to point the finger at University faculty and give blanket condemnation to their work ethic, but during his own exposure to faculty, it was he who did not put in long hours, earning only a 2.59 GPA, quit school and ended all interaction with faculty at Marquette University though he was thirty-four 34 credits, or two semesters, short of graduation in 1990. (Full documentation, here.)

*  He enjoys a high-end family health care plan with generous state subsidies while denying Medicaid health coverage to thousands of Wisconsinites who make a lot less money than he does.

*  Speaking of money, he refuses to consider raising the minimum wage in Wisconsin from the $7,25 per hour abandoned by many other states, while being paid $144,423 a year, or almost ten times that minimum wage hour rate based on a typical work year of 2,080 hours. Which, in his case, allows for ample time out-of-state pursuing political goals unrelated to being Wisconsin's Governor.

*  His new stump speech extols taking back more local control and decision-making for states from the big, bad Federal government, but his Act 10 attack on collective bargaining eliminated local government and residents' decision-making; he has overrun local control in Kenosha by vetoing the casino project and then turning a deaf ear to bipartisan pleas for his reconsideration; has set in motion the siting of a massive open-pit iron ore mine in northwest Wisconsin over the wishes of many residents and the area's indigenous Ojibwe Nation, among many examples.

*  He is about to propose new fees on vehicles and motorists while receiving 24-hour-a-day free automobile usage and chauffeur services.

*  He and his talk radio allies constantly call themselves fiscal conservatives, and claimed repeatedly that  former Gov. Jim Doyle put state programs in his budgets 'on the credit card,' but Walker is proposing a huge increase in state borrowing to fund a transportation budget filled with new highway construction despite data showing that driving is decreasing.

Now Walker's allies in the legislature are moving to further reduce middle-and-working class wages in the state through additional divide-and-conquer laws - - and are justifying that expansion of wage cuts beyond Act 10 by citing the cost of the road-building borrowing binge.

*  He reduced in his 2011-'13 budget the value of the homestead credit for low-income Wisconsinites, thus raising their taxes, while being given free use of a mansion in the tony Madison suburb of Maple Bluff - - and also claiming that his budget raised no one's taxes when, in fact, it raised three separate taxes on low-income residents to fund tax breaks for businesses and other taxpayers.

Yes - - some of his perks come with the office, but I cannot remember another Governor who so easily accepted them while denying to those with the least a semblance of what he tales for granted.

Nor can I remember a Governor who campaigns without any care for the paradox he is living when arguing against political power from above while exercising executive power broadly over people and units of government below him.

What's clear is that Walker wants more power, which he will use to further reward the tiny slice of wealthy donors who finance his career while further hammering those in the middle or at the bottom.


blurondo said...

I am saving this in order to forward it as needed in the coming months.

Anonymous said...

You can blog about this all you want -- media across the state not only endorses this -- they normalizing it by ignoring and or/propping up with disinfo & propaganda.

This is milwaukee journal sentinel's guy -- they own him. So does wtmj am and 4. lee enterprises, gannet, clear channel, and some locally owned teabaggin' newspapers (i.e. ripoin, jville, etc...) created scott walker.

On his merits, qualifications, and accomplishments -- he is nothing -- but put a state-wide media echo chamber behind him. Bingo! Your divide and conquer governor.

I don't dispute anything in your post -- but do know that repeatedly pointing out these hypocrisy does absolutely no good without calling-out the media shills that created & enable it all.

But, since evidently the leaders of the mighty wurlitzer are your friends, calling out their role is "off limits".

They hypocrisy in Wisconsin media exceed that of scott walker by a factor of 10.

Anonymous said...

It took me awhile, but I finally realized when he talked about creating 250,000 Jobs, he didn't mean jobs (as in working) but Jobs (as in the religious book). He's a preacher's son, though he doesn't act like it. So he sees the people of Wisconsin as individual Jobs-- the Job who God took everything away from, wealth, offspring, health, at the behest of the devil. Ok, so the Koch boys are the devil, and Walker can imagine himself god, but he's done a fine 'job" of screwing the average Wisconsinite's life up, even the stupid ones who voted for him and are to stubborn to realize he isn't their friend. So yes, he's created plenty of Jobs (long O). Congratulations to him... may he rot in hell!

James Rowen said...

@anon 1:51 p.m.- Said the anonymous, repetitious comment writer, contributing zip.

Johnny K. said...

What's the matter, rowen, you can't take it but you can dish it out?


Can't you journalist-types take the truth -- THE PROBLEM IS THE MEDIA.

As long as we have a dysfunctional state-wide media, we will always have divisive politics that ignores the vast majority of voters.

Isn't the real endless repetition that adds nothing all the blogging that fails to address the reasons we are no longer a democracy?

Isn't this really about what was once called "the 5th estate"? Isn't that where you proclaim your experience and specialty training make you an expert?

Why the thin skin today? Someone say something too close to the truth?

Anonymous said...

Everything you said is so true and I have pointed out these things about Walker to anyone who will listen and some who don't. Actually, I made some of the same comments in another story I read before you posted your comments here. Some of us also read between the lines.

See the following (my comments are in parenthesis): "In Washington, it's this top-down, government-knows-best approach," Walker said (and in Wisconsin, it is a top-down, government-knows-best approach led by Walker). By contrast, Walker said his administration "took the power away from the big-government special interests." (He took the power away from the people and gave it to himself.)

"The best way we move this country is by transferring power from Washington out to the hardworking people of this country (meaning privatize everything for profit to make the rich even richer)," Walker said during his first address to a Washington audience this year.

James Rowen said...

@JohnnyK - - If I couldn't take it, then I wouldn't be published your comment, and the other. And I think you mean the fourth estate.

Anonymous said...

Soooooo, what happened to Walker's Brown Bag lunch promise?

Did that fade from memory?

And yes, Mr. Rowen, you run a great blog and are substantially more open to comments than other blogs.

For that, thanks!

Anonymous said...

If Republicans continue to attack the middle class with ignorant Bills such as RTW, they will lose a major voting block of conservatives within the union ranks. Voters that will sit out future elections.

In our divided state, every election will be to close to call.

Walker and the Republicans need to be very mindful of the brass ring. The next governor may not be from either party.

Chris Landon said...

Don't know why Rowen is so peeved that someone dared tell the truth about the media here.

Heck! Anon and Johnny were being polite.

They didn't even mention how, immediately before the November 2014 election, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's "watchdog" reporter reprinted word-for-word the lies from a Koch-funded fake news organization.

Because Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's "ace" reporter team whitewashed the dirty Koch-funded lies, the rest of Wisconsin's media trumpeted it across the state -- sourcing it to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's top "watchdog" reporter!

Now that's some powerful propaganda, much more hypocritical than anything Walker does, because these tactics launched Walker into political power.

So is blogging about Walker's hypocracy and giving the media a free pass actually a reasonable and/or legitimate perspective?

Reasonable people may disagree, but folks may differ where the hypocracy actually lies.

tomkraj said...

Indulged. The word that comes to mind after reading the Plainfield Iowa growing days in todays MJS. When indulged as a child, it is not hard to feel you are somewhat different and deserve your special privileges. It fits here too.

James Rowen said...

Chris Landon - - I have been repeatedly critical of The Journal Sentinel. And while the paper has certainly enabled Walker's rise to power, his successes here and nationally are abetted by many more forces and institutions than a single newspaper.