Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Milwaukee historian John Gurda had Walker pegged

[Updated] Scott Walker finally has the gerrymandered right-wing Republican Wisconsin Legislative majority he needs to inflict a long-term, ideological punishment to the University of Wisconsin.

For the right, it's a daily double, as Walker's proposed $300 million historically-deep budget cut, combined with frozen tuition, will trigger layoffs and cutbacks that will also hammer the urban Democratic strongholds where UW system schools attract students and faculty, expand the culture, and create jobs.

Look at this prediction Tuesday from the UW-Milwaukee:

If the budget proposal put forth by Gov. Scott Walker to cut $300 million from the UW System passes, three months from now, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee could face layoffs, building closures, a hiring freeze, or a slowdown on the admission of the new freshman class, according to the powerful UWM University Committee.
Ah, but Walker and his Tea Party allies do not like the routines of academia - - liberal debate and scientific inquiry - - so they are fine with using the state budget to lower the quality and appeal of higher education in Wisconsin by basically privatizing the system and ending The Wisconsin Idea - - the UW's guiding principle that sprang from The Progressive Movement against special interest control of public policy and institutions.

Get ready for an onslaught of applications and transfers, Minnesota.

We've seen this sweeping, creepy Walker certitude before - - from his blockade of Amtrak service denial, to a rejection of Medicaid and food stamp funding, to his pro-fossil fuel dismissal of green energy projects, and imposition of harsh restrictions on women's health care access, to name but a few - - and no one did a better than Milwaukee historian John Gurda who pegged Walker in a March, 2011 newspaper column that prepared us for a manipulative Governor and his expanding Walkeropathy.

Gurda's words stand the test of time as Walker's legal and budgetary axe looms:
As this icy ideology takes legislative form, Walker has positioned himself as Wisconsin's ideologue-in-chief. Here, you sense, is a man who has not been wrong one day in his life, a true believer so sure of what's right for him that he just knows it's right for all the rest of us as well. He governs with a reptilian calm, unmoved by protest and unblinking in the bright light of national scrutiny. For a guy who won his job with barely 52% of the vote, Walker exhibits a chutzpah bordering on hubris, but no matter. In his monochromatic view of the world, no action is reckless if it's right.


Anonymous said...

Four years ago the comparisons to Hitler were consider in poor taste. History might just be painting the picture of another dictator who is dedicated to following a path that he believes makes him superior to all of those who are not as enlightened as he believes himself to be! Wisconsin is facing a blitzkrieg by a fanatical politician consumed by his own self interest. No good can from this man's actions for Wisconsin's long term well being.

Dan said...

UW Administrators should have the full burden of these cuts fall on the Althletics Departments. No cameos for Snotty during his Presidential run.

Joshua Skolnick said...

Comparison of Walker to Hitler might be a bit over the top as there are no SS squads or extermination camps, or Aktion T4 type edicts yet in Wisconsin, but I do think Mussolini or Franco is a fairly apt model for Walker's governing. The anti intellectual attitude, the corporate sycophancy, and the megalomaniac do smack of a Madison Mussolini.