Sunday, February 15, 2015

To understand Walker, go back to the tapes

[Updated with reader input at 9:30 p.m., 2/15, from 1:00 p.m.  and 6:45 p.m., 2/14 from 1:09 p.m. 2/13] Reporters just now getting a handle on Scott Walker - - whether about his ducking issues, evading responsibilities or resorting to punitive policies - - should take a few minutes and review two tapes and two short videos which give a deeper and more revealing glimpse into manipulative and aggrandizing practices Walker has hidden under a teflon suit of "Midwestern nice."

*  The first tape to review is the infamous, recorded prank call to Walker as pro-labor protesters were picketing the State Capitol. A pro-labor activist blogger from New York State pretending to be the powerful right-wing financier David Koch was patched through to lend  a besieged Walker some support.

Here is a link to the actual audio and a transcript.

People unfamiliar with the call might be surprised to learn that Walker said he'd considered planting provocateurs among the protesters, and disclosed that the only reason he didn't was political: he was afraid that any "ruckus" might bring about calls to negotiate off his no-compromise-anti-union position.

He does not say that surreptitiously fomenting violence in a crowd was a dangerous, immoral or illegal ploy,

Revealing that he had a baseball bat at the ready in his office - - and also revealing a penchant for exaggerating the risks posed by protesters whose main tactic in the building rotunda was singing - - Walker also described some truly manipulative methods he was considering to "ratchet...up" pressure on Democratic State Senators who had absented themselves from the State Capitol.

By leaving en masse, the Democratic senators' absence prevented the presence of a quorum and blocked the GOP senate majority from quickly passing his anti-collective bargaining bill - - a bill which was eventually passed and that Walker signed into law when a quorum later presented itself.

Among Walker's strategic ideas for creating a quorum that could get the bill out of limbo:

Charging the absent Democratic Senators with felonies based on a belief that the Democratic Party was subsidizing their absence (no charges were filed, no proof ever offered).

Luring the Democratic Senators back to the State Capitol building under the pretense of a meeting with Walker in the Capitol, or to retrieve their withheld paychecks Walker wanted locked in their desks on the chamber floor.

Preparing thousands of public employee layoff notices which would, in turn, produce calls from threatened employees to their Senators to return to the Capitol.

*  The second tape - - audio, here - - is from a 2009 appearance Walker made before a Christian businessmen's group as he was preparing to run for Governor.

It offers insights into Walker's signature unbending or unapologetic certitude and the overall importance of faith in his life which became apparent this week to some when Walker chose to dodge a question about whether he believed in evolution.

* Walker was filmed disclosing to his largest big business owner-donor that he had a "divide-and-conquer" right-to-work legislative scheme in mind. His disclosure to the donor came before be dropped his Act 10 anti-collective bargaining "bomb" on public employees. More context, here.

*  Finally, take a few minutes and watch as Walker was forced to admit before a US House of Representatives subcommittee that key provisions of Act 10 - - the law that stripped collective bargaining rights from Wisconsin public employees - - had no fiscal impact on the state budget deficit, as Walker had repeatedly claimed.

2/15 9:30 p.m. updates:

Thanks to readers for these additions to a growing list:

*  Walker really LOVES the poor whose benefits he's cutting.

*  And yes, who could forget Walker's commitment - - before he dropped the Act 10 bomb - - to negotiating with public employes over collective bargaining?


Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing that second tape where Walker gives his testimony. That needs to be circulated widely and followed up on.

As a former fundamentalist Christian, it literally gave me chills. I have had (and since grown out of) the exact worldview Walker espouses here. I can tell you he is 100% sincere, and also 100% at the mercy of confirmation bias.

In addition to the dangers of looking for "signs from god" in everyday events, it's the kind of magical/circular thinking that leads one to be proud of one's humility. I know this worldview can be very comforting and useful on a personal level, but it's dangerous and should be disqualifying when it comes to someone seeking high political office.

Take note of how describes reading his "daily devotional" book and how he believes the Holy Spirit gives him special personal messages and commands through that exercise. For years, I did nearly the same thing, but instead of a particular devotional book, I'd just flip to random Bible passages every morning for inspiration. In either case, one cedes control of their priorities and general outlook on life to what is effectively a Ouija Board by another name. (Note that I'm not calling the Bible itself a Ouija Board, but rather this particular method of using it.)

Anonymous said...

Luckily those with this type of mental disorder are immune to manipulation. /s

Anonymous said...

No mention of the "divide and conquer" tape where he explains to Diane Hendricks how he's going to make Wisconsin a right to work state?

Anonymous said...

The shameless way you promote scott walker. Why don't you just go blog at drudge?

Anonymous said...

As a follow up to "divide and conquer" you could add the tape where he lied to Congress about his post-election plans.

James Rowen said...

I intend to.

Anonymous said...

And "midwestern nice" certainly does not describe the man who wrote the "top ten ways to tell you might be a member of a public- sector union".

Anonymous said...

Midwestern nice does not describe the racist cartoons that were circulated via the secret email system installed in Scott Walker's county executive offices and used by Walker and his staff to coordinate with his campaign staff during the workday.

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER LIE, also on video:

Don’t forget that before he "dropped the bomb" in 2011 and stripped most union rights under the pretense of "costs," one week before the election during his 2010 campaign, he met with the editorial board of the Oshkosh Nothwestern.

Walker was asked specifically about how he would deal with collective bargaining and getting the public employee unions to accept cuts and changes because of his proposals.

His reply: "You have to negotiate..." and then explained how he had done that before.

You can find more at these links:

(Oh, and I think you meant to say that he kept a baseball BAT in his office, not a baseball.)

Keep up the good work.