Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm calling it: Walker jumped the shark

[Updated, 9:45 p.m.] It may take a while for others to come around and make the call. They may have to hear more gaffes and goofs and guffaws, but it's time to declare Scott Walker unworthy of further consideration as a serious presidential hopeful.

Why today for the declaration, you ask? And isn't this just restating the obvious?

On the one hand, yes - - I've been writing about Walker The Flawed for years, and have condensed his disqualifying low-lights in several summary posts - - one here - - but there is a fresh story today that takes Walker The Preposterous to a new height, or depth, and to further mix the metaphors, expands the tip of the tipping point past the point of no return.

Today we learn that Walker believes that by supporting equal pay for women,  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "pit one group of Americans versus other" for political gain.

And that by supporting pay equality, Clinton and Obama have redefined women to fit into one of Walker's more mean-spirited and anti-government talking points, becoming:

...people[who are] dependent on the government...whether it's Medicaid or food stamps or health care or other things out there.”
What part of 'two-income family/middle-class struggle' does he not understand, he with the $144,000 annual salary with top-shelf benefits - - including a state mansion, drivers and airplanes - - provided by a public with the farthest fall in middle-class wages, yet forced to tolerate his half-time presence in Wisconsin while out campaigning for the Presidency?

Set aside the implication that equal pay can be distorted into Walker's red-meat characterizations about welfare or one of those "things" he routinely includes in his dog whistling to the far-right. 

Set aside his obvious and proven contempt for women - - freshly indicated in his 'please-Iowans-abortion-ban-after-20-weeks without exceptions even for rape and incest - -  and his continual dismissal of women's rights to health care, and to equal protection and other basic American values and guarantees in Wisconsin and federal law, and in both the US and Wisconsin Constitution.

Set aside also the clearly craven opportunism in his cynical, pre-election appeal to male voters who might believe with his validation that their own job status or advancement has been blocked by that woman in the adjoining cube, or a training program, or a degree path who has dared on her own terms to leave the house against the traditional and measurable restrictions placed in her way by the Walkers of the world who are desperately trying to freeze American culture in the early 1950.

And look also at the mind-bending hypocrisy in Walker's accusation that Clinton and Obama's goal is to "pit one group of Americans versus another."

"Audacity," Walker calls it.

This is a good point at which to note that Eleanor Roosevelt, one of American's most famous champions of equal rights had interchangeably used the phrase "pit...against" with "divide-and-conquer" when noting how un-American it was:

"Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here."
Walker has a long and documented history of doing just that; pursuing and implementing divide-and-conquer programs and politics that pit groups against each other. 

I reprised a bit of that here the other day.

For goodness sakes, Walker is on video and audio uttering the phrase "divide-and-conquer" when whispering and scheming with Diane Hendricks, the Beloit, Wisconsin business magnate who, at the time, was his largest donor, to break unions in Wisconsin by first crushing public employees - - and his pledge to Hendricks was made before he dropped his self-described Act 10 "bomb."

And long before later completing the plan by damaging with separate legislation the private sector workers whom Hendricks wanted devalued.

Which Walker did a few weeks ago with the 'right-to-work' bill he signed after having put on that moderate's mask he does when needed by saying he had no interest in that bill.

Walker also attacked Hillary Clinton for setting up a private email system while in the public's employ - - though Walker had done the same thing, and more, when he was Milwaukee County Executive, and for which six of his staffers, associates or donors were subsequently charged in court with crimes, and convicted.

Now that's audacious - - both on its own and for point a finger at Hillary Clinton while his own record has him in the thick of the same thing.

You wonder what alternative universe Walker inhabits. It's one apparently where there is no Internet, no Google, no equivalence, no institutional or historical memory, no record of his remarks and beliefs and actions to vet and check and distribute, no accountability for his inconsistencies, contradictions, incompetencies and hypocrisies.

Anyone seeking power in a democracy who will twist the inarguable fair concept of equal pay for equal work into a self-serving divide-and-conquer construct of opposition should never be given one iota of executive power.

I've been tracking media where reporters and columnists are catching on to Walker's basic backwardness, slipperiness, phoniness and incompetency.

Add this spot-on Washington Post column today on Walker's weak, embarrassing mush about the confederate flag, and other matters, that are executive leadership disqualifies:
Walker acknowledged Saturday night that the shooting was committed by “a racist and evil man” but withheld an opinion on the Confederate flag. After Haley’s statement on Monday, Walker tweeted that he supported her decision. His aides insisted that he had arrived at his position days earlier but declined to weigh in because he did not want to distract from the period of mourning.
Walker’s whole schtick was supposed to be that he’s a no-nonsense, reform-minded executive who represents a new generation of leaders in the GOP — just the Republican with the profile to show that Hillary Clinton is a politician of the past. 
Yet here he is calling for a Constitutional amendment that would allow states to ban same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court declares that gays and lesbians have a Constitutional right to marry, and now his campaign is making weak-sounding excuses for playing catch-up on the Confederate flag. Does anyone else think this kind of stuff cuts against his main political selling points?
Like I said: Walker's jumped the shark. 

I rest my case.


Anonymous said...

Yup, keep us women bare foot and pregnant. Sorry, that is 1950's America. It takes 2 incomes to provide the standard of living my parent's of the greatest generation had. Politicians like Walker have gutted the American middle class safety nets of pensions, job security, and the ladder to the middle class. By the way Scooter, my spouse see's me as a partner and equal. Not as an adversary.

my5cents said...

You see, that’s what Walker does. He takes one little snippet and distorts it into something entirely different than what it is. Equal pay for women would mean independence; the ability to sustain themselves; the ability to take care of their children without government help; the ability to retire with a decent income. But Walker skews it into one group versus another group. He really has no clue how absurd that really sounds, does he? I know that’s what all of the right wingers think. I have not heard any right winger whose wife earns twice what he does complain and make her quit her lucrative job. Have you? I mean, look at Ted Cruz. Do you think he complained about his wife making hundreds of thousands of dollars every year? No, not hardly. All of this boils down to one thing, the right wingers are afraid of women; afraid of their work ethic; afraid of their earning power; and afraid they will one day be in charge thereby emasculating all of them. The things they are trying to do and the things they are saying tells me that they are scared out of their minds that women will outsmart them and make this country a good place for all to live, work and thrive.

This is what makes no sense to me. Walker wants people off the government dole (except for himself), doesn’t want to provide Medicaid, food stamps, or health care, but he doesn’t want them to earn a living wage either so they can get off Medicaid, food stamps, and pay for their own health care. You cannot have it both ways no matter how you slice it. Their way of thinking is so ignorant it makes a person feel ashamed to be a part of the human race some days. We are much better than that.

Anonymous said...

"This is what makes no sense to me."

Sorry, 5cents, I'm on your side here -- but your first problem is trying to find reasons why the current crop of Republican pres. candidates do what they do. This is a party that long ago substituted religious dogma and fantasy for science and reason.

When you have a party where the MAJORITY (54%) believe that deep down, Barack Obama is a Muslim; where Donald Trump polls second in New Hampshire; where the candidates waffle and hide behind each others' cloaks before saying that the Confederate flag --

It's beyond reason.

The Kraken said...

When conservatives get into a frenzy about dependency on government do they know that those founders they pretend to revere were actually most concerned about the opposite? http://thegloomyhistorian.blogspot.com/2014/02/dependency-part-one-slavery.html

MadCityVoter said...

Who wins when you pit male workers against female workers? The boss, that's who. First you tell the women that they don't deserve to be paid as well as the men -- besides, anything is better than being paid nothing at home, right? -- then you tell the men that they're lucky to be getting more than the women... and maybe your job's at risk in you don't keep your head down and your ass in gear. 'Cause a woman will work for less.

And so it goes, around and around. Walker's just another gear keeping his donors' great money machine in motion. Some might even call him a tool ;-)

Anonymous said...

"pit one group of Americans against another." He doesn't really say who is being pitted against whom. We who hate Walker assume he means men against women, husbands against wives but he doesn't really say. Walker supporters will have to weigh in on what they think he was talking about. And I hope some reporter follows up on this.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can put a statue of him next to Fonzie.

my5cents said...

Anon 4:49 PM -- I know you can't make sense out of Republican beliefs, but I guess I have too much faith in humanity that you should be able to understand who people are and what makes them tick, so to speak. I do also understand why what they do doesn't make sense (I also wonder it if makes sense to them). I always look for good even where there is none and I don't expect to find any. I guess it is called hope that I will find that one little spark of hope that they see the damage they are doing to so many before it is too late. I was raised to care about all living things on earth, but not to the extreme. The family business was dairy farming, so you have a clear picture of where I come from. They hunted, fished, and lived off the land to survive, but the farms are all gone now.

James Rowen said...

About the Fonz. What had he done to deserve that?

Anonymous said...

(in walks the Fonz) Heyyy...."hey, Fonzie is here."

Anonymous said...

Wait a darn second here...Walker is saying it is a shame to pit one group against another group????

Walker, of divide and conquer Walker??

When are we finally going to be rid of this moronic insting stooge????

Anonymous said...

Walker is facing GOP discord in Wisconsin and promises "bold leadership" while his presidential aspirations evaporate on a national stage. This is justice for all the crap he has put Wisconsin through. Is that pee I see running down your leg, Governor Unintimidated?

Anonymous said...

Will any of it matter come 2018 (assuming Walker fails in his presidential run and tries to run as governor again)? Or will people just sit on the internet posting cute memes on Facebook/Twitter, and do nothing to get out the vote come Election Day?

Anonymous said...

Jim, the expression "jump the shark" originated with Fonzie literally jumping over a shark,signifying that "Happy Days" was past its prime and had irretrievably descended into silliness- much like Walker.