Friday, November 16, 2018

Walker's rejection of rejection helps justify 11th-hour meddling

Walker has made two worrisome moves since his rejection by the voters on Nov. 6th for a third term that go beyond a losing incumbent's understandable unhappiness at being defeated.

* The first was his unwillingness to make a formal concession statement. The public and the victor deserved hearing one. It's part of the drill. It shows you respect the process and your part in it. Withholding it made Walker look petty and small.

*  The second troubling move came in his long-delayed remarks Thursday when he would not concede that he'd been rejected by the electorate.

When, in fact, that is exactly what happened. He's the incumbent and the electorate said "no more."

Saying that the electorate did not reject him because he got 30,000 more votes than he did the last time he ran overlooks and minimizes that Tony Evers' total was 30,000+ more than his. Playing word games on top of numbers game is a stupid, losing game. 

Now you could say that none of this really matters because it doesn't impact any policy, but that's not true.

By not formally conceding, and then not acknowledging the value of the votes which defeated him, allows Walker to justify working closely with his loyal legislative lieutenants who are plotting 11th-hour, special-session hits to Evers' authority after the swearing-in in January.

Walker's claim to even greater, relevant popularity makes it easier for his team to ignore the results, writ large and accurately, as if they were serving an even larger silent majority or band of more-worthy voters.

But to do it, you've got to lay the foundation that the election wasn't really credible, which is exactly what he's done since he refused to take the stage in defeat, then graciously and substantively get out of the way.

An intellectually honest and principled incumbent who puts the democratic process first would use the period between an election rejection and the victor's inauguration to promote political harmony. If you're the Governor, that's pretty much the least you owe the voters for eight years of chief executive powers, perks and overall, literal privileged residency.

Instead, we're getting one last round of purely punitive partisanship, on top of contempt for Wisconsin tradition, disregard for the democratic process and dismissal of reality.

The mind observing all this, however, is disappointed but neither boggled or surprised.

Walker goes out making bad choices - - file them away: he'll be back because this is all he knows - - and remember as he leaves office that he's still the same  guy who was rejected as Marquette University student body president 30 years ago after his campaign workers grabbed and tossed away copies of the student paper from newsstand boxes because the paper had withdrawn a Walker endorsement.  

About which he said at the time he knew nothing.

Also more fully quoted in this post:
Ah, The Marquette Tribune had it in 2010, and used its files clear back to 1988, when Walker's campaign for student body president imploded over ethics and rule violations, and it was time to take responsibility:
Walker’s campaign record murky

In the run-up to election day, the Tribune’s editorial board endorsed Walker’s opponent John Quigley, but said either candidate had the potential to serve effectively.

However, the Tribune revised its editorial the following day, calling Walker “unfit for presidency...” 
The revision also expressed disappointment in Walker’s campaign workers reportedly throwing away issues of the Tribune after the endorsement was initially made.

Walker dismissed this, saying he had no knowledge of what his supporters did, according to a Tribune article from February 25, 1988.
Like The Bard said, "What's past is prologue."  


Minnesconsin Tom said...

As much as I desperately want to believe that this election loss has rid Wisconsin of Scott Walker forever, my common sense—and blog posts like this—make it crystal clear that it’s only a matter of time until we are treated to “Walker: Act 2.”

As you pointed out earlier, he’s only 51, he’s ambitious, and elected political office is all he knows. Now he’s convinced himself that the loss wasn’t really a loss. He won’t be satisfied living off Wingnut Welfare when he knows that many Wisconsinites still love him and will eagerly vote for him.

As arrogant as he is, though, he is also politically savvy. Challenging Governor Evers to a rematch in 2022 would be too risky. Walker has made it a habit never to challenge an incumbent—he came to power as both Milwaukee County Executive and Governor in elections where nobody was defending their seat.

My gut reaction is that Walker will set his sights on the U.S. Senate. Lame duck Ron Johnson says he’s done in 2022, so the seat is up for grabs. Walker will go for it—that is, if his good buddy Paul Ryan doesn’t want it, too.

The good news is, while the return of Scott Walker is inevitable, his success or failure is up to US as Wisconsin VOTERS. If we can reject him again, it probably would finally be the end of him for good.

Peter Felknor said...

Walker never really "felt it." He just got on board when Mark Belling, Charlie Sykes, and Rush Limbaugh convinced him that Wisconsin was ripe for a "conservasavior." He played that role, insofar as it enabled him to jet all over the place drinking beer on the taxpayer dime (especially all those blue-collar folks that his strange rich-people-worshiping dark money Jesus had taught him to abhor). There isn't an ounce of genuine thought in Walker's head and there never will be. He will take the first job offered that will enable him to jet around, drink beer, and "speak."

Jake formerly of the LP said...

I think Peter's on the money here. Lots of wingnut welfare and "Fox contributor" money can go into his pocket. And given how badly in debt Gov Dropout is, it seems like a logical next step.

Plus, if he is going to take away Evers' powers on his way out the door, it's an awful last act that nukes any future political runs in this state. It will not be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

His "I lost the election but came in a strong second" reminds me of the trophies we used to give the little kids for playing soccer all season.

Minnesconsin Tom said...

Peter and Jake, I really, truly hope both of you are right. Part of my fear that Walker won’t last on Wingnut Welfare, though, is that he may not be very good at it.

Walker may be a right-wing true believer with a good resume, but he’s also the most boring S.O.B. on the planet. Do you really think people are going to keep paying him big bucks to hear him give speeches for a living? You said it yourselves—he has no original thoughts and is an empty vessel. Combine that with having to look at his dead, misaligned eyes and listen to that annoying, nasally drone and they’ll be snoring in their seats. Folks like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh may be complete nut jobs, but at least they’re entertaining.