Monday, July 13, 2015

Scott Walker Is Running For Vice-President




I’m not the first person who’s suggested this is what’s really going on. Dave Cieslewicz, to name one fairly well-known Madison political commentator, has been saying it in public for a while. Walker can’t possibly be elected President, with his Tea Party politics of division and regression. The election will be decided, as it usually is, by the voters who live in the urban areas of our nation, and they won’t pull the lever for Walker. And the party officials know it.

So, what I (and a lot of others) think is going on here, is that Walker for the past few years has been polishing his bona fides as an arch-conservative fundamentalist Christian politician, so that when the party picks its nominee, that nominee will name Walker his (or, unlikely, her) running mate, in an attempt to pick up some of those who oppose abortion, immigration, gay marriage, et.al.

That moves Walker up another rung, and positions him for a real run for the Oval Office.

One thing seems pretty certain: Walker has no interest in governing Wisconsin. Long after he’s gone from the state’s political scene, there will be no public buildings named after Scott Walker. No state parks will bear his name. No endowed chairs of higher education will be established in his name. His legacy won't be much.
As he proved during the recent budget battle, he had no interest in helping his state party – which holds the majority in both houses – do the work of shepherding the document. He just inserts the far-right language that boosts his Presidential run, and then heads off to another state for a fundraiser or campaign event.

Please understand, and this may shock you, that I’m closer by far to being a Tommy Thompson Republican than a Jim Doyle Democrat. Not the Tommy Thompson who ran that horribly ungracious campaign for U.S. Senate against Tammy Baldwin, where an openly gay Madison liberal thoroughly trounced what was left of Tea Party Tommy. (That’s Wisconsin: we elect a progressive liberal lesbian to one of our U.S. Senate seats, and an arch-conservative Tea Party darling to the other one.)

I’m talking about the Tommy Thompson who so clearly loved his home state, governed effectively, built roads, presided over the expansion and improvement of our state’s public education system from K-12 public schools to the great UW System, championed mass transit, and expanded health care options for his fellow ‘sconnies.
Among many other things which today would be viewed as very un-Republican.

I'm talking about the Tommy who openly wept when the Republican bosses told him he had to move to Washington DC to serve in Dubya’s cabinet.  Tommy before he changed into a partisan hack. Tommy who loved to govern, before he started barking the Tea Party lines about how government is bad in his last run for public office. Tommy the Wisconsin cheerleader-in-chief.

Now, I’m in that large, middle-part of the electorate which is essentially politically homeless. Mike McCabe talks about this segment a lot in his new Blue Jean Nation movement. I’m disappointed by the Democrats and disillusioned by the Republicans. I can’t stand people who preach about how bad government is, while running for government office; I can’t stand those who do nothing but denigrate those who hold public office and talk about how horrible those people are.

I want somebody with ideas to make government BETTER.

Which brings me back around to Walker. He has always had his sights set on the next rung of the political ladder. Not that others haven’t, but it seems to me Walker is more intent on moving up, than really establishing a record or accomplishing a common-good goal. I don’t think he wants to make anything better. I think he wants to improve his lot, not help other people improve theirs.

My former colleague, the irascible conservative commentator and frequent Rush Limbaugh fill-in host Mark Belling, says when the campaign for President is done, Walker has no reason to hang onto the job of Wisconsin governor. Belling points out Walker is not yet wealthy, has two kids in college, and that there’s a ton of money to be made on the lecture circuit. Since he’s not shown any discernable interest in being Governor other than as another notch on the belt, it’s entirely conceivable Walker will pull a Sarah Palin and just quit the job of Governor, leaving, omigod, Becky Kleefish in charge - to make bank as a talking head.

Unless, of course, the nominee picks Walker as a running mate.  Then, when the Republicans lose the national election again, Walker won’t be like Paul Ryan and just return to his political job. No reason to.

So whether he ends up as a Vice Presidential candidate, or as just another face on Fox News, or a hot air machine on the lecture circuit, or whatever, I’m confident this is his last term as Wisconsin governor, and that he’s not going to be our next President.

16 comments:

  1. I think you all give Scooter too much credit. I still think he's running for Fox or a K Street lobbying job.

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    1. Fox is a possibility, as I mentioned; but the K Street lobbying job? Not likely for a college dropout with no law degree. Those criminals have higher standards.....

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  2. This nails it.

    If Walker was capable of being embarrassed, he would be aghast at how transparent he has become.

    As for Tommy Thompson's apparent transformation ... it is an example of the raw, cynical power wielded by political handlers and financial enablers. Evidence of its exercise has become commonplace in our political landscape.

    Basic personality technically can change, but under normal circumstances it doesn't.

    On the inside, Tommy was probably the same old Tommy. But to be a candidate with any chance of winning, he made a Faustian bargain, and damaging his legacy was the price.

    So it will be with Walker. His purpose is to further the agenda of the Mussolini-esque Neo-Fascist Koch brothers (REF: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fascism)

    But Walker really has no place in a Kochian plutocracy. He will ultimately dissipate. Judging by our blogger's trenchant assessment, that dissipation is already far along.

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    1. Agreed, Mr. Knickerbocker. Way too much power wielded by the handlers and enablers. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. As much as the thought of him anywhere near Washington makes me shudder, I can't wait for him to take off for the lecture circuit.

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  4. I still feel he has a pretty good shot for being the Republican Presidential Nominee. First, I think he will do well in the first primary/caucus states -- Iowa, NH, SC, NV. He appeals to both the conservative and business Republicans -- he has been an ALEC members and received many awards from the Chamber of Commerce. As the John Doe investigations reveal, he is exceeding close to the Koch conservative money and the Chamber Republican Party (Reince Preibus). Because there so many Republican presidential candidates, I have a hard time seeing any other candidate emerging right now -- that could change as we move ahead. Right now Donald Trump is a major force and I have a very hard time seeing him as the nominee, although it would be incredibly funny/sad if he were. I think Walker will have more money that most candidates, which will allow him to succeed early and gain momentum, which is why I think he could be the Republican nominee in 2016.

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    1. Great points, Ruth. He has the money; he's charming; people who don't know him say in polls that he "looks honest". He does have a lot going for him. If he actually does become the nominee, the party will have a very hard time selling him as a viable candidate in urban America, though.

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  5. Like Ruth, I, too, think Walker has a good shot at the nomination. He's hardcore winger enough to appeal to the lunatics in Iowa and elsewhere, but can turn on harmless-looking Chamber of Commerce blandness when it helps. (And in a general election race vs. Hillary, it would help a lot.) He's already shown a Teflon exterior to which no allegation of impropriety will stick, and if it takes $3 billion to elect him, he'll have it. If he doesn't win the nomination, he'll be among the last men standing.

    But that's just my opinion. I could be completely wrong.

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    1. That's why we blog, Jim. We may be wrong, but we have our opinions. Hopefully, informed opinions.....not just the echo-chamber blathering you see on most social media.

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  6. I agree that Walker has effectively put governing Wisconsin behind him. Some in his own party seem to have tired of carrying his water for his ambitions. Walker reminds me of Richard Nixon in that he wants other people to do his bidding and his dirty work, but he doesn't want it traced to him. The open records fiasco and the UW mission statement snafu are two examples. Walker's blind ambition to stop at nothing to reach his goal is also Nixonian, and we all know how that turned out.

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    1. You're not the first person to compare him with Nixon, anony, and as his exposure increases, you sure won't be the last......

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