Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scott Walker's Modest Proposal

This cartoon speaks more of Scott Walker's management style than anything else.

I've followed Walker's career ever since his run for student body president at Marquette University. I wasn't a student there; but he got the attention of the student newspapers at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. I was drawing for the UWM Post at the time. The Marquette Tribune was also available at various eateries and movie theatres back in those days when picking up actual physical newsprint was the only way to read a newspaper.

His campaign was marked by numerous violations of the rules; and when the student newspaper withdrew its judgment (at the end of an editorial endorsing his opponent) that either candidate was qualified for the job, his campaign seized and trashed as many copies as they could of the issue declaring Walker unqualified.

"In a Tribune article dated April 25, 2002, Walker recalled the [1988 student body presidential] election, saying he regretted the approach he took to campaigning.

"'I didn’t achieve office because I focused on personalities and egos,' Walker said in the article."

Walker was trounced 80% to 20% in that election, and soon quit the University. He entered politics instead of earning a degree.

I have been astonished at the ability of this thoroughly unlikeable cretin to achieve political success out in the real world. When he was elected to the state assembly from Wauwatosa, there was the explanation that he ran as a stubborn conservative in a stubbornly conservative suburb. When he was elected Milwaukee County Executive, it could be explained by the fact that the previous Executive was caught in a scandal involving excessive pensions for county politicians and the county was outraged and in a mood for just the sort of asshole Walker is.

But Walker's victory over Mayor Barrett -- the guy who got severely injured heroically intervening in the violent assault of a woman the year before -- in the 2010 gubernatorial race was dumbfounding. In the end, Barrett was done in by relentless attack ads from the Republican Governor's Association (starting months before the primary), and the front groups for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Koch Brothers.

The coup de grĂ¢ce was the ad from the Milwaukee police and firemen's unions attacking Barrett over a new emergency responders' radio system that has experienced more than its share of kinks. It is now important to remember these unions' endorsement of Scott Walker in light of the Republican claim that Scott Walker campaigned on busting up state workers' unions.

If Walker had indeed campaigned on that stand, there is no way that the police and firemen's unions would have alienated themselves from the rest of the public service unions by publicly supporting him. They might have sat on their hands, but they wouldn't have endorsed him, and they certainly wouldn't have spent union dues attacking the Democratic alternative on TV and radio.

1 comment:

  1. I am impressed by your background knowledge of Scott Walker. Where were the voices of truth during the campaign? Also, I don't think he came out stating he would break up the state worker's unions, at least not publicly. I heard a teacher say she voted for him and she didn't know he was going to go after her collective bargaining rights. This is not the democratic process. Walker is dictating to his state--not conversing to resolve issues with the opposing parties! What right does he have to listen to the voices of out-of-state billionaires rather than the voices of discontent Wisconsinites on the steps of the Capitol. It is unfortunate that there is no immediate way to reprimand this man. He needs to be in office for a time in order to recall! He surely is taking many actions that will hurt our state--education, BadgerCare, Medicaid, and the list goes on!