Madness in Madison – Walker’s Delusions

By YeOldeScribe ~ March 8th, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

First off, PoliticalProgressives.com apologizes for not posting yesterday. Right now, we’re a one-man show, and that man happened to be in the hospital for a routine procedure yesterday – hence the absence of posts. (I’m fine though, no worries!) We’ll continue with two posts every day this week (including two special posts on Saturday to make up for the lack of posts yesterday), and then next week we’ll go down to a much more manageable one new post every weekday. As always, keep commenting on the blog, and email us at tim[at]politicalprogressives.com with any comments, questions, concerns, requests, ideas, etc.

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Tonight’s post comes with a hefty title, to say the least. I was originally going to post about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s punking at the hands of Ian Murphy, and the title was going to be a little more civilized. I needed a break before I started writing, so I decided to catch up on some Castle episodes I hadn’t seen yet. One of the things I love about my computer is that I can record live TV on it and watch the TV episodes when I have time – it’s kind of like my own personal TiVO, only I use Windows Media Center. Anyways, I set the software to record the shows five minutes before and after they’re supposed to start and end, because sometimes my PC’s clock is a little different than the one the TV station is using. The end result is I usually get the first few minutes of the nightly news after I’m done getting my Nathan Fillion fix. Lo and behold, the WI budget crisis was the first thing on the local news. This was an episode from 2/14, so right when the budget crisis really started to unroll. I was about to turn it off when I heard Gov. Walker’s unmistakable voice utter something that brought my brain to a screeching halt:

“Unless someone can find me a kid who is paying for their health care and pension benefits in this state, this bill has no impact on children.”

I literally stopped and replayed the section just to make sure I heard it right. Then I replayed it again because I couldn’t believe that I had honestly heard our esteemed governor correctly. I’m not sure why I played it back a third time, but I know I did. Alas, the recording never changed. Gov. Walker sincerely believes that his bill won’t affect our state’s youth.

See, I know Walker may be a couple fries short of a Happy Meal – after all, he spent four years at Marquette College, finished with a C average and never graduated – but I couldn’t imagine him saying something so stupid. How can he seriously believe that his budget repair bill won’t affect children? Does he think teachers and government workers don’t have kids, or does he think that this sudden increase in pension withdrawing and decrease in benefits won’t affect them? And when children are taught by teachers working harder and paying more for less, that’s not going to affect them – not to mention what happens if teachers get laid off like Walker’s threatening.

And let us not forget that slashing benefits for teachers and public workers is only part of Walker’s evil plan to rule the world Budget Repair Bill. Apparently Walker also believes that public health programs such as BadgerCare don’t affect children. Children aren’t affected by environmental issues either. After all, what child needs clean air or safe drinking water (points 2 and 3)?

That’s not the first statement Walker’s made that has caused me to lose brain cells, though. In the aforementioned prank call, Walker makes several comments that I find to be more than disturbing. Walker says that “This is our moment” (apparently channeling his inner Regan), adds that “This is ground zero, no doubt about it” (apparently channeling his inner bin Laden), and ties up the interview by noting he “Has a [baseball bat] with [his] name on it” for the Democratic Senators who refuse to return (apparently channeling his inner Nixon). To be honest, I don’t even know how to respond to that interview. I think it sheds so much light on what kind of a person Walker is – that he would agree to talk to Koch and not Democrats or NPR. That he would threaten to plant ‘fake protesters’ that would cause problems just to give legitimate protesters a bad name. That he would accept kickbacks from Koch in exchange for support. That he believes he’s right so deeply it’s overtaken his senses, much like a religious fervor. Not only is he right, he is morally justified in accomplishing his crusade – er, reform – and that justifies subduing the heathens – er, Democrats – with any means necessary. The idea of a man with such a mindset is scary. It’s one thing to be drunk on power, but it’s another to become so intoxicated on that concoction that you turn into some sort of malicious dictator.

The final claim that gives me pause is made not only by Walker, but by Republicans and those who support them – the idea that Republicans were given a mandate by the public when they were elected in sweeping fashion. We’d like to point out that even if you make the argument that Republicans were elected because people agreed with their platform and not because they were pissed off at Democrats, that ignores the fact that Republicans (and Walker) didn’t campaign on this issue. Sure, Walker talked a bunch about teachers and public workers paying more – but he never once talked about cutting collective bargaining for them, as our friends at PolitiFact have already pointed out.  (Side-Note: Check PolitiFact. Regularly. It’s a great website that does a really good job at looking at the truth of politicians and their statements.) Besides, recent polls show that such a mandate doesn’t exist. Polls done in Wisconsin show that citizens want Walker to negotiate. Those numbers only grow when the poll expands nationally, and grow further when the question is asked about collective bargaining as a whole. It’s clear that even if you make the argument that a mandate existed (which we don’t think you can), such a mandate no longer does.

Much of what Walker says could be classified as “dumb” and “backwards” by progressives, but it’s statements like these (and others I didn’t even mention) that push Walker from just another government moron to completely delusional. Even if at one time Walker was acting in the best interests of the state (or cared about such things), he no longer is/does. Now all that matters is Walker, his ideals, and those agree with them implicitly. I never imagined that my state would one day be ruled by a crazed dictator hell-bent on doing things his way or not at all, but that’s the situation the great state of Wisconsin now faces.

(insert deity of your choice here) help us all.

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