Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Red State Hate for Scott Walker

With now sixteen candidates running for the Republican Presidential nomination, there are a lot of bloggers out there making the case for their candidates. As long as individuals and reporting sites are honest about their leanings, and open to other candidates if their first does not make it, then there is nothing wrong with making one's case for one specific candidate.

Washington Post columnist George Will was a Mitch Daniels supporter early on, and shared his deep dismay when the two-term successful Governor of Indiana declined to run for President in 2012.

Now with 2016 in sights, with weeks away before the first debate among the large cavalcade of GOP contenders, the blogosphere is lit up, with right-wing trolls and libertarian prognosticators, with neocons, theocons, and palecons all in a row betting and vetting for the best candidate to win the primary and take the general election.

US Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, younger and more savvy with social media as well as the federal stage of the US Senate, have inspired a horde of staunch millennial conservatives, and young people in general who like anyone standing up "The Man".

Blogs tend toward the more strident right-leaning voters, and young  millennials are taking in as much info as they can online. No wonder they get excited about Cruz or Walker.

No one should be surprised to see more mainstream candidates get left aside or attacked from this strident core of potential voters.

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The Number One Target for this Blog-Write Hate?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has lined up a number of his policy positions based on research, revelation, and well-sought information. He has establishment cred for his ground-game and ability to win, but his record of accomplishments exceeds his strong rhetoric.

Besides Breitbart, another on-line news source has attacked Walker a number of times, and raised some concerns about his viability for the long run. RedState.com

PoliticalDog101 shared insight on some anti-Walker posts on the website:

Internal bicking [sic] against the Republican Governor from Wisconsin has emerged…..It seems Walker has hired someone who is not acceptable to some…..

Before discussing the link which sparked this slight response, another article gathered a lot of attention and hefty responses, from Walker supporters as well as fellow detractors:

14 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Reject Scott Walker

 Before dissecting the above article, a little background will help readers see where GC comes from. This same author hinted at Walker as a RINO candidate in this post:

Scott Walker became a conservative hero after successfully fighting off the teacher’s unions and winning three elections soundly in a blue state, including a recall effort. He also cut spending and taxes with great success. All of these things have built a wealth of goodwill for Walker.

The magnitude to which conservative activists diminish Walker's excellent, superlative victories over the public sector unions, not just in the state but from around the world, to that extent one can diminish the source of criticism with measured success. GC then pivots:

But as soon as he does something that looks good, he will do something that makes you question his conservative credentials. . . .

For example, while he did force the teacher’s unions to end collectively bargaining, Walker exempted public safety unions. And while in the past Walker has supported right-to-work legislation, now he is urging Republicans in the state senate to drop it.

Walker chose not to target the public safety unions because he feared that they would engage in illegal strikes and leave cities and residents defenseless. He was stepping into an unprecedented conflict facing on the collective bargaining lobby in Ground Zero for the Progressive Labor Movement. Neighboring GOP Governor John Kasich of Ohio tried to follow Walker's example and exceed his record with a full set of bargaining reforms, including for police and fire. A massively well-assembled Labor Union juggernaut would gut that attempt the following year by statewide initiative.

Walker knew that he needed to pick his fight carefully. . .and he won. Kasich did not consider the long term game, and jumped into reforms after labor hordes had already set up camp a few hundred miles away.

Regarding the right-to-work legislation, which Walker has already signed into law, he never suggested that the Wisconsin State Senate Republicans drop the bill. Never. Here are the words from the very link which GC references:

Speaking to the GOP members on Wednesday, Walker restated previous comments that the measure would only be a distraction from more important issues. “We’ve got a lot of big reforms to act on…we’ve got a lot of issues with entitlement reform and tax reform and other reforms we’ve talked about…a lot of things to do in both the Legislative session and the budget…and I just have the concern that sorts of issues, particularly early on, might distract from that work,” Walker said.

Yes, it would have been, if the labor unions tried to swamp Madison and disrupt daily life and commerce a second time in the state capital, as they had done in Michigan two years earlier. On another, more political savvy note, Walker and other red state governors played coy about right-to-work precisely to keep labor unions off guard. Executives who announce clear and convincing intentions to sign RTW would galvanize labor unions to write long-term contradicts and frustrate the measure's purpose. One other remark stands out:

The governor, who has supported right-to-work legislation in the past, did not say if he would veto or sign a bill if lawmakers do pass one.

Governor Walker signing into law Right To Work
Once again - he signed it. End of story.

Another set of complaints deserve a full response, too. GC writes:

Walker originally signed an emergency order implementing ObamaCare in Wisconsin, only to rescind it after outrage from the right and the state legislature. Nevertheless, he later ordered state agencies to help people sign up for the exchange.

Walker did the right thing, and backed away from Obamacare, and called the Medicaid expansion a "fool's bet". The fact he listened to outraged supporters should invite prospective voters to support Walker.

Like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 91%, Walker supports a pathway to citizenship for illegals.

One comment shared in one interview means nothing. Walker has already repealed in-state tuition for illegal aliens and made his positions on immigration crystal clear on Fox News.

And his opposition to Common Core? It is only superficial.

Wrong -- See here.

At the end of the day, Scott Walker really isn’t too different from Jeb Bush and Chris Christie when it comes to policy, but unlike them he knows how to connect with conservatives and make them like him. His third place finish in the first 2016 RedState poll is indicative of that.

To compare Jeb Bush and Walker, read this link and then this link. As for Christie and Walker, read here. The above poll has been surpassed by a wide array of more current polling (since the above article was printed New Year's Day, 2015.

Now, GC's more extensive screed against Walker needs attention:

14 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Reject Scott Walker

Wow! Fourteen?! Quite an array of indictments, certainly.

The first paragraph teases the reader to lean in and take Walker for the nomination, then to back away because he is a "flip-flopper". Context is crucial to appreciating the lean and bent of this article, from an identified "Goldwater Conservative" (GC) who has written predominantly positive posts about Rand Paul. If this Golden conservative were at least honest about his political leanings and accurate about the truth of the other candidates, no one would have to slam his criticisms of Walker or anyone else.

Yet his 14 points against Walker flounder on weak foundations.

The first six merely repeat his News Year Day blast. Not every seasoned or scholarly.

The seventh point could raise some concern:

7. He has endorsed crony-capitalism by way of providing $220 million in taxpayer money to finance an NBA stadium.

Floating a bond and using the tax revenue from the project is not in and of itself a bad thing. Public works projects rely on bonds all the time.

8. He’s a seemingly reluctant fighter on abortion.

Either Walker is or is not a fighter for life. That word "seeming" is almost as cowardly as hiding behind a pseudonym in attacking one candidate. The reasons for doubting Walker's defense of life are pretty weak, like the fact that he signed pro-life legislation in private. He signed the legislation; that's what matters. He has also signed bills to limit abortions after twenty weeks, and called for defunding Planned Parenthood across the country. What more do conservatives want?

This critique was sad and stupid all at once:

10. His administration has denied the right to conceal carry in state buildings in contradiction with state law.

Yet the source which GC sites discusses open carry at great length. There is a huge difference between concealed and open carry. The fact that the blogger could not tell the difference is disturbing, and makes it very clear that the writer has a stringent, strident need to fault Walker at all costs, even the cost of journalistic integrity and simple logic.

Other ancillary critiques about ethanol and domestic spying do not raise significant concerns for me. Much of the frustration with foreign policy questions and national security issues better reflect on the poor leadership in the White House, and Walker's state record exceeds Obama lack thereof in too many ways.

The latest anti-Walker Red State post slammed the Governor for hiring Thad Cochran's campaign manager Brad Dayspring. The title of the post itself was inflammatory and misleading:

Scott Walker: the New Thad Cochran

How low can one go? This post does not come from the typewriter of GC, but STRIEFF.

Scott Walker, the Red State governor in a blue state who defeated public sector unions, who cut property taxes, who removed heavily burdensome regulations, who expanded school choice, vouchers, and local control over education, is now akin to a doddering old US Senator who has done little to nothing impressive or meaningful in the US Senate? Ridiculous.

Really, though, the title is a hollow "Gotcha!" to get people reading:

Scott Walker just dropped off my list of acceptable candidates. I like a lot about Governor Walker but people are policy. And his decision to hire Brad Dayspring, an unprincipled political operative who combines viciousness and incompetence in equal measures tells us a lot.

That's a poor reason for removing anyone from consideration for the Presidency. Still, the sordid history of Dayspring's tactics and attacks against conservatives are alarming.

Walker has already dispensed with this problem, however. Breitbart reports:

“Well, he doesn’t work for me, he works for the Super PACs out there and by ‘he doesn’t work for me’ I can’t tell any Super PACs anything,” Walker replied amid crosstalk.

Red State hate against Scott Walker comes up pink and weak. Another Red State post deserves more attention, pointing out that the needless nit-picking against conservatives is not only deeply counter-productive, but also certainly guarantees another lukewarm moderate. Leon Wolf, identifying himself without reserve, explains:

I wonder how long it will take us, as a movement, to learn from the strategic mistakes of our past. A major reason why we keep nominating moderates for the Presidency is that these kinds of attacks on viable conservative alternatives leave the moderate as the only plausible alternative standing.  While conservatives are dividing their support into increasingly narrow slices, the moderate voters unify early behind a single candidate and don’t go to pieces over one or two differences of opinion.

My sentiments exactly. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a Red State Governor in a blue state who has made that state get redder and redder. He is the right man for the White House, with a stellar, exemplary record and rhetoric to match. Whatever hate remains out there, fired up by frustration with Washington DC bickering and inaction, Walker can step into and overcome.

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