• Picture of Governor Walker

A letter to the editor

Oh what a difference a week can make in the lives of people in the news. If you doubt me, check with newscaster Brian William, former Olympian athlete Chris Jenner, Or, closer to home, Gov. Scott Walker. At least Jenner wasn’t caught lying, but rather being honest.

The last week of January was good to Walker. His speech to conservative and reactionary Iowans went over well though, of course, he was preaching to the choir. But then came his February 1 interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who quizzed him on foreign affairs matters, and his shallowness quickly became apparent. His performance came as no shock to those who have long noted that the scrutiny of the national media is a bit more grueling than that of the home state media, but many of us didn’t think a major flop would come so soon.

Wisconsin IdeaBut that was just the beginning. On February 3, Walker presented his budget proposal for the next biennium and, as they say, “all hell broke loose!” As a coffee shop acquaintance said a day or two later, even Joe McCarthy, dumb though he was, had the sense never to really attack the University of Wisconsin or its ideals (though he felt free to attack individual faculty). But Walker and his cabal did just that, and though the extent of the damage remains to be seen, now it is not just Democrats who question the man’s leadership abilities, but even Republicans – especially those with University of Wisconsin ties. To top it off, his proposals for revisions in the DNR likewise seem to be disturbing members of his heretofore GOP base.

What would account for such faux pas? One possibility is over-confidence both on his part and the GOP power structure behind him. Another is his apparent deep seated hatred for public education, whether it be in the form of expanding the voucher system while cutting the traditional funding for public schools, attacking the ideals of a great public university, or proposed funding cuts for public television and radio.

Following Walker’s inept performance on ABC, commentator Rich Ungar who, granted is a liberal, had this to say:

“Here is the reality—As I’ve been saying for longer than I can remember, Scott Walker is a mediocre county executive who has risen far beyond his talents . . . The very notion that he brings the gravitas and talent required to assume the mantle of the President of the United States and leader of the Free World reveals just how low the expectations of many Americans have fallen.”

Up until his attack on the “Wisconsin Ideal” and his totally inane excuse of it being the result of a “drafting error,” which qualifies as a bald-faced lie, like many, I thought Walker might have a chance at the GOP vice presidential slot in 2016. After all, the GOP actually once saw Sarah Palin as suitable for that office. And let us not forget Spiro Agnew. But alas, this budget fiasco might be a real shot in the foot.

Maybe—perhaps maybe—if the Governor would spend less time running around the nation campaigning for the presidency, he might be better able to attend to the business of the State of Wisconsin, where he’s been on public payrolls since age twenty-five. Maybe by doing so he might lessen the probability of making serious “drafting errors” in the future. One can only hope. As the Governor himself might say, Molotov!