Posts Tagged ‘Scott Walker’

Who is the Extremist?

April 4, 2016

Bernie Sanders is calling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker an extremist.

David—

When our campaign first set foot in Wisconsin this past summer, we got a very warm welcome from the people of Wisconsin. I spoke to more than 10,000 people in Madison about our corrupt political system, our broken economy, and how our political revolution can take back our country from people like the Koch brothers and the billionaire class.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican party weren’t as happy to see me. Gov. Walker, who has been helped throughout his career by the Koch brothers, issued statements against us, and the GOP even put up billboards calling me an “extremist.”

Well, let’s talk about extremism. Scott Walker has attacked the minimum wage, gutted unions, made it much harder to vote, and restricted access to abortion. That is extremism.

I can think of no better place for our political revolution to continue its momentum than in Wisconsin. The latest poll has us down just a few points, and I know that if we work together right now, we can pull off a huge victory.

With a huge FEC fundraising deadline on Thursday at midnight, there has not been a more important time for you to support our campaign.

Click here to make a $2.70 contribution to our campaign and MoveOn’s efforts to help us win before Thursday night’s deadline—and we can shock the political establishment with a victory in Wisconsin.

Not only has Governor Walker been helped throughout his career by huge financial support from the Koch Brothers, but he has enacted their ideology while in office.

When you deny the right of workers to come together in collective bargaining, that’s extremism.

When you tell a woman that she cannot control her own body, that’s extremism.

When you give tax breaks to billionaires and refuse to raise the minimum wage, that’s extremism.

Our views, which represent the views of the vast majority of the American people, are different. We believe that the time has come for the people of Wisconsin and all over the country to create a movement that tells the billionaire class: YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL!

And what we are saying to the Koch brothers and Scott Walker is that this great country belongs to everybody, and not just a handful of very wealthy people.

Contribute $2.70 to our campaign and MoveOn right now to say you stand with our political revolution—and help us win in Wisconsin next week.

When the people stand together against the Koch Brothers and the billionaire class, we can win.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, extremism is defined as:

belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable

Are the positions held by Governor Walker really very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable? Well, about half the people in this country take a pro-life position in which they believe that abortion is morally wrong and should be restricted or outlawed altogether. Even many people who identify as pro-choice on the abortion issue do not consider abortion to be a good thing in itself. They are simply reluctant to force their personal views on others and many would favor at least some restrictions on abortion, particularly abortions performed in the third trimester. Relatively few people support the idea of abortion completely unrestricted up to the moment of birth. That would be the extreme position.

I have not heard that Governor Scott wished to abolish the minimum wage altogether. That would be an extreme position, although there are libertarian economists who hold that any minimum wage is an unreasonable restriction on the free market that increases unemployment. If Scott Walker opposes more than doubling the minimum wage to $15 per hour, he is in agreement with his party and large number of people, including most economists. This idea of raising the minimum wage to make young persons or people with few skills unemployable ought to be considered the extreme position, although since there are a large number of ignorant people who vote Democrat, but I repeat myself, who think it is a good idea, doubling the minimum wage is not as extreme as it ought to be.

As far as I know, Governor Scott does not seek to eliminate the rights of workers t0 join labor unions, although considering that only 7% of private sector workers belong to a union, being anti-union is far from extreme. Walker has fought the public sector unions in Wisconsin. These unions are widely believed to have colluded with state and local politicians to secure for themselves salaries, benefits and pensions that are not sustainable. Walker is not the only governor who has discovered that these obligations have become greater than the state government’s ability to meet. He has been more effective than many in seeking to limit the influence of the public sector unions in an attempt to balance his state’s budget.

The people of Wisconsin do not seem to consider Scott Walker’s ideas far from what is considered correct or reasonable. He was elected governor in 2010, survived an attempt to recall him in 2012, and was reelected in 2014. If Walker were really the extremist Bernie Sanders portrays him as being. surely he would have been thrown out to office years ago. Of course, Sanders might state that dark money from the nefarious Koch Brothers has been keeping Scott Walker in office, but all the money in the world is not going to help a candidate who the voters view as a crazed extremist. If money really had as much influence on politics as Sanders believes, then Jeb Bush would have gottenthe Republican nomination instead of being forced to withdraw, and Hilary Clinton would be sailing her way to the Democratic convention. Money does matter, but not as much as some believe.

Speaking of which, Bernie Sanders doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with members of the billionaire class who support the Democratic Party and progressive causes, such as George Soros. But that is another post.

I would say that Bernie Sanders is more of an extremist than anyone else of national prominence, being the only openly socialist member of Congress. He supports extreme left-wing ideas which have not worked anywhere else they have been tried and will not work here in the U.S. The fact that he is not seen as an extremist by many is an indictment of our dumbed down media and education.

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More on the Recall

June 7, 2012

I don’t want to dwell too much on the recall election last Tuesday, but reading through all the commentary, it occurs to me that the biggest mistake the Democrats made was having the recall at all. I imagine that even many voters who disapproved of Scott Walker nevertheless believe that the recall was expensive and unnecessary. They might have been wiser to wait until Walker was running for reelection in 2014 and made his fight with the  public-sector unions a major issue. They might also have made it an issue this November, which might have helped Obama’s reelection effort, and the Democrats in Wisconsin generally, or perhaps not. The public was clearly on Walker’s side in the recall, and there is no reason to believe that would have been any different this November. Still, at least they would not have wasted all of that money and effort.

Walter Russel Mead, as usual, has a good analysis of the implications of this election.

The American left as we have come to know it suffered a devastating blow in Wisconsin last night. The organized heart of the left gave everything it had to the fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: heart, shoe leather, wallet and soul. The left picked this fight, on the issue and in the place of its choice; it chose to recall Walker because it believed it could win a showcase victory. That judgement was fatally flawed; it is part of a larger failure to grasp the nature of American politics and the times in which we live.

The left gave this fight everything it had. It called all the troops it could find; it raised all the money it could; it summoned the passion of its grassroots supporters, all the moral weight and momentum remaining to the American labor movement and every ounce of its strength and its will.

And it failed.

The tribes of the left danced and rallied in the streets of Madison. They knocked on doors. They staffed phone banks. They passed fliers. They organized on social media. They picketed. They sang. They brought in the celebrities and the stars; they marched seven times around the city blowing the trumpets and beating the drums. They hurled invective; they booed; they cheered.

And they failed.

For labor, this was a key test of strength and clout. Scott Walker attacked the American labor movement where it lives: the public sector unions are the only bright spot in the dismal world of modern American unions. They have the growth, they have the money, they have — or they had — the hope.

In terms of his ideas about the Blue social model and its increasing inability to provide answers to the difficulties of our postindustrial information age economy and society, the public-sector unions must surely be the bluest of the blue.

In terms of the blue social model, they are the party of the bitter clingers: the power of public sector unions among Democrats is a power that inhibits Democrats from putting forward innovative, future-facing ideas (about schools, health care, and so on) and keeps them focused firmly on the defense of the past.

Mead provides a link to a delightful piece by Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post.

Indeed, we are witnessing the first major battle between astronomical numbers of people and astronomical amounts of money.

As I write this, Walker leads in the polls, and if progressive turnout is merely ordinary, he will likely win. On the other hand, if we see the same groundswell today as on the days that led to this one, Walker can be defeated. Yet, big as this election is, it is only the first test of the progressive response to an electoral landscape overrun with money from corporations and wealthy individuals.

By attacking labor unions, flooding Wisconsin with outside cash and trying to cleanse the electorate of people who don’t look, earn or think like him, Walker has taken aim at more than a single campaign cycle or a series of policies; his real targets are the pillars of American progressivism itself. With the Romney campaign gearing up, and super PACs taking to the national airwaves, we face an unprecedented, well-funded assault on our basic values.

But progressives aren’t backing down. They’re just getting started.

Just like the South was on the path to victory after the Battle of Gettysburg, or the Germans after Stalingrad, or the Japanese after Midway. Or maybe not. They all lost the war after those setbacks. We haven’t won the war yet, but this may be the turning point.

I haven’t read anything from the Left explaining their rout yet, but I suspect that most of the commentary will resemble vanden Heuvel’s. They were beaten by money from sinister corporations and out of state wealthy individuals. Most likely the Koch brothers and Karl Rove were behind the whole thing. It couldn’t possibly be because people actually agreed with the governor that in tough times, it is not asking too much to expect even people in the public sector to tighten their belts a little.

This, of course, is a variation of the arguments in Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas. Those bitter clingers in flyover country should vote for the Democrats who have their best interests in mind, but instead are bamboozled into voting for Republicans, against their own interests. For people who claim to be on the side of the little people, Liberals are remarkably condescending towards anyone who doesn’t see the world their way.

What is Best in Life

June 6, 2012

Conan the Barbarian said it best.

I’m hearing a lot of lamentation of their women coming out of Wisconsin these days.

Victory in Wisconsin

June 6, 2012

Very good news from Wisconsin last night. Scott walker not only won the recall vote, he won by a large enough margin so that the unions and Democrats couldn’t steal the election. Walker won 53% of the vote against his opponent Tom Barrett‘s 46%. This, despite all of the money and all of the attention they gave this race.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) survived a furious campaign seeking his recall on Tuesday, emerging as the victor in a bitter fight over state budgets and collective bargaining rights.

Walker prevailed over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, in the closely-watched campaign that stemmed from a fight in early 2011, when Walker drove a controversial bill stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights through Wisconsin’s legislature. Walker won with 53 percent of the vote while Barrett received 46 percent, a slightly larger margin than when the two ran against one another in 2010.

Walker told a raucous crowd at his election night party that his survival was an affirmation of political “courage.”

“Tonight, we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions,” he said.

Walker’s win served as a symbolic victory for a generation of reform-minded conservatives; the crowd at Walker’s Waukesha election night party let out a large cheer when a local NBC affiliate showed the projection of Walker’s victory.

Conversely, the outcome in Wisconsin was a galling disappointments to Democrats and labor groups that had vowed to seek the Republican governor’s ouster over the collective bargaining law. Tens of millions of dollars flowed into the state both in support and opposition of Walker, reflecting the high stakes in the race.

Well, maybe it won’t be a day long remembered, but this recall election does have considerable significance outside the state of Wisconsin. Walker’s victory will embolden other governors top take on the public sector unions and this will be good for the Republican Party, by cutting off a major source of funding and  support for the Democrat. It will also be good for the country as a whole as governors will be able to enact badly needed fiscal reforms for their state.

I don’t know what this portends for the election in November and it would be imprudent to make any predictions at this point, but I don’t imagine that they are too happy about this in the White House. This is a major defeat for the Liberals’ agenda and they know it.

 

Liberals are such drama queens, aren’t they? No, democracy isn’t dead. This was a fair election and your side lost. I didn’t cry when Obama won.

I am sure that the unions and the Democrats will not be sore losers about this and certainly not resort to threats of violence like those awful racist teabaggers, right?

Well no. Actually they have been flooding twitter with death threats against Governor Walker, which is all of a piece with the lawless and occasionally violent manner in which they have been acting all along. If these thugs had been successful with their intimidation tactics and mobs, I wouldn’t say democracy is dead, but it might be on life support. But the good guys won this one, so I’ll be celebrating.

 

By the way, I can’t wait to read what the Democrat’s fund-raising emails say about this. We wasted millions of dollars in an ill-advised campaign to unseat Scott Walker. Please give more.


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