Monday, January 26, 2015

It Was Inevitable

Politics is a pendulum.  It naturally wants to rest in the center.  That is what politics and democracy are all about.  Dialogue and debate from opposing sides which is supposed to lead to the voices of experience and reason achieving compromise for the good of the majority.  When extremist forces cause the pendulum to swing far to one side there is an inevitable result.  The pendulum will seek the center again but not before it swings far to the other side.

In Wisconsin the extremist forces that pushed things far, far to the right are starting to see their cause and their support base collapse.  Those that supported Scott Walker back when he was a "promising up and comer"and a "Republican rock star" are now experiencing disillusionment with their hero and savior.

Walker who is now in his second term as governor, was able to use deceitful and emotional rhetoric to fire up a support base for himself and the political agenda he was given to follow by the Koch brothers.  But now after the effects of his first term are becoming widely known throughout Wisconsin his support base is crumbling.

Walker has based the entirety of his governorship solely on the concept that he is not (former governor) Jim Doyle.  Such a platform was not designed for long term viability and it is now collapsing.  Over and again Scott Walker pointed his finger at the debt Wisconsin was carrying at the end of Doyle's term as governor.  That figured was 2.2 billion dollars.  A rather large number indeed which was largely, but not completely, created by the Doyle administration.  He inherited a good amount of that debt when he became governor.

Wisconsin's nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau which provides oversight into the state's budget and finances is now reporting that Wisconsin is going to end this year nearly $400,000,000.00 in the red.  Significant money but nothing compared to the state's unavoidable debt for the upcoming year which will be at least $2,3000,000,000.00.  That number is likely to rise as Wisconsin under Walker's leadership has officially announced it is unable to properly collect the taxes which the state needs to operate and support its infrastructure.

Also not figured into the debt amount are the millions of dollars that Walker's pet project, the Wisconsin Economic & Development Corporation is handing out in the forms of loans, mostly to large corporations.  The majority of these loans are not being repaid yet the WEDC continues to writes checks which give the taxpayers money to businesses which have been using a portion of the money they get to file bankruptcy and pocket the rest.  Many others have used their money to move factories and jobs out of Wisconsin.  Several beneficiaries of the largest loans have used the money to move their business's overseas and out of the United States altogether.

As this information is becoming more commonly known across the state, even to those who normally don't "sweat the details" and traditionally have supported Walker no matter what, Walker's grip on the hearts and minds of his base is slipping and slipping fast.  Add to this the utter failure of Walker to keep his central campaign promise from his first election of adding 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin and it his easy to see why the governor is in trouble.

The tipping point though came last week when Scott Walker turned on his campaign donors who wanted him to approve a new, huge casino be built.  Years in the planning, the casino would have added thousands of jobs to a state that has been bleeding jobs under Walker's watch.  Right wing business and lobbying groups were outraged that Walker would turn on those who funded his campaign believing that they would be rewarded for that support.

Walker kept talking the same talk as always and blamed his decision on former Governor Jim Doyle. This time though nobody was buying that excuse.  The builders and planners of the casino had signed contracts years ago securing the money they wanted from the state to help build the casino.  They needed money from the state for the project but the loan they wanted from the taxpayers was guaranteed and set in stone.

So why did Scott Walker rip up the deal at the last minute?  Why did Walker risk angering the very forces of corporate interest that paid for him to become governor?  It was because Walker's new presidential campaign manager and the Koch/ALEC people behind the Iowas Freedom Summit which occurred over this last weekend told him to.

The ultra-powerful, far right wing lobbying group, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has voiced opposition to the Governors actions recently.  This coming at a critical time when Walker is desperately trying to shut down the criminal investigations into his campaigns, a time when he needs the money from WMC and his other biggest financial supporters, the Club For Growth the most.

It was the straw that seems to have broken the camel's back for Walker in Wisconsin.  His oldest supporters from longtime insiders to the lowest ranks of the remaining Tea Party faithful immediately made their resentment for the failing governor known.

Kristi LaCroix who allowed herself to be in commercials supporting Scott Walker by attempting to shame and degrade all of Wisconsin's teachers and educators (the "sour grapes" woman) unleashed an online tirade against Walker and accused him of using her and turning her into a traitor against all those teachers and educators and never recompensating her for her involvement.   What was she expecting from the Walker regime?  Scott Walker has a long history of throwing people under the bus without a second thought.  She was convenient to him, not someone of proven long term worth like Tim Russell who was just released from jail and will surely be given a very cushy state job by the man he fell on his sword for.
As a matter of fact, perhaps the biggest lie Walker told at the Iowa Tea Party rally relates to education in Wisconsin.  Walker swaggered about on the stage there and told the story of how Megan Sampson won Teacher of the Year in Wisconsin and was then fired from her job as an educator.  Supposedly because of budget cuts, and Sampson being the lowest on the totem pole, lost her job so that more experienced educators could retain theirs.  Walker claimed that his education "reforms" in Wisconsin will prevent that situation from ever happening again.

It is an interesting story but there are a few problems with it.  1.  Megan Samson did not win a Teacher of the Year award.  2.  She was not fired from her job.  3.  Scott Walker's "reforms" would not affect the situation in any way and do not address such situations at all.  4.  Budget cuts which threaten our schools, are actually created by Scott Walker.

So Scott Walker is actually the cause of, and not the solution to these problems.  Given the support that Kristi LaCroix has shown for Walker and his attacks on education in Wisconsin, including a new and devastating $300,000,000.00 cut to the state's university system.
More on that story here:

Even the members of the ragtag Tea Party group called Knot My Wisconsin, a rogue and sometimes felonious group of rabid Walker supporters, have turned on their former wunderkind.  Well known Knot My Wisconsin member Matt Lepperd went on the record saying:

"I am one of those supporters he lost.  and YES, if and when he runs for re-election here, I will vote for him.  I will NOT support his POTUS dream.  He is no more ready for that position than Obama was, and we all see how that turned out,  I am FURIOUS that he put himself first.  He lied in the debates when asked if he was going to run in 2016....and he then kicked off his 2016 campaign the night of the election.  He shoots down jobs in Wisconsin to please supporters in IOWA to meet with the people who demanded he deny the casino...he takes pictures with them.  Then flies to meet with the Koch brothers the next morning????  I was there at his victory party,  Every word he spoke was spoken as a presidential candidate and not as a grateful man who just won a hard fought election.  He is now governing to defend his POTUS chances and is not interested in doing his job.  I have never been more disappointed in someone I had so much respect for."

And that was coming from someone who belongs to a group that said they would use firearms and kill citizens at polling locations and children at schools to affect the outcome of Walker's elections. Those comments came from a right wing online publication that also has gone from supporting to condemning Walker.  You can read the full story here:

Another item coming from the extremist Iowa Freedom Summit concerning Scott Walker was a bold statement which he told the crowd that "he had completely defunded Planned Parenthood" in Wisconsin and that mammograms and abortions would not be readily available in the badger state.  Walker had long denied that he had planned to go after Planned Parenthood, but had in fact, done just that.  The timing of this statement is interesting because women within the Republican Party have started questioning the party's doctrine on women's health issues.  Last week the GOP in Congress had to remove a bill they were about to vote on because even the female Republican members of Congress were about to walk out of the chambers as the bill came up.

To make matters worse for Walker when it comes to his support and/or increasingly growing lack thereof in Wisconsin, a memo from within his administration revealing that he was cancelling his gubernatorial responsibilities to pursue his dark horse POTUS dream was made public this week. You can read that here:

Scott Walker has been burning bridges for years and it took awhile for some of the people to catch onto that fact.  They are also starting to notice that he has begun to burn some of the bridges in front of him as his sociopathic ego starts to run away from his ability to control it.

When the political pendulum swings, it will take you along with it.  It doesn't matter who you are or who you think you are, the process is bigger than any individual.  That is something which Scott Walker has never been capable of realizing before and doesn't seem to be capable of recognizing even now.

It will be interesting to see where the inevitable left swing brought about by right wing extremism takes us before the pendulum returns to center.  Maybe it will be enough to undo what Walker has done?

                               Image courtesy of The Daily Call 

The Daily Call podcast: 

Speaking of big and bold, in preparing for his attempt at winning the GOP presidential nomination, Walker tried to show his knowledge of international diplomacy and history.  Here are the results of that attempt: 

And of course the opposition to Walker is still.....well the opposition to Walker. 

And of course some people just quite literally.....hate Scott Walker. 

Authors note:  To the person I won't name who is trying to use the comment section of my blog to further their own blog's minimal readership, it is not going to happen.  Many people have tried that before and failed.  Enjoy your Stockholm Syndrome though, or better yet seek counseling.