Today’s funniest news item comes to us courtesy of the Washington Post. Here’s the headline:
Not a side-splitter, I admit, but I did savor the humor. Listen:
MILWAUKEE — Scott Walker was gone. Dropped out. And in the spring of his senior year.
In 1990, that news stunned [stunned!] his friends at Marquette University. Walker, the campus’s suit-wearing, Reagan-loving politico — who enjoyed the place so much that he had run for student body president — had left without graduating.
Gosh. I mean, you don’t say. This, you will have noticed, is the tone that newspapers reserve for Serious Revelations. The short sentences. Staccato. Ernest Hemingway meets Bob Woodward.
It’s the sort of prose that is wheeled out when an 18 ½ minute gap is discovered in the president’s secret tapes of his Oval Office conversations. This is serious, possums, pay attention!
But what did WaPo have for us? That Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin and likely GOP presidential candidate, decided to leave college without graduating.
Wow. And they meant it to sting.
As damaging revelations go, this does not even rise to the non-story that Mitt Romney had transported a family pet on the roof of his car. (By the way, the pooch, as Ann Romney recalled, “loved it.”)
No, the news that Scott Walker concluded that he had better things to do than hang about the ivied halls of Marquette University is about on a par with the revelation that Harry S Truman had no middle name or that he had been a tailor, not a swell.
My own feeling — and I suspect that it is a feeling that will be shared by many Americans (though perhaps not those in places like Cambridge, Massachusetts, or Berkeley, California) — is that, given the corrupt nature of American academia, the less exposed a presidential candidate is to so-called higher education, the better.
Would you like to know why the Washington Post commissioned this flaccid hit job? All is revealed in this sentence:
Since 1993, [Scott Walker] has run 11 races for state legislature, county executive and governor — including a highly unusual recall election in 2012 — and he has won them all.
Yikes. The GOP just might run someone who is not an off-the-rack, ready-to-wear guaranteed loser like John McCain or Jeb Bush. Maybe, just maybe, they have wised up. Maybe they will run someone of demonstrated political savvy who is a genuine but non-scary conservative and is by all accounts a likable chap. What then?
The faint acrid scent you discern rising from this fetid little piece of partisan slobber is the smell of desperation. That, of course, is what makes it funny. Scott Walker left college and got a job. Stop the presses! Maybe the WaPo gumshoes or Hillary’s (or Jeb’s) “opposition research” will discover that he bullied some creep in second grade or that he drank a beer when he was 18. Jeesh.
Though I am morally certain they won’t find that he accompanied a pedophilic billionaire on his private plane to his island getaway where a bevy of tender young ’uns awaited. They won’t find that he lied about a terrorist attack that left four American dead in Benghazi. Nor will they uncover evidence of serious financial hanky-panky involving preferred treatment in the commodities market.
Scott Walker left college and got a job. Is that the best they can do?
I suspect that it is the best they can do for the simple reason that Scott Walker, unlike the vast majority of politicians of either party, is what he appears to be: a hard-working, small “c” conservative who is well liked and is possessed of serious political skills.
Walker, in other words, is the Democrats’ biggest nightmare.
They are right to be worried. Who will they put up against him? A fake Indian whose yuppie “progressivism” is wildly out of touch with America? Or a moth-eaten political hack whose tin ear is almost as serious a liability as her appalling record or her notoriously repellent personality?
Scott Walker is emerging as a formidable candidate. Hysterical melodramas about imaginary torts will make his opponents look craven and downright silly. They will do nothing to derail his candidacy, which is yet another reason I found the story about him in the Washington Post amusing.