The PJ Tatler

Media Haters Gotta Keep Hatin' on Scott Walker

The latest entry in the Scott Walker Media Deracination Sweepstakes comes from a nasty piece of work named John Cassidy in the New Yorker:

Let’s stipulate up front that Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, is an odious politician whose ascension to the Presidency would be a disaster.

With a lede like that, you know you’re in the presence of a True Believer whose President Precious has just been attacked by… somebody, somewhere, somehow. And he doesn’t like it one bit; in fact, it frightens him.

Set aside, for a moment, his repeated refusal, in the past few days, to say whether he believes that President Obama loves America, or whether he believes that the President is a Christian, and look instead at Walker’s record running what used to be one of America’s more progressive states. Having cut taxes for the wealthy and stripped many of Wisconsin’s public-sector unions of their collective-bargaining rights, he is now preparing to sign a legislative bill that would cripple unions in the private sector. Many wealthy conservatives, such as the Koch brothers, who have funnelled a lot of money to groups supporting Walker, regard him as someone who’s turning his state into a showcase for what they want the rest of America to look like.

But just how threatening is he? If you’ve been following the political news during the past week, you may well have the impression that he’s stumbling in his campaign for the 2016 G.O.P. nomination. Among the political commentariat, the consensus of opinion is that Walker’s repeated refusal to distance himself from Rudy Giuliani’s incendiary comments about Obama, and his subsequent encounter with the Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Robert Costa, during which he appeared to question Obama’s religious faith and took some shots at the media for asking him silly questions, weren’t merely reprehensible: they were serious gaffes that raised questions about Walker’s political abilities…

Rather than deflecting the reporters’ queries about Obama’s beliefs, as other Republicans had done, Walker used them to send a none-too-subtle message to Republican voters. His refusal to say whether Obama was a Christian wasn’t merely a shot at a hostile media. As Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post noted, it allowed Walker to “wink and nod at the far-right fringe where people really believe that Obama is a Muslim from Kenya who hates America.” Milbank also wrote that Walker was “refusing to grant his opponent legitimacy as an American and a Christian.”

In a more just world, Walker’s indecent and craven antics would disqualify him from playing any further role in the Presidential race. But in the current political environment, his tactics, far from hurting him, may well bolster a candidacy that is already thriving.

Surely this man Cassidy is insane. What other explanation can there be? But if Scott Walker can make the Left foam at the mouth by the simple act of not answering a stupid question to which there is no answer anyway, he’s my kind of guy.