In about the least surprising development imaginable, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker turns out to to be not only surrounded by crooks and grifters, but dumb and bigoted ones at that. Well, duh. Just as every other Republican “star” has similarly flamed out in some tawdry variation of the same theme, from New Jersey to Florida and Virginia to North Carolina, Walker is simply performing to type: when one holds the very fact of government in contempt philosophically, choosing a career in it anyway is simply something only a second-rate grifter would ever do. Oh, and being a total asshole helps, too.
Walker, though, is still a special case, on both counts. Christie may have been obnoxious to teachers, Walker’s frontal assault on all public employees, extended to citizens who supported them, makes the fat guy with the traffic cones look like Santa Claus. Bobby Jindal may be smarmy and uncharismatic, but alongside Walker he seems brainy and just short of charming. Kasich, McCrory, and others may have worse environmental records, but Walker is trashing his own state for low value sand; seemingly just to stick it to the enviros.
Other Republicans (and too many Democrats) are beholden to plutocrats, but only Walker has been repeatedly caught on tape and video promising to screw over ordinary people simply to warm their billionaire hearts. Once, it was just a billionaire impersonator, but as you’d expect, the sentiments (and actions) were drearily familiar.
Perhaps, as Joan Walsh at Salon wrote this morning, Walker has only so recently hopped aboard the clown car/paddy wagon that carries all GOP 2016 hopefuls because of his relative isolation out in cheese country, but this seems to only account for part of the problem. The simple fact is that no Republican of any stature under age 70 is fit to serve as dog catcher, and the media are loath to admit this until one blows sky high, and thus must treat each flameout as a separate event, when they’re not separate events at all.
All of these people chose to join a party not just shot through with, but almost entirely dedicated to making the lives of the many miserable for the benefit of the few, and the fact that all of them are terrible people lacking the moral and intellectual raw material for public office is no accident, despite to momentary fascination of the pancaked rubberneckers describing it to us.
Walker is really no different from those who came before and will most certainly come after; corruption, dirty politics, authoritarianism, and casual hate speech got him wher he is, which is a high place indeed for someone with no other evident gifts.
Like the rest of them, he joined the party of upward failure for a very good reason.
Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons license