Scott Walker on Close Inspection

ScottWalkerby N. A. Halkides   6/8/14
I’d like to continue my ongoing examination in these pages of the problems we Conservatives face in trying to find an acceptable Presidential nominee for 2016 (see What Conservatives Should Look For and The Problem with Rick Santorum) with an examination of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.  Walker is a reasonably prominent figure within the Republican Party and has definite support among the Conservative grass roots because of his fight with the Wisconsin public-sector unions, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he intends to run.  At the risk of seeming to be a perpetual party-pooper who finds grievous faults in every possible nominee, I’m going to suggest here that Walker, although well-intentioned, is not the Conservative hero we need.  My case rests upon the following assertions:

1a.  Walker is more Establishment than Conservative.

1b.  Like other Establishment-men, he favors de facto amnesty for illegal aliens and continued high levels of third-world immigration.

2.  Walker misunderstood the nature of his opponents (the public-sector unions and Democratic politicians), meaning that he misunderstood the political Left and probably still does.  This is another characteristic of the Establishment-man which renders him unable to effectively fight the Left.

3.  Because of (2), he misplayed his hand against his opponents and at least twice very nearly lost it all.  He made a cold-sounding fiscal analysis without ever attacking the fundamental problem – collusion between Democrats and union leaders to rob the taxpayer blind and buy votes – and allowed them to seize the moral high ground.  Furthermore, he left his opponents still standing, although with less dues money from the union, when he had the opportunity to strike a much harder blow against them, and they will continue to retaliate any way they can.  In other words, Walker is not a good political strategist, and his small victories against the union are as much dumb luck as they are the result of purposeful, well thought out action.[pullquote]To put the nation’s fiscal house in order, a President is going to have to be able to cut social spending.  And to do that, he’s going to have to make a moral case, not just the Establishment GOP’s timid accounting approach (“We can’t afford this”).[/pullquote]

4.  Whatever success Walker has had in Wisconsin would not be easily replicated at the Federal level.  That is because the fiscal problems of the states are caused mainly by government employee salaries and pension obligations.  The Federal Government’s fiscal problems are much more intractable because in addition to the costs of worker salaries and benefits, they are rooted in all kinds of unsustainable social welfare spending including Medicare and Social Security.  To put the nation’s fiscal house in order, a President is going to have to be able to cut social spending.  And to do that, he’s going to have to make a moral case, not just the Establishment GOP’s timid accounting approach (“We can’t afford this”).  By (3), Walker is not this man.


Let’s tackle the amnesty question first.   Walker of course claims to be against it.  However, that means little since every Republican politician knows that amnesty is a poisoned pill his party’s base will not swallow.  Therefore, the pro-amnesty Republican has learned to mouth the words “I’m against amnesty” while nevertheless supporting “a path to citizenship” or some such that amounts in practice to amnesty.  (If illegal aliens are allowed to remain in this country rather than being sent home to get to the back of the line, that’s an amnesty).  Here are some of the things Walker has said about immigration:

“In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon for the Sirius XM Patriots network, Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker said he does not support amnesty and the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, who previously reported Walker supports a ‘pathway to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants took him ‘out of context.’  Towards the end of the interview, Bannon noted that ‘Amnesty is about the sovereignty of the country.’ But, he asked Walker, ‘the Washington Post said earlier that you’re pro-pathway to citizenship.’

‘See now that’s where they take it out of context,’ Walker said in response. I’ve not said there should be amnesty in this country. I don’t believe that. I don’t support the legislation being kicked around. What I’ve said repeatedly is we need to fix the immigration system, but fix the legal system. So if people want to come in this country we should have a legal immigration system.  If you’re somebody, whether you’re from Mexico or Germany or Ireland, and you want to come to this country legally, we should find a way to make it happen,’ Walker said.”  (See more at: Alternative News Now).

What this means is that when Walker says the immigration system is “broken,” he means it’s not letting enough immigrants in(!), unbelievable as that sounds.  This is the exact opposite of what most of us think of as “broken,” namely, that we don’t have control of our borders and that anyone can get in.  1,000,000 immigrants per year isn’t enough for Walker – if you want to come to this country, “we should find a way to make it happen,” regardless of the effect on American citizens already here.  No, he doesn’t support “amnesty”; he supports open borders. Walker is blithely unconcerned about where we’re going to find jobs for these millions, or how much welfare they’re going to demand, or how they’re going to shift the country Leftward until the Democrats are unstoppable.

Or:  “If people want to come here and work hard in America, I don`t care if they come from Mexico, or Canada, or Ireland, or Germany or South Africa or anywhere else, I want them here. To me, if people want to come to live the American dream, if they want to work hard, self-determination and have their kids have a better life, that`s what folks like my brothers-in-law who immigrated a generation ago from Mexico or people like my ancestors who came from places like Ireland and Germany and other parts of the world many generations ago. I mean, there`s a similar pattern there people who risked a lot whether it was traveling across the ocean or across a national border… Not only do they have to fix things for people already here, find some way to deal with that, there`s got to be a larger way to fix the system in the first place because if it wasn`t so cumbersome, if there wasn`t such a long wait if it wasn`t so difficult to get in you wouldn`t have the other problems that we have with people who don`t have legal status here in the first place.”[pullquote]So the reason we have a problem with illegal aliens is that we had any restrictions on immigration that kept anyone from coming here legally who wanted to!  Note the bleeding-heart concern for the wishes of these immigrants, while the wishes and needs of Americans are completely ignored.[/pullquote]

So the reason we have a problem with illegal aliens is that we had any restrictions on immigration that kept anyone from coming here legally who wanted to!  Note the bleeding-heart concern for the wishes of these immigrants, while the wishes and needs of Americans are completely ignored.  Walker sounds exactly like Marco Rubio and his Los Bandidos Ochos in the U.S. Senate.  24 has the full story here and this excellent analysis:

“1. Walker is a typical fiscal conservative in that his only concern is economic: he’s not concerned with the political and cultural impacts of immigration. What if, for example, immigration from one country gives that country political power inside the U.S. (see Mexican government)? Walker doesn`t care.

2. Walker`s idea that today’s immigration is like yesteryear’s is the immigration tradition fallacy. Walker is using the ‘system is broken’ canard.

4. The idea that more legal immigration would dry up illegal immigration is absurd. There’s a huge supply of potential illegal aliens, and loosening our immigration laws even more would send a message to them that they should try to come here one way or another. Increasing legal immigration would increase the network effect, encouraging more people to come here one way or another. It would also give more power to the groups that currently support massive and/or illegal immigration.”

In one respect this analysis is too generous:  Walker’s economic concerns seem to stop with large business interests and their desire for cheap labor, because he certainly isn’t thinking about the American worker.  Clearly, then, Walker belongs to the open-borders crowd who hasn’t given a single thought to what should be the first question asked:  is all this immigration good for America?  This isn’t the place to explore the issue in detail, but most StubbornThings readers are surely familiar with it.  Mass immigration over the past 50 years has been transforming America, and not for the better:  it has replaced Americans who believe in independence and self-reliance with aliens who believe in Big Government and lots of welfare to the point of bankrupting the country.  It has made it impossible for Conservative Republicans to win any state-wide election in California and has pushed any area with substantial numbers of new immigrants to the Left.  In brief, immigration has meant importing millions of new Democrats.  The difference between amnesty and continued high levels of legal immigration is whether we destroy ourselves immediately or string the process out over a few decades.

Walker, like his buddy Rep. Paul Ryan, is a fiscal “conservative” only who in practice would merely slow the rate of this country’s collapse relative to a Democratic President.  He has done everything possible to avoid discussing social issues.  He is, in short, yet another Republican Establishment-man and not a true Conservative.

In my view, this by itself is enough to disqualify Walker – once you’ve destroyed the country through immigration, other issues tend to fade into the background, and it should be apparent by now that no candidate of the Establishment can save this country.  But I think it will be worthwhile to go into his battle with the Wisconsin unions anyway, because I think it shows why Establishment-men are usually unable to take on the Left and win even a strictly fiscal battle.


Like many other states, in 2011 Wisconsin was in dire economic straits, and for the usual reason:  for many years it had promised health care and pension benefits to public-sector workers that it could not afford to pay.  Facing a $3.6 billion deficit, the legislature passed Act 10 in March 2011, although due to desperate Democratic efforts (which we’ll focus on later) it did not take effect until June 29.  Act 10 cut $749 million in state aid to local K-12 education, and to make up the loss to local school districts contained four key provisions:

(i) Public employees are required to pay 5.8% of their salaries toward their pensions and to pay 12.6% of their health insurance premiums.

(ii) Collective bargaining is limited but not eliminated (strangely, public-safety employees are exempted from this provision).  Bargaining over base wages is still permitted but limited to the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

(iii) Local government is prohibited from collecting union dues.  Employees may “opt out” of paying them.  Unions must be re-certified annually in a secret ballot.

(iv) Health insurance may be obtained through competitive bidding, instead of through the WEA trust – an insurer founded by the union (WEAC)!

It’s important to understand that the unions, by being empowered to bargain collectively, had long since formed an unholy alliance with the Democratic Party to enrich their members at taxpayer expense, in turn rewarding Democrats with both the votes of their members and some of the money which had been squeezed from the taxpayer, who was thereby compelled to fund those politicians (Democrats) most determined to act against his interest in keeping taxes low – an unbelievably corrupt (but successful) racket.  To put it another way, the (legitimate) interest of the taxpayer, whose money it is, in keeping his taxes low was sacrificed to the (illegitimate) interest of the public-sector employee in bleeding the taxpayer dry with taxes as high as possible, thanks to the Democratic Party which profited financially and electorally from this public-sector parasitism.

Too much emphasis cannot be laid upon this point.  It is the duty of those who represent the people to keep the costs of government as low as possible, since those costs are borne by the taxpayers.  This is true regardless of party affiliation; the representative has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer.  (Note that public-sector workers are not taxpayers:  while there is an accounting fiction in which these workers fill out state and federal tax returns, their pay and benefits come directly from the public treasury; thus, they are a net drain on public funds.)  Nothing is more dangerous in a democratic republic than to allow one group of voters to have the power to vote themselves an income at the expense of another group of citizens, and such misuse of the privilege of voting should be prevented by Constitutional means, that is by limiting government and/or disfranchising those who would otherwise so misuse the privilege.  That is why during the colonial period many colonies did not allow poor people to vote – it was understood they might vote to use the power of the government to take the property of those who had more than they did.  A better method is to so limit government that it cannot institute any redistribution of wealth, which allows to the poor to participate in the government while not abusing their voting privileges to legally steal the property of others. This is what the Founders thought they had done with the Federal Government.  Presently there are two such parasitic groups, welfare recipients (who are beyond the scope of Walker’s struggle in Wisconsin but are relevant to the fight the save the country) and public-sector workers.  Let us take a moment to consider how it is that they have gotten so far out of control.

The Constitution, properly construed, forbids Congress from enacting income-redistributing welfare schemes.  It may have been thought that this protection was sufficient to gradually expand the franchise without danger, but as Congress ignored the Constitution and created a welfare state anyway these newly-created welfare voters became a source of great danger (unrecognized, be it noted, by the Republican Establishment).  At the state level a similar problem emerged, and as both state and federal governments bloated to enormous size, the number of government workers increased far beyond anything the Founders could have imagined.  With the idea that everyone has the “right” to vote now generally accepted, there was no way to strip the franchise from an entrenched class of voters made up of welfare recipients and public-sector workers who could be depended upon to vote for what we should term “The Party of the State” – in America, the Democrats – which continually betrayed its responsibilities to the taxpayer in order to increase its own power, and which would be able to institute one-party rule as soon as this class became large enough.  The problem with public-sector unions is that they serve to concentrate the political power of those who, for the health of the republic, should have none.

To anyone paying attention to this discussion, it will be obvious that what has just been described is The Tipping Point, a concept that has received a lot of attention (though not enough) in Conservative media the past couple of years.  But even before this point is reached, the collusion between the “takers” (welfare/public-sector voters) and the Democratic Party must necessarily become inimical to the Republican Party, bestowing an advantage upon the Democrats in every election.  And anything that made this collusion more effective, such as the ability of public-sector workers to bargain collectively (thus increasing their political power) should have been recognized by Republicans as extremely dangerous both to themselves and to the country.  It was precisely the failure of the Establishment GOP to recognize this that has allowed the steady creep of the country further and further to the Left as Democrats took full advantage of the situation they had created.  For Republicans who wish to restore freedom in this country, as well as maintain the viability of the GOP (or any other party) as a true opposition party, it is essential to reduce or eliminate the political power of the parasitic “taker” class.


Does anyone think that Establishment-men like Scott Walker understand this?  Do they ever point out how the Democrats betrayed the people they were supposed to serve in order to help themselves to more wealth and power?  We have seen repeatedly that the GOP Establishment is extremely poor at abstract concepts and in fact dislikes anything but a myopic “practical” approach to politics.  If Walker understood what has been presented here, he (and his fellow Wisconsin Republicans) would have realized that the public-sector unions needed to be broken completely.  There would have been nothing “extreme” in this step, except by the debased standards of Wisconsin unionism, since President Franklin Roosevelt himself understood the danger of allowing public-sector workers to bargain collectively, and it could have been explained to Wisconsin citizens as a necessary measure to protect them as taxpayers from the rapacity of the unions and their Democratic enablers.  But instead, Walker took the typical Establishment approach, put on his green eyeshade and best penny-pinching manner and announced rather timidly, “we can’t afford this”.   Republicans adopted the very modest reforms (i. – iv.) described above, which actually avoided laying off a single government worker (again showing that they did not understand how dangerous government workers are to them and fiscal sanity), and then were surprised at the onslaught unleashed against them by the Democrats.[pullquote]For Republicans who wish to restore freedom in this country, as well as maintain the viability of the GOP (or any other party) as a true opposition party, it is essential to reduce or eliminate the political power of the parasitic “taker” class.[/pullquote]

The behavior of the union/Democrat faction was beneath contempt, and cannot be fully described here due to space considerations.  Democratic State Senators deserted their posts, fleeing to Illinois (where they could not be arrested by Wisconsin authorities and returned to the Senate) to prevent Republicans from achieving a quorum and passing a budget based on the reforms in Act 10.  Union members deserted their jobs and converged on the Capitol in Madison, actually occupying the building for a time.  Violence was threatened against Republicans – for example, the windows on Senator Dan Kapanke’s car were broken and his wife reported nails strewn on their driveway – and Walker was obviously caught by surprise.  What he had done was to confront a dangerous serpent and, instead of cutting off its head with a single stroke (banning the unions entirely, which Republicans had the power to do), had poked at its body with a sharp stick (Act 10).  He should not have been surprised when, in response, the snake reared back and showed its fangs.  He should have understood that the Democrats and their union allies were implacable foes, not statesmen to be reasoned with about restoring fiscal sanity but a howling mob desirous of ever more power and money that needed to be run over with a steam-roller.

Even all that did not cause Walker to change tactics – instead of finally making a moral case for his actions based upon the rights of taxpayers, he continued to defend Act 10 in the manner of a cold-blooded accountant:  “We can’t afford this,” “We’re asking union members to make a modest contribution” etc.  This turned out to be a nearly-fatal error as Democrats quickly seized the moral high ground Walker had left undefended and presented themselves, absurdly, as the defenders of working families!  (But not, it would seem, of those families working in the private sector, who found no vocal defenders among Walker’s Republicans either).  Once again (for we have seen this movie many, many times before), Democrats presented themselves as caring about ordinary people (a monstrous lie) and Establishment Republicans were left looking like soulless, uncaring automatons programmed to perform accounting functions.  This is the same strategy that had failed so often for Republicans in the past, resulting in one Democratic gain after another.

And yet, Walker was able to hang on by his fingernails and ultimately did prevail, at least in a small way and in the short run, as we will see in a moment.  But my view is that this was due more to luck than skill, and does not amount to a workable strategy for future Republican Governors – or Presidents.  Let us see this by returning to the history of Walker’s efforts when Act 10 had been passed but had not yet gone into effect.

To begin with, and I think most importantly, the Democratic attacks were working – Walker’s popularity sank like a stone, and his approval rating dropped to a mere 37%, with 59% disapproving of his job performance.  Six Republican Senators faced recall elections (Democrats needed to win only three of these seats to take control of the Senate) as did Walker himself.  Finally, Democrats had found a sympathetic judge in Dane County (Madison – where else?) who on March 18 issued an injunction summarily blocking publication of Walker’s new law, and without publication, the law could not go into effect.  (Judge Sumi also had a son active in radical politics with financial connections to organized labor, and should never even have heard the case, further displaying the level of ethics we have come to expect from the Democratic Left.)  If her decision were upheld, all of Walker’s efforts would come to naught.

Taking up the court challenge first, we must look to the State Supreme Court and an election that was about to take place pitting incumbent Republican David Prosser against challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.  Kloppenburg was an environmental prosecutor at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about her brand of politics.  Even the term “environmental prosecutor” carries with it a connotation of totalitarian nightmare.   Democrats and the unions poured their support into Kloppenburg’s campaign, but she ended up losing to Prosser by 7004 votes.  When the case was heard by the Supreme Court, Prosser provided the deciding vote that overturned Judge Sumi as the Justices ruled 4-3 that Sumi had unconstitutionally interfered with the legislative process (June 14, 2011).  By a little over 7000 votes (0.46%), Walker and the Republicans had prevailed, for there can be no real doubt that Kloppenburg would have sided with the union/Democrat alliance.  This is part of the reason why I maintain Walker was lucky, for Prosser could very easily have lost to Kloppenburg, who in fact claimed a 200-vote margin of victory the day after the election.

Next we turn to the recall elections.  There were actually two groups of these, one in 2011 and one in 2012.  Democrats needed to take three seats in 2011 to get control of the Senate, but won only two, leaving Republicans with a 17-16 majority. The results of the June 5, 2012 election, in which the seats of Districts 13, 21, 23, 29 were at stake, were three wins for Republicans and one (District 21) for Democrats, which flipped control of the State Senate to them.  Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch won their races by 53% to 47%.  The Democrats, then, were not able to unseat Walker, nor could they capitalize on their Senate victory because the Senate was out of session and would remain so until after the Nov. 2012 election.  (In that election control flipped once again when Republicans won an 18-15 majority).

I have gone into perhaps headache-inducing detail here to emphasize how narrowly Republicans managed to hold on.  Walker’s win in his recall election garnered the most headlines, but Democrats came very close to undoing everything he had accomplished, for if Kloppenburg had defeated Prosser, the Supreme Court would have overturned Act 10 on technical grounds, and if they had won three Senate seats instead of two in the recall election of 2011, Republicans could not have re-passed the Act, which would have sent them back to square one.  And for those who still aren’t convinced that Walker got lucky, let’s consider briefly the very similar experience of John Kasich in Ohio.

Kasich had championed Senate Bill 5, which was similar to Walker’s Act 10.  Like Walker, he argued for Bill 5 in the manner of an accountant wearing a green eyeshade:

“(The bill) gives local governments and schools powerful tools to reduce their costs so they can refocus resources on key priorities like public safety and classroom instruction,” Kasich said in a [signing] statement.  (See this Reuters article for more.)  “Reduce costs,” “Refocus resources” – but not one word about the rights of taxpayers to pay no more than absolutely necessary for government services, or about taxpayers as the owners of those “resources”.

Meanwhile, Democrats/unions prated on about “worker rights,” which means, apparently, the “right” of government workers to sit on both sides of the bargaining table in order to fleece the taxpayers and elect more Democrats:

“Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, testified: ‘What no organization in any sector of the trade union movement will do is succumb to threats of union abolishment and the dismantling of workers’ rights and beg for crumbs or carve-outs.’”  (See this article).

Once again, the familiar pattern:  Establishment Republican cedes the moral high ground to the Democratic Left.  The result?  In a ballot issue, 62% of Ohio voters voted to repeal Bill 5, a resounding defeat for Kasich and an undeniable win for the Democrat/public-sector parasite alliance – and this in Ohio, no Democratic stronghold (outside of its larger cities) and a must-win state for any Republican Presidential candidate.  (See The Columbus Dispatch recap).  At no time did either Walker or Kasich suggest that there is no such thing as a “right” to bargain collectively, especially in the public sector, where the will of the taxpayers should be king.

Walker, as we have seen, avoided complete disaster by the skin of his teeth.  The next question to be asked is, how successful were his reforms?  This is difficult to say because of the ever-present danger of accounting tricks being used to disguise unpleasant budgetary realities (a Democratic specialty, but something Republicans can be guilty of also).  Among other things, it depends on whether the method of “cash accounting” or “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)” is used.  GAAP includes promised payments on the negative side of the ledger whereas cash accounting simply examines cash on hand at the end of the year.  By cash accounting, Walker could claim he had balanced the budget, but by GAAP criteria Wisconsin had a $3 billion deficit in 2012Politifact gives this summary:

“Walker’s 2011-’13 budget is running a small surplus… But his proposed 2013-’15 budget will be in the hole by $2.64 billion by the end of its second year, as page 33 of his budget summary shows.”

I was unable to check this budget summary because the provided link went nowhere, but The Wisconsin Budget Project essentially confirms these numbers.  It thus seems fair to conclude that Walker’s small reforms were not sufficient to solve Wisconsin’s overspending problem.  At any event, I hope it is clear I have done my best not to minimize Walker’s success, such as it is, out of any sort of personal bias against him.

I would concede there was one bright side:  the provision of Act 10 banning local governments from collecting union dues (the “opt-out” provision”) has had a negative effect on union finances as some members have stopped paying dues.  Overall union representation declined from 13.3% to 11.2% of all Wisconsin workers according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor.  Thus Walker did strike a blow against one part of the bribery and extortion racket that is the Democratic Party, specifically its extortion arm, and slightly weakened the unions.

To summarize, Walker’s very modest Act 10, which he was very lucky to be able to keep on the books, left the public-sector unions largely intact and free to continue to fight against Republicans at every step (in fact police and firefighters can still bargain collectively over all wage issues, while the rest of the unions can still bargain over base pay!) and was not enough to solve Wisconsin’s budget problems.  John Kasich, using essentially the same approach as Walker, could not achieve even that much.


Given the overall failure of Walker’s and Kasich’s efforts to solve their respective states’ budget problems, it might seem unnecessary to inquire as to whether their methods are replicable at the Federal level.  Obviously Walker, who gives every sign of running for President in 2016, is going to claim that he was successful and that he could work the same magic at the Federal level.  Some Federal employees do have unions, but the situation is more complicated at the Federal level than in Wisconsin.  Furthermore, we need to remember that while the unions serve to concentrate power, the ultimate problem is the existence of so many government workers in the first place.  Even if their unions were abolished, most would still vote Democratic (that is, for the Party of the State).  One of the ways in which we can hurt Democrats and move the country back to the Right is to reduce the number of government workers, something Walker deliberately avoided doing in Wisconsin.  Finally, there is the brutally-difficult problem of cutting entitlement programs, which Scott Walker did not deal with in Wisconsin and which must be done at the Federal level if the country is to be saved.

Scott Walker seems to mean well, and perhaps other Establishment Republicans do as well.  But good intentions will never substitute for strong moral arguments in favor of less government, and Walker’s type does not understand the basic nature of the enemy we’re up against in the Democratic Left.  They are unable to think in principle and act in accordance with those principles.  They will continue to make their emotionless penny-pinching arguments, allowing the Democrats to posture as the party of the middle class, while never arguing about how wrong it is for Democrats to collude with public sector unions to rip off the taxpayer or buy votes from welfare recipients.  They will, in short, continue to forget William Graham Sumner’s Forgotten Man, and so they will continue to lose to the Left.  As yet another Establishment-man Republican nominee, Walker would almost certainly lose the election to whomever the Democrats choose to run, and in the unlikely event he won, would not know how to begin rolling back Leviathan.  He would also institute (if permitted by Congress) an open-borders immigration policy, guaranteeing the destruction of America as a free nation.  Scott Walker, then, is not what Republicans need in 2016 – or in any other year. • (4765 views)

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68 Responses to Scott Walker on Close Inspection

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    One thing to note is that some of the Republican state senators facing recall had severe problems that had nothing to do with the union issue. Another is that in Ohio, Kasich included all government employees in his reforms, which cost him votes. The exclusion of public-safety workers isn’t logically justifiable, but is politically effective (much like excluding victims of rape or incest from any proposed abortion bans). In addition, there are (unfortunately) pro-union Republicans, so that it may well be that Walker accomplished as much as he could. (This has been a problem in Michigan and Pennsylvania in recent years.) Note that the teachers’ unions went all-out in the GOP state legislative primaries in Alabama last week, with very modest success.

    As for Walker’s failure to recognize what he was up against, it’s possible that he has learned his lesson from confronting the sheer evil that is the Left. I’ve read that the most reliable SCOTUS conservatives are those with considerable experience in DC, because they’re already used to the pressures they’ll fact. So Clarence Thomas has been a reliable conservative, whereas Sandra Day O’Connor wimped out too often (though at least she didn’t go full Blackmun). People can learn from experience, even members of the GOP Establishment.

    As for immigration issues, is there anyone in the party who can be trusted not to sell out to Big Business and the emotional arguments?

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This is an extremely thoughtful and detailed piece. How do you sum-up the problem of Scott Walker?

    Nik is completely right that Walker did not grab hold of the extremely important moral component and merely spoke of budgets. This is a vibe shared not only among Establishment Republicans but libertarians as well.

    Who needs right and wrong? Who needs to consider something deeper than sheer money? And that is a huge weakness of the Republican Party which reflects a huge weakness in Americans themselves who seem to care not one whit for aspects over and above personal consumption.

    You’ve got to give Walker some credit for not completely caving to the unions. But Nik is absolutely right that he would have taken the same amount of heat if he’d simply framed the question right. Plus he’d be laying some good ground for future efforts against the Democratic mob.

    But so many of these Establishment Republicans think they can buy insurance by “playing nice.” But, frankly, when you push back against the Democrat mob, you’re going to receive a shitstorm anyway, whether you push back with full measures or one-quarter measures. You might as well get the storm for implementing full measures, morally grounded, than for half-measures that can easily be blown away in an instant because they are grounded in nothing.

    In Walker’s defense (and that of Establishment Republicans everywhere), it’s hard to look at the American electorate right now and suppose that a rational argument can gain any traction.

    • David Ray says:

      I remember those pampered trash being bused in and the NEA teachers flamboyantly receiving their “sick” notices from doctors who confuse lies with ethics. (liberals expect pampering and support from the press, and as thus, enjoyed mugging for the cameras. After all; their “sickness” fraud was justified, wasn’t it?)
      The liberal cry-babies didn’t anticipate the logistics of cramming the state building with 20 losers to 1 bathroom ratio and didn’t give a rat’s ass about the obvious results. (Taxpayers will pick up the tab for that mess the way they do the bloated pensions.)

      Give Scott Walker this: He announced his idea to bill any future Occupy mob activity and the liberals shrieked. (Tea Party rallies are never even considered for such, as their history stands for itself.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The Left (and unions, generally speaking) are a mob. I guess if I were in a union, with a union job, with guaranteed employment at good wages, I might quickly become a company man as well, and to hell with my country.

        Or not. I think it’s possible to live a noble life, and even to look out for one’s interests, and not say “To hell with my country.” I despise this mob mentality from the Left and unions. One’s family and employment are extremely important, so I understand a bit of provincialism in this regard. None of us are saints, and all of us have to scratch out a living in this imperfect world.

        But unions and the Left commonly rise to the level of Grand Ignoble as they act like a mob as they tear at the carcass of America, caring not if they strip every last bit of meat off the bone so long as they get “their share.”

        We have a running symposium on The Ten Commandments right now. And we see how the Left is built almost entirely on number 10 — covetousness — which is an evil spirit that knows no finer or lighter aspects in its nature. It knows only the nature of lions feeding at a carcass.

        And I am embarrassed and troubled that my fellow Americans have been turning a blind eye to these vultures. One of the reasons for this is the indoctrination and warping they get from the schools and the press. But even more corrosive is that entitlements have ruined the character of Americans. Entitlements — including the sacrosanct Social Security — haven changed the very game we are all playing. And with people playing by the rules of “I’ll get mine,” there is no “off” switch. It all becomes like playing a game of lifeboat.

        And yet these same bastardly and evil Marxists and “Progressives” will then have the temerity to lecture us on the supposed “dog eat dog” evils of the free market. There is evil and delusion amongst us and we must speak up against it.


          That’s about the size of it – the Left lectures us about “dog eat dog” while doing exactly that through income redistribution. As for the corrosive effects of socialism and the welfare state on the character of a people as opposed to just their economy, that is worth a separate essay of its own.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            As for the corrosive effects of socialism and the welfare state on the character of a people as opposed to just their economy, that is worth a separate essay of its own.

            That’s basically what Mark Steyn says in various of his books and essays. He says it’s not so much of question of whether we can afford socialism or not. It’s what it does to the people. I think he’s exactly right. (And we can’t afford it either, of course.)



    I knew that Kasich had included public-safety workers in Bill 5 but neglected to mention it as I thought I had perhaps gone into too much detail already. Also, although we’ll never know for sure, Kasich lost the ballot issue by such a wide margin I don’t believe he could have prevailed by exempting those workers from the bill as Walker did. As you point out, “The exclusion of public-safety workers isn’t logically justifiable” and it makes no sense to allow police and firefighters to bargain collectively – are we going to let them strike also?

    If “Walker accomplished as much as he could” with his tiny reforms that haven’t even succeeded in balancing the budget, we’re all in a lot of trouble, Tim – it would mean that even in states like Wisconsin which are not yet solidly blue, the measures necessary to save those states from eventual collapse cannot be made politically palatable. That may be true, but I would like to believe that if a Conservative made the moral case against overpaying public-sector workers he might still prevail, just as I would like to believe a Conservative who made the moral case against income redistribution could also prevail. The fact remains that neither Walker nor Kasich ever made anything close to a moral argument. Public opinion is malleable; it’s not a given that must be bowed to, and Republicans need to understand that and start working hard to change it. We must move public opinion to the Right, not move politically to the Left ourselves as the Establishment is always telling us, or the country is lost.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I won’t disagree with you, but one must consider political feasibility as well as logical consistency. (Libertarianism and radical leftism are both very logically consistent. One says government is never the answer, the other says it always is the answer. But in the end, neither is very pragmatic.) Wisconsin was the first state to allow public-employee unions, so a victory there (however small) is a major victory. (Kentucky is also a difficult state for fighting unions, no doubt due to the importance of coal mines and heavy industry.) The problem is that there may be NO available candidate who actually matches what we need. The best we may be able to hope for is the least bad alternative — and someone who has the experience of actually fighting the Enemy and winning (even if only barely) in a difficult state represents a good possibility.

    • Rosalys says:

      Public opinion is malleable; it’s not a given that must be bowed to…

      The establishment republicans apparently agree with this statement when it comes to immigration!

      I’m reading these, “What’s wrong with So and So” articles with much interest. I pretty much promised myself after the last election that I was never going to vote again. I desperately want a good reason to break that promise, but you are not making it easy!

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, it really is true that as bad as the GOP Establishment is, the Democrats are even worse. The Obama Gang represents the US being taken over by its enemies, people who actively resent it and wish it ill. Mitt Romney and John Boehner have many flaws, but in their own pathetic way they mean well. (Of course, we know what’s paved with good intentions. But a slow decline is less bad, and more reversible, than a rapid fall.)


        “I pretty much promised myself after the last election that I was never going to vote again. I desperately want a good reason to break that promise, but you are not making it easy!”

        Sorry about that! I’m almost afraid to look too closely at any other candidates for fear of what I’ll find. Maybe we Conservatives can still find a champion someplace (Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, or Jeff Sessions (who isn’t even running!) as I mentioned in reply to KFZ).

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Sorry to be redundant, but when making the comparison between the corporatist Republicans and Marxist Democrats I use the analogy of pneumonia and lung cancer. I don’t want either but will certainly take pneumonia over lung cancer if push comes to shove. With the one, I would have the reasonable chance to get well. While with the other, my chances of survival are very very slim.

          I simply do not understand the unrealistic (in my opinion) notion that it does no harm for someone to simply walk away from their civic duty and let the country go to hell. It may well be going to hell, but the notion that letting it get there faster will help turn things around is somewhat naive’.

          To turn things around, we must stop the avalanche which the Left is bringing about. Rolling over and playing dead will not do that.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Nic, Let’s cut to the chase. Who do you believe, most closely, represents the values and policies you espouse?


      Right now, I think probably Ted Cruz, although I’m not sure he gets it on immigration. One guy who does is Sen. Jeff Sessions, so maybe we should draft him. I’m not planning to write an article on Rand Paul, but I could summarize my objections to him as “too Libertarian”. I suppose Bobby Jindal deserves some consideration, but he seems destined to disappoint. Mike Pence is a possibility.

      We’ve got a huge problem in this country in that very few real Conservatives, especially intellectually adroit ones, tend to run for office. The Republicans who want to run are usually Establishment-types, and therefore useless. I don’t have an immediate answer to this problem, I’m afraid.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I believe Cruz is pretty solid on immigration. There is something of a small fight going on in the Texas Republican party regarding this subject, but Texans, particularly the Tea Party Texans and they did well in this primary season, are pretty strongly against amnesty. I have spoken to the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas about this issue and I don’t see any chance for amnesty coming out of the Texas Republican party.

        That being said, I don’t want Cruz to run as he is simply too young. I would like a person who has had a little more experience with life before giving him the awesome power which resides in the presidency. The adolescent in the White House at present, would be a disaster at any age, but I think his mistakes are magnified, in part, due to his youth and lack of experience in anything.

        I like Sessions on immigration, but don’t know a lot about him otherwise. I also like the little I know about Pence, but he is a relative unknown on the national stage and both his past record and present positions will have to be vetted.

        I think Jindal has no chance as he comes across as too soft and bookish. He is, no doubt, a brilliant man, but has an image problem. He has also made some questionable observations about Republicans in the past and I don’t mean about the RINOs.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I rather like Jindal, but he seems to lack charisma and I obviously don’t know the details of his record. He does have the advantage of considerable executive experience (which is a problem for Cruz) as well as some (decade-old) DC experience (which probably means at least some foreign policy knowledge), and leaves office at the end of 2015. (His local popularity hasn’t always been high, but conservative reformers will always face that problem, and during his administration the GOP took over the state government even below the gubernatorial level.)

        I will admit that Sessions has been very impressive, almost always turning up on the Right side at key moments, and he does have extensive experience (he was elected to the Senate in 1996), but I don’t know if he really has the executive experience. There are some complaints about Pence regarding Common Core (Indiana apparently dropped it for its own standards — basically cribbed from Common Core), but he is a promising possibility. But his experience as a governor is very limited so far.

        We don’t want a GOP Obama needing OJT.

      • Leigh Bravo says:

        What do you think of the possibility of Ben Carson? He has really been out on the show circuit….all the liberal shows as well. He stands his ground well and has no problems calling out both sides. I don’t think he has established which party he might run under. Independent maybe? He has already posted his health care plan and has been preaching it on the talk show circuit. I have to say I have been duly impressed with his showing and his ideas> My favorite is when they ask him about being an African American possibly running for president and he replies…”I don’t consider myself an African American, just an American! Also very supportive of the Constitution and the American Dream…people come here to get away from being managed…and we are now being managed. Says we have four branches of government..Executive, Judicial, House and Special interests! Also believes it is time to stop electing lawyers because they are taught to hook or by crook! Time to bring in someone who knows how to run a business…love this guy. Any thoughts?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Carson is very impressive, but his political experience and (even more so) managerial inexperience would definitely be problems, the former as a candidate and the latter as an executive. He might be a good choice for HHS or Surgeon General or some such position in a GOP administration.


          Carson has a popular following, but I’m not at all sure the thorough grounding in the politics of freedom (that is, Conservatism) that we need. He’s really too much of an unknown quantity to take such a huge chance on, and I remember a recent article he wrote in National Review Online that indicated to me he does not understand the nature of the Left. (It was basically a lament that the country was so divided – and he had no idea whose fault that was).

          In fact, he may be sympathetic to a vast welfare state but think he can manage it better (sound familiar?). We need a candidate with a very strong intellectual bent who thoroughly understands the American Left, from its inglorious origins as “The New Left” arising out of the collapse of the American Communist Party in 1956 to its takeover of the Democratic Party in the 70’s to its open advocacy of the rule by force today. I don’t think Carson is that man. However, like Tim I think he’d make an excellent Surgeon General, or maybe he could be put in charge of an effort to privatize the VA’s health care system.

          By the way, I apologize for sounding like Mr. Negative all the time, but I really feel it’s better to shoot down these candidates before they either lose to the Democrats or somehow win and turn out to be colossal disappointments.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            He’s really too much of an unknown quantity to take such a huge chance on

            I agree 100%. Politicians have been known to dissemble when speaking to voters. I therefore think it extremely important that anyone running for the presidency have a record of governance which can be studied in detail.

            I fear that a large part of Carson’s popularity with Republicans is that he is a black man. Would Republicans swoon over a white neurosurgeon with no political experience? I doubt it. We do not necessarily need to counter the Obamanation with race.

            We need to counter him with a clear political platform based on economic growth, getting the government out of the citizens’ lives and opening opportunity to everyone. Then it would be good to have a candidate who can put two words together to make a cogent sentence. If he happens to be black and qualified, then that will be just fine.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I’d vote for Carson. I haven’t heard him speak much. Mainly I’ve simply read his speeches. What he says makes a lot of sense. But does he have the fire in his belly to get down and dirty on the campaign trail and really dish it out? A mild-mannered technocrat (even if a good one) isn’t quite enough.

              As for being qualified, the most “qualified” people are Establishment Republicans. I’d be more than willing to take a chance on a guy who had the right ideas.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I would be more interested in his past record. Ideas are cheap and easily spouted by politicians and everyone else. What is important is whether or not a politician has generally done in office, what he said he was going to do.

                A clear record of a politician’s votes/etc is something which we should all wish to study. Given today’s communications, this info is pretty easy to come by. The country bought a pig in the poke with the Obamanation and we don’t need another one.


          I looked up Carson’s article again. This was my response:

          “I’m sorry to have to say this, Dr. Carson, but I feel you’re very much mistaken: we’re not one nation any more.

          “The real enemies are the forces that are constantly trying to divide and conquer. They create divisions based on race, gender, age, education, and, especially, income. It is important that we discuss who the purveyors of division are and what drives them to seek a radical alteration of the American way of life.”

          These enemies, whom you do not name, are in fact the Progressive Left, now in control of the Democratic Party. These enemies are internal, not external; they are part of the country they long to destroy.

          “It is not too late for people of all political stripes to put partisan bickering aside and join forces to combat the unsustainable debt that threatens our future.”

          Sorry, but it’s far too late for that. One of those “political stripes,” the Democratic Left, advances its cause (power) by means of that “unsustainable debt” you mention – they bribe welfare recipients and government workers to vote for them with the money they borrow.

          We’re two nations now. The Left proposes to unite us by force, that is, by subjugating us, their opponents, when they have achieved absolute power. There are only two ways Americans will be united in freedom again: (1) We “force” them to be free; (2) The country splits, and after their half collapses into complete dictatorship and economic ruin, we take them over, and again “force” them to be free.”

  5. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, I want to be the first to announce the big news: David Brat (the Tea Partier) has been projected the winner over Eric Cantor in the Virginia 7th CD primary. Virginia has a “sore loser” law, so Cantor can’t run as an independent (though he can run as a write-in candidate). Cantor had an overwhelming financial advantage, but he was also a pro-amnesty candidate (though masquerading occasionally as tough on border control), and the recent revelations about unaccompanied children crossing over and being allowed in (no doubt to be joined later by their families, thus beginning a new chain of migration) may have done him in. Brat had pointed out that defeating Cantor was the only way middle-class voters could stop immigration deform in its tracks by “encouraging the others” not to play Admiral Byng in their races.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      This is good news. It appears Brat slaughtered Cantor who outspent him something like 20 to 1. The Tea Party sure looks dead, huh? If they can get rid of Cochran in Mississippi it would be very nice.

      We must continue to get rid of the crony capitalist amnesty professional plutocrats. To take back this country we must take over the Republican part in the primaries.

  6. Timothy Lane says:

    For what it’s worth, the recent liberal smear campaign against Scott Walker — treating as undisputed fact the claims of a pair of partisan prosecutors that have been rejected by 2 different judges (which they ignore or bury deep in articles) — is a pretty good indication that they’re afraid of his political potential in 2016. (They also want to beat him in 2014, but I doubt they’d sacrifice their pretense of integrity that completely just for that.)

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    We’ll let Nik’s thread here be the catch-all for talking about presidential contenders until something else pops up.

    Scott McKay has an interesting article that makes some fair points (and some naive points, if you ask me), about disgust with both parties in Spent Forces. One of those fair points was:

    Ferguson is a microcosm for the Left’s governance. In Ferguson, there is a thug culture that takes government largesse as a substitute for work and family, boils in a cauldron of racial animosity and identity politics, and explodes into vituperation and violence against property and life when the wages of entitlement and indolence are paid to a Michael Brown. The public as a whole looks upon Ferguson with a mix of prurient fascination, disinterest, and exasperation with the constant race-mongering; there will be no grand bargains or game-changing results from yet another attempted race war in our streets.

    The above is the most complete and succinct summary of Ferguson that I’ve yet read.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, there’s still the question about exactly what happened a few weeks ago, but as a summation of the situation it would be hard to beat. Conservatives are starting to notice that Brown had no record as an adult — having just recently turned 18. We don’t know, and probably never will, what (if any, it must be said) criminal record he had as a juvenile (given his behavior that day, he probably had one), even though this is relevant to the events as a guide to Brown’s mindset when Wilson stopped him.

      There’s also some awareness of what “unarmed” really means. Fox News last night showed a video of what an “unarmed” man can do to a policeman (or in this case a woman, which may be relevant) who isn’t prepared. (It was a routine traffic stop — of someone who turned out to be a parolee who didn’t intend to go back to jail.)

      And unfortunately, the polls indicate that blacks generally have accepted the demagogues’ racial identity version of events in Ferguson, thus increasing the racial divide (and reliance on victim-group identity politics) in America.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Oh, god yes. If people understood how dangerous some “unarmed” guy is (especially when on drugs), they would likely not go outside without a conceal-carry permit, especially in neighborhoods inhabited by the beasts of the welfare state.

        Anyone high on pot who is disobeying a police officer’s reasonable orders and who then attacks the officer gets absolutely no sympathy from me when he is then shot dead. Thuggery, not race, is the active ingredient here.

        Now, in regards to electoral politics, unless and until some Republican states this plainly (and not the same sort of BS coming out of the losertarian, Rand Paul’s, mouth which is indistinguishable from Al Sharpton) then they can expect a lot of voters to stay home.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Eric Erickson recently pointed out that GOP challengers in Republican states have been failing to open up big leads, and suggested that the reason is that many grassroots Republicans have soured on the party. Thad Cochran and Henry Barbour may well have a very long reach. (And one wonders how much they really care if they do leave slimy Harry Wormwood Reid running the Senate because they deliberately antagonized their own voters.)

  8. 12345mk says:

    Have you ever seen Scott Walker directly or indirectly attack conservatives?

    In other words, for example, McConnell wants to punch us in the nose, McCain calls us wackobirds and Boehner calls us knuckle draggers. Likewise, Romney’s use of third party surrogates to attack conservatives as he did during the 2012 primaries is legendary.

    Does Walker do any of this activity?

    And if not, does that make him an acceptable alternative to a Democrat? I want to play devil’s advocate here.

    If a member of the Republican Establishment proves himself to be willing to reach across the aisle and work with conservatives, does that not qualify him as a “lesser of two evils”?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The reality of the choice today, MK, is that the Republican will likely be to some extent liberal. The conventional wisdom goes that we should support the most conservative candidate in the primary (and ignore the disingenuous cries of the Karl Rove types who say that conservatives are “unelectable”) and then in the general hold your nose and vote for the RINO, if need be.

      Only fools and libertarians (often one and the same) stay home waiting for the perfect candidate. As flawed as Romney may have been, shame on all those foolish people who stayed home instead of at least voting against the America-hating Marxist.

      • 12345mk says:

        Right. This article suggests(if not outright states/proves) that Scott Walker is of the GOP Establishment – AKA, he is a liberal.

        But Scott Walker does not assault conservatives. I haven’t seen it. Have you?

        Is he out there running ads calling conservatives racists like Thad Cochran? Stealing elections? Or calling us knuckle draggers like Boehner did? These are just sample questions, I don’t want you to answer them.

        I think you and I are on the same page, for the first part of your post anyways.

        Scott Walker may not be everything that a conservative wants. But because he is not personally firing off shoulder mounted stingers at the conservative movement like McCain is always doing, Walker does qualify as a “lesser of two evils”. As to the first part of this reply, Scott Walker is electable.

        As for those who “stay home”? I did not vote for Romney. The way Romney treated conservatives during the primaries was utterly ridiculous. After Romney dropped nuclear bombs in each individual primary, what did he do in the general? “Obama is a nice guy”. No. He(Romney) did not qualify as a “lesser of two evils”. He treated us like scum.

        I can vote for a lesser of two evils. But I will not vote for anybody who personally looks at conservatives as the scum of the earth. And you shouldn’t either.

        Or maybe I’m wrong……… and you are a proud Thad Cochran voter. Let’s hear it.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I can vote for a lesser of two evils. But I will not vote for anybody who personally looks at conservatives as the scum of the earth. And you shouldn’t either.

          It was my understanding that, as a conservative, it is my job to do what is best to safeguard our republic. And as distasteful as RINO/statists such as Romney are to me, Obama’s America-hating Marxism takes the danger to our republic to a whole new level.

          A conservative ought to be man enough to take a few insults. Better that I endure them than for our republic to have to endure even worse ones. To not vote against Obama given the situation was to put petty emotion before doing what is best for one’s country.

          • 12345mk says:

            It’s not about the simple insults. It’s about what the insults portend.

            Here we are, a few weeks after the election, and what are we seeing? The GOP progressives are being the predictable progressives we expect. They’re rebuking conservatism at every chance they can get.

            Boehner has adopted the Pelosi rule, that we have to pass in order to find out whats in the bill. The GOP leadership turned H.R. 5759 into an amnesty bill so that Obama is now legal to use his executive order. Louie Gohmert spilled the beans on that one.

            They are working on that huge omnibus bill that essentially cuts the “GOP win” in half in terms of time.

            And these are just some of the bigger items that the GOP is helping the democrats to get passed into law.

            Right now, Boehner’s omnibus site has miraculously done the same thing that they did with obamacare. Hiding it behind a server error message.

            There simply is no argument that anybody can make that “doing what is best to safeguard the country” requires voting for progressives like the GOP Establishment.

            We’re living it, right now, as we speak. The GOP Establishment is destroying America. Making King Barry very happy.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One problem with a lot of hostility to the GOP leadership is the assumption that they’re all basically liberal. Obviously, they aren’t as conservative as we’d like. But there is a huge difference between Scott Walker (who’s conservative on a wide array of issues) and Susan Collins, much less just about any Democrat anywhere in the country.

          • 12345mk says:

            If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it must be a duck.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              But even Susan Collins (much less John Boehner) isn’t 100% liberal (unlike most Democrats). You may be making a logic error of the same sort that Blonde Squaw With Empty Head made in supporting her claim of being an Indian. Thus, one can state: 1. All liberals are worthless pieces of shit. 2. John Boehner and his claque are worthless pieces of shit. However, one cannot logically reason from this that Boehner is a liberal, because it has not been established that all worthless pieces of shit are liberals.

              • 12345mk says:

                Susan Collins is just fine for Maine. Likewise, Scott Brown would’ve been a great NH senator had he won.

                The issue is when liberals like Boehner rise to prominence in areas that should be hosting a Ted Cruz instead. That is the travesty. A senator Lindsey Graham would be a great senator for the state of Washington. Graham for SC is outrageous and insulting.

                While I agree with your 1 and 2, you forgot 3 and 4.

                3. Look at who Boehner has made clear are his enemies. Conservatives. Do you remember the Boehner Purge?

                4. Do you hear Boehner or anybody from the progressive republicans ever say they want to reach across the aisle and work with conservatives? No, you don’t. You never hear the progressive republicans refer to conservatives as the “lesser of two evils”. And look at the Virginia Gubernatorial race. Conservatism is _not_ the lesser of two evils for the establishment. All of the establishment GOP chose McAuliffe!

                It has been established that they are progressives. Just look at 3 and 4.

                And that doesn’t include that the establishment GOP used this lame duck session to give Obama amnesty and a trillion dollar spending package. That’s your number 5.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I agree that Backstabber Boehner and his claque aren’t sympathetic to conservative activists like the Tea Party movement. But that doesn’t make them liberals. It makes them Beltway Bandits.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Or maybe I’m wrong……… and you are a proud Thad Cochran voter. Let’s hear it.

          One does not have to be a “proud” voter to be sane and chose the lesser of two evils. I despise Cochran and what the Barber crowd did in Mississippi, but have the maturity to understand it better to support Cochran than give Harry Reid any chance to remain Senate Majority Leader. To paraphrase Churchill “if Satan came out against Hitler, I would say a few good words about him in Parliament”

          I do get weary of the childishness of the “holier-than-thou” zealot vote when the future of our nation is at stake. If you believe there would be no difference between a Republican controlled Senate and continued Democrat control then you probably should have a long discussion with yourself. If preening about one’s political purity is more important than saving the republic, then not much more can be said.

          But I have no interest in a Goetterdaemerung type ending where we all go out in flames simply because some “conservatives” or nutty Libertarians are in a snit.

          • 12345mk says:

            Uh huh. And what have you to say right now, as the GOP are giving Obama and the democrats every spending dream they have dreamt, and they are working to pass amnesty?

            You can remain willfully ignorant of the progressive nonsense that the GOP does in the shadows and hopes that nobody notices, but expect others to chart a different course. You should expect that at least SOME of us are going to pay attention.

            The GOP wants to be another progressive party. The problems that I have with that are obvious, but I do not have to vote yes for it.

            If these last two weeks of hard core GOP progressivism are any indicator, you have already lost the White House for 2016.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Right on, 12345mk. But I think you’re trying to manufacture a difference where one doesn’t exist. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Kung likes Progressive RINOs even less than I do.

              That said, we’re obviously stuck with some subspecies of the beast. There is no going back to limited, constitutional government wherein the private citizen (like in olden times) has little to no interaction with the Federal government. I’m all for electing a Calvin Coolidge who would slash the Federal government by 60% or more. But that’s not going to happen.

              As far as the GOP wanting to be another Progressive party, I would say that they already are. They accept the assumptions of “democratic socialism.” Conservatives, by and large, are their enemy. These Progressive RINOs want to manage the existing state better, not fundamentally transform it in the reverse direction from today’s fundamental transformers.

              The best we can probably hope for is to have a Scott Walker for president who will, on a few chosen issues, hold strong…but much like Chris Christie, still caving on the big cultural issues that actually drive the culture. Instead of confronting what needs to be confronted, he’ll be “nice.” The worst of this sort would be Jeb Bush.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Exactly. Most elections involve choosing the lesser of two evils, which is never the Demagogue. And most Republicans are at least occasionally conservative; even Susan Collins is better than probably any Demagogue, though not much better. But when is the last time a conservative won a majority of the vote in Maine?

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


                12345mk appears to be somewhat excitable and confused.

                I have clearly stated the problems with RINO’s and my expectations that they will try to screw conservatives given the chance.

                I fear the USA is at a watershed moment and am doing what I can to stop it. I contact my Senators and Congressman frequently. I am involved at the municipal and county level as well. I vote in almost every election, including that for the local school board. I also get to bitch on the internet, but I have my doubts as to how effective that is. Short of giving thousands of dollars or shooting someone, I fail to see much more that I can do.

                The difference between types like 12345mk and me can be summed up by the following metaphor.

                If I lived in a house which did not completely suit my needs or taste I would try to change that by renovation, remodeling or adding an extension to the house.

                12345mk would simply burn it down and probably wouldn’t check to see if anyone was in it while it burned.

              • 12345mk says:

                “As far as the GOP wanting to be another Progressive party, I would say that they already are.”

                Then you and I are of the same mindset on recognizing the truth about the GOP Establishment – with the exception of one thing.

                I don’t vote for socialism. But I think I saw elsewhere above that you do. That’s your business, but at least be honest with yourself about what you’re doing. Don’t call it an act of saving America or anything else like that. Because its not.

                If the GOP wants to be the second progressive party, that is just fine theoretically. My vote is off limits. I will not support it. See 2012 as there are millions of people who agree with me.

                We’re not socialist voters. That’s the bottom line.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              You can remain willfully ignorant of the progressive nonsense that the GOP does in the shadows and hopes that nobody notices, but expect others to chart a different course.

              One has to wonder whether you have difficulty with English comprehension or are dishonest.

              At no time have I claimed the GOP is pure. I did state that the GOP is different from the Democrat party.

              You appear to be either a nutty Libertarian or Leftist troll. In either case, let me suggest you take a Haldol.

              • 12345mk says:

                I am neither. I am the product of recognition that the GOP is a progressive party, coupled with my disdain for progressivism.

                That the GOP has some excellent individual operators in it such as Ted Cruz does not change the nature of the party itself.

                And yes, you can say that I am a little excited because let’s face it – the GOP granting amnesty despite its own voters wishes and the GOP giving Obama a trillion dollar spending bill despite the fact that they were elected to put a stop to Obamunism….

                These are (undesirable)exciting things. Given the excited nature of what the GOP has done, why not act accordingly?

                The progressive republican party is, to be as blunt as possible, an outrage. And now they’re looking to further clean house. The GP progressives are plotting to get rid of Mike Lee, and the GOP progressives have long been looking to get rid of Ted Cruz.

                Progressivism is ruining the Republican Brand.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Doug Thorburn, who has commented here at StubbornThings before, has written an article at American Thinker Why It’s Time for Libertarians to Vote for Republicans.

    Voting for Libertarian Party candidates today serves only to divide the vote between those who would slow (Republicans) or reverse (libertarians) the trend towards increasing statism. Splitting the vote allows those who would accelerate that trend to win by default.

    That is a good thought by Doug. But we have little hard evidence that Libertarians would actually reduce the state. Goodness knows that we’ve seen enough conservatives (Republican or Democrat) get elected and then go with the flow. And many Libertarian ideals are simply liberal ideals. And such ideals do not lead to personal responsibility, which is the only known antidote to statism.

    Still, kudos to Doug for writing this article, although libertarians are pretty much a lost cause in regards to restoring this country given that ideas such as the following are common to the creed:

    Government is force- therefore government is evil. Your argument that there is no such thing as the lesser of two evils is a false premise. Voting for ANY government is a choice for evil.

    Libertarianism, like atheism, can retain its respectability only when people gloss over the realities of those doctrines, supposing that their excesses are just the naive, but harmless, products of youth. Libertarianism, like atheism, is a rotten doctrine based on bad principles. “Government is evil” is basically the same as saying “Rule by the most unscrupulous is good,” for that is what anarchy gets you.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There are non-libertinist libertarians who can be reached by arguments such as Thoburn’s. I don’t know what percentage of libertarians these days are in that category, but they do exist.

      I see libertarianism (in its intellectual form, as opposed to the libertinists who simply masquerade as libertarians) as the exact inverse of totalitarians (such as liberals). Whereas the latter always think government is the answer (and the more the better), the libertarians think government is never the answer. By contrast, conservatives are skeptical of government (except for the neocons, who used to be liberals, after all) but realize that some things are best done by it (e.g., defense, police, and the legal system).

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Jeffrey Lord points out that Scott Walker was one among many who was against any kind of government shutdown: Ted Cruz Wins: The Shutdown Worked


      Good find, Brad – I hadn’t seen this and I think it supports my thesis. This is the exact quote from Walker: “I believe the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable, and will have a negative impact on the economy of my state… But I don’t extend that to the point that we should shut down the government over it.”

      Now the first thing that strikes one is that Walker doesn’t seem to believe that Obamacare is worth a hard fight over, although as President I think we can assume he would sign a repeal bill. But there’s a more subtle point to be made here: Walker views Obamacare only in fiscal terms. Note that he doesn’t lament the loss of freedom, but only the cost in dollars. From my article: “But instead, Walker took the typical Establishment approach, put on his green eyeshade and best penny-pinching manner and announced rather timidly, ‘we can’t afford this’.”

      Once more, we see that Walker is pure Establishment and not Conservative.

  11. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Ron Lipsman has a good article on the subject which could be summed up as: No more RINOs, please.

  12. 12345mk says:

    Breitbart has an article which highlights how the progressives are plotting a way to get rid of Senator Mike Lee.

    The cleansing of conservatism continues.


      I hadn’t realized this discussion was taking place on this thread the past few months. 12345mk, you should realize that Brad, Tim, KFZ, and myself are not your enemies, we’re your friends and allies. None of us has any love for the Establishment GOP – in fact I wrote a whole article here advocating a complete Conservative takeover of the GOP, Mission: Take the GOP. We should be able to discuss tactics in a calm and measured way. For example, should we be stuck with an Establishment-man like Walker as the 2016 nominee – an even greater danger now than when I wrote this article because he has so many Conservatives thinking he’s one of us – do we support him or should we stay home in an attempt to disempower the Establishment? Such questions deserve a separate article – maybe I can put together a quick rundown of the likely 2016 possibilities and how we deal with them.

      But the important points are to distinguish between Establishment/RINO GOPers and Conservatives, and to recognize that the gang here at ST is on the same side you are.

  13. smarty says:

    Dear author
    This is a great article and is worth republishing or linking to it in a new article as certainly Walker is generating so much buzz.
    The main concern with Walker for me was immigration and you spelled it out for me, he is the chamber’s man. He is also politically tone deaf like most establishment hacks.
    A couple of the commenters above stated he never has gone after conservatives. But I remember distinctly during the shutdown that Walker made a public comment critical of Ted Cruz. That to me was a tip off that he was not trustworthy. He also came out publicly against the tea party in Jan/Feb of 2014 when talks of primarying RINOS began to heat up . Again, unnecessary and a signal that he is establishment.
    Walker will lose to Clinton, he simply does not have the heart to stand up for Americans in this time of war. He is a small time player.
    Jindal came put swinging against islamization this week and protecting Americans and he has had incredible response. People loved it. They want someone to fight for them. So sick of these stupid clueless and heartless hacks.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      In recent HotAir preliminary straw polls, I’ve voted Jindal first and Walker second. Whatever the latter’s flaws, one must realize that the only way to get someone who agrees with you all the time is to run yourself, and I’m not exactly electable. And he does at least have some idea of what we’re up against, which is more than most Beltway or northeastern conservatives do.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Jindal came put swinging against islamization this week and protecting Americans and he has had incredible response. People loved it. They want someone to fight for them.

      Yes, Jindal gained some points for being forthright…a very rare trait these days.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Especially when being politically incorrectly forthright. Few have the courage for that, especially inside the Beltway, in NYC (e.g., the increasingly PC NRO), and on the Left Coast.

  14. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I guess Nik’s Scott Walker thread will remain the general place to talk about presidential politics.

    As most of you likely heard, Mitt Romney is out of the race. And even Michael Medved, one of his biggest champions (at least locally) said that doing so via a conference call and in a vague way was not a particularly class act. He said he needed to do this at a press conference.

    But worse than that, it’s this obnoxious “God’s gift to the electorate” that I find such an obnoxious undertone to today’s politicians of either party. “I’m going to drop out to make way for a younger generations of Republicans who I think stand a good chance of becoming president.” Well, gee, thanks, Mitt. That’s a hell of a sacrifice.

    How about just a nice, quiet “I’ll not be seeking the office.” Geez, the egos these guys have and their never-ending need to pander and massage. And this is one reason he lost. He simply couldn’t or wouldn’t run against Obama.

    So pray for your country that at least a guy like Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, or Rick Perry is the next president and not another loser like Jeb Bush and not a tub of Progressive lard like Chris Christie.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      “I’m going to drop out to make way for a younger generations of Republicans who I think stand a good chance of becoming president.” Well, gee, thanks, Mitt. That’s a hell of a sacrifice.

      I think this was formulated as a parting attack on Jeb.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        An attack on Jeb? How so, Mr. Kung? I have no idea as to Romney’s preference for the GOP presidential nominee.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Neither do we, but a “younger generation” certainly doesn’t refer to Jeb Bush.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          The paragraph from which your paraphrase comes reads,

          “I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney said. ”In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

          In no way can old Jeb be considered any of the above. And I’m with Romney on this one.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      So that gets us back to Coolidge. “I do no choose to run for President in 1928.”

  15. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s some more close inspection of Scott “Walk it back” Walker. What a putz: Scott Walker walks back his statement on gay Boy Scouts Leaders.

    It’s one thing to give an honest lie when trying to change positions. But Walker shows himself to be an inept liar. And, all things considered, being a good liar is necessary in today’s politics. The alternative, of course (shock of shocks) is to scope out thoughtful policy positions and stick to them. It seems the inane and noodle-spined Walker can do neither. He gives this lame excuse for what he *really* meant about protecting the Boy Scouts from homosexual Scout leaders:

    Gov. Scott Walker, who recently expressed support for a ban on gay Boy Scout leaders because it “protected children,” said Wednesday that he did not mean that children needed “physical protection” from gay scoutmasters — but rather protection from the debate over the ban.

    If this report is accurate, scratch this turd off my list of people I will vote for. I could stomach a good, honest lie regarding this. But this kind of weak prevarication shows the man is ultimately not up to the task of facing down the Left where it counts.

    If a man can’t stand up for the Boy Scouts against the pink mafia, don’t expect him to stand up for anything else of importance. And I don’t care that he’s had a triumph or two as governor. This episode shows what a truly weak man he is. Another RINO. Another guy who will obviously cave at the first sign of controversy in the culture wars.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Either the Lavender Thought Police is more frightening today than the masses of union goons, or Walker simply doesn’t oppose the former the way he does the latter. His original point was quite correct, and I’ve been suggesting that the Boy Scouts demand some sort of escrow from homosexual activist groups to pay for the inevitable consequences of choosing openly homosexual scoutmasters.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think Nik might agree that if we look at Walker through the lens of the Establishment Republican (whose goal is to manage America’s decline and to manage the welfare state better), we can see him as just a technocrat — a bean counter. He can find the gusto to face down in unions because it’s a clear (and non-controversial, at least to a technocrat) question of finances.

        But when it comes to moral issues (at least those issues commonly referred to as “moral issues”), the RINO Establishment Republican fears for his political life. He’s uncomfortable with it, if only because he’s also a liberal regarding these issues. Life is just so much easier when all you need do is blather (as the idiot Jeb Bush did in a recent speech) the word “unity” while counting the beans.

        Give Walker credit at least for being a bean counter. And a lot of amoral libertarians types probably love his approach. “Let’s not bicker and argue over ‘ho killed ‘ho. Let’s just balance the budget.” And many RINO are huge spendthrifts (such as George W. Bush).

        But budgets — especially the Federal budget — is decidedly a moral issue. And if Walker can’t face down something as easy and clearcut as banning homosexuals from being Scout leaders, what chance does he have goring anyone’s sacred cow? And all entitlements and programs have now become sacred cows to someone. They’ll always be able to roll someone onto a stage in a wheelchair and decry the immoral cuts that Walker would propose.

        Yes, he’s had some success as governor. But if he can be so easily rolled by the pink mafia, the Left must be licking their chops at the chance to have a go at this weakling.

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