St. Walker: Grace notes in a graceless politician | WisCommunity

St. Walker: Grace notes in a graceless politician just channeled a GQ magazine feature on Scott Walker, so we're duty-bound to re-channel it for you. Calling the GQ piece "hagiographic" (portraying, in other words, the subject as saintly), Salon's Luke Brinker questions GQ quotes from Walker on how he can be a kinder, gentler, right-wing Republican, while still dishing out the hurt for most of us and cash for a few. "It takes a confirmed cynic to make the case that what a politician believes matters less than the fact that he or she believes something," Brinker writes, later adding: "And the Walker view that candidates are as much products to be sold as agents of particular agendas reflects the same outlook that has debased our electoral process."

The web address for the entire Salon piece [linking to the longer GQ piece] is below, but here's perhaps the most illuminating passage:

What, concretely, does Walker mean by “smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom”? Such meaningless sloganeering tells us nothing about which government programs Walker wants to cut or which taxes he wants to slash and by how much. This lack of specifics matters, as Wisconsin knows full well; even though Walker immediately moved to strip public employees of their right to collectively bargain immediately upon taking office, 

Do give Walker credit, though, for his bold and courageous stance in favor of “more freedom.”

That freedom, of course, doesn’t apply to  or . But, echoing Walker, his friend RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tells Draper that what ultimately matters isn’t so much what Walker believes as that he has beliefs and is “likable and relatable.”

“I mean, a candidate has to be really likable and relatable,” Priebus says. “And Scott has that going for him in a big-time way. On same-sex marriage, I think it’s more of how you say it than what you say. I think Scott understands how to talk and express himself in a way that doesn’t compromise his principles but allows himself to exercise dignity and grace.”

Ah, yes – there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a politician who opposes civil rights, but does so with “dignity and grace.”


October 3, 2014 - 9:40am