Walker's lose-lose ultimatum | Wis.Community

Walker's lose-lose ultimatum

Scott Walker is now upping the heated rhetoric, warning that he'll take drastic action -- "dire consequences" is his phraseology of the moment -- if Senate Democrats don't return to the Capitol. The drastic action? Thousands of public employee layoffs, a thousand or more immediately, many thousands more later. That's dire, all right ... for the Wisconsin economy and good government. Two other problems with Walker's latest threat:

1. There will be dire consequences -- the destruction of public employee unions and huge employee give-backs -- whether Democratic senators stay in Illiinois or do come back. Given Walker's dual no-win scenarios, why would Democrats acquiesce in enabling their oppressor? He's succeeded in assuring that they'll only acquiesce to compromise. Of course, Walker's idea of compromise is the same as George W. Bush's -- you compromise your positions 100 percent in my direction, and we'll have a deal.

2. In his phone chat with a prankster pretending to be conservative billionaire David Koch, Walker revealed how he and his staff conspired to trick Democrats to return, supposedly as part of a truce to work out a compromise when the real plan was to spring a sudden Senate session upon them in which his GOP legislator pals could freely enact his draconian -- drastic, dire -- agenda.

Walker's posturing the past couple of days reminds me of two little kids in a shouting match. The kid on the losing side begins escalating his rhetoric. "I double-dog -- no, I TRIPLE-dog dare you! And I'm a million, billion times -- no, INFINITE times -- better and smarter than you! Nyah! Nyah!" Walker's style isn't nearly so coarse, but it amounts to the same tactic. Thing is, this kind of rhetoric between hot heads seldom results in a deal. It usually gets actualized in a scuffle that only makes things worse.

Instead of squelching the rhetorical fires, as he pretended to be trying to do in his Fire Sale Chat last night, he's amping things up some more. Walker "prays" that demonstrators at the Capitol don't get violent, yet he takes pains to note he's getting the National Guard ready to roll if and when they do. The aluminum fist in the polyester glove. The teensy little dog that barks most loudly. The kid playing with matches.

Walker's promising to lay some real hurt on the entire state of Wisconsin, and is prepared to pin the blame for that hurt on the people who wouldn't give him carte blanche to lay down some other real hurt, which (in his mind) was forced on him by imaginary public employee union transgressions. Nothing, you see, is the fault of him or his ideology. It's all the fault of other people and YOU should be mad at those people. In fact: Let's you and them fight!

More and more voters -- and some Republican state legislators, as well -- have to be asking themselves: How did we end up with a snot-nosed kid as our governor?


February 23, 2011 - 2:08pm