March 22, 2012

The most important thing Gov. Scott Walker said in his long interview with Greta Van Susteren.

Here's the whole interview — video and transcript — with a lot of detail about last year's protests and the upcoming recall election. But I want to highlight this:
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think this is going to be a very fascinating recall.... [I]t's going to send a big message one way or the other to this country of how Wisconsin, a swing state, is likely or maybe will vote come November.

WALKER: Well, and it's political both about what happens in November in the presidential and even a key U.S. Senate race. I think it's even more important. I think long term, it sets the table for whether it's me and other governors or even people like my friend Paul Ryan and the courageous things he's trying to do in Washington.

When we prevail, it will send a powerful, powerful message that when people complain about politicians who don't have the courage to stand up, the guts to take on the tough issues, our election will show, when we win, that you know what? Voters do want people to take on the tough issues. They do want people to stand up for the taxpayers. They won't — people to turn away the special interests, and I think that's what we'll show.
When we prevail... Is that overconfident or do we all pretty much know that Walker is going to win? The recall — Walker seems to know — is giving him a big opportunity to explain and promote his policies and to present himself as especially courageous in taking a uncompromising position.  A win in the recall election will be a tremendous vindication — a vindication which he could not have achieved without the delicious opportunity that is the recall.

And what Walker is also saying here is that it will in a much more general way say to all politicians that they should be forceful and not moderate and wishy-washy. A Walker win in the recall is something that ought to be read as justifying what fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan is doing in Congress.

And by the way, the GOP presidential candidates are swooping into the state now. I'm eager to see how Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, and Paul deal with the specific place that is Wisconsin.

65 comments:

KJE said...

There's no point in any candidate acting or speaking as if they are going to lose. People want to see confidence.

edutcher said...

I think Walker sees the Tea Party as the wave of the future.

He understands that, as things get worse under the Demos and RINOs, the only way out is his way.

Given the Social Security Trustees' report (Medicare Tango Uniform in 2024, Social Security same in 2036) and the CBO projection that the economy crashes in 15 years (if that long), he and his compadres have a very real inconvenient truth at their fingertips.

Ann Althouse said...

And by the way, the GOP presidential candidates are swooping into the state now. I'm eager to see how Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, and Paul deal with the specific place that is Wisconsin

A pilgrimage to Meadhouse will be de rigeur.

Ann Althouse said...

"There's no point in any candidate acting or speaking as if they are going to lose. People want to see confidence."

I see some points:

1. Voters and contributors might assume it's in the bag and not do what the candidate needs them to do.

2. People like a certain modesty and are annoyed by the wrong kind of bragging. The candidate must walk a line.

Ann Althouse said...

Obama is supposedly having trouble raising money for his campaign and one reason that is asserted is that people assume he'll be easily reelected.

Hagar said...

Althouse seems to employ the Democrat definition of "moderate" here.

Bill said...

I'm a Democrat and I know that the Walker recall is a waste of money. I'm not sure why the other people in my party don't feel the same way--he's not going to lose, especially without a remotely viable candidate to challenge him.

As for Obama--I don't see him losing WI. He is well-ahead in the polls that have been conducted, and both Santorum and Romney will not overtake him. They simply aren't good candidates.

Scott M said...

And by the way, the GOP presidential candidates are swooping into the state now. I'm eager to see how Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, and Paul deal with the specific place that is Wisconsin.

Surely, you meant Madison?

Scott M said...

By the bye, has there been any mention of who Walker will endorse?

Synova said...

Politicians never ever say "if" they win, but you know it's always "if" they win.

So Walker says "when we win, this is what it means", which sort of sounded like a "you voters always say this is what you want, until you get it, so put your money where your mouth is."

Because wasn't that what happened? People elected Walker and then it was all... but, but, we didn't actually *want* you to take charge of the budget and make it all work, you're just being *mean*, eleventy. (Or something like that.)

Fen said...

I'm eager to see how Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, and Paul deal with the specific place that is Wisconsin.

I predict they will step in it and give Walker a set-back.

The Stupid Party tag.

Bob_R said...

I think it is very unlikely that people will see this as "in the bag." The unions are going to throw everything they have at this.

Does Walker really come off as bragging? (In this or in other appearances?) I don't get much hint of cockiness. (Though anyone who says, "I think I'll run for governor" has to be a little cocky.) Sometimes I get a mild "messianic" vibe.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Fen. I think the candidates will say something stupid (and by candidates, I specifically mean Santorum and Gingrich) that Democrats will try to anchor around Walker's neck. Not sure if it'll work.

Will Santorum invoke the spirit of Reggie White?

rehajm said...

"A win in the recall election will be a tremendous vindication — a vindication which he could not have achieved without the delicious opportunity that is the recall"

It 'should' be vindication, though a victory will be excused away- low voter turnout because of nice weather, or a victory 'bought' by outspending the opponent by a ratio of x:1 (ratio emphasized), or not enough time given to deliver the challenger's message, or some other manner of dismissal. All too familiar at this stage.

Robert Cook said...

"When we prevail" is standard political rhetoric...all politicians speak in terms of "when we win" rather than "IF we win".

Jess said...

I don't think the overconfidence is any different than nominees at the national conventions being introduced as "the next President of the United States..."

I think it might be an interesting constitutional feature to say that if a recall election fails, the current term is extended by the length of a full term. Of course, you get out of the 4-year synch that way.

machine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
machine said...

Yes, it is pretty brave to pass laws designed to weaken political opponents and strengthen the already powerful...

What guts...

3/22/12 10:1

ricpic said...

It's all about breaking the corruptocrat deathgrip of the public sector unions on the public purse.

BarrySanders20 said...

I think Democrat Bill is right on both Walker and Obama. Elections come down to two choices, and if the opposing party cannot field a dynamic or interesting candidate, the incumbent has a strong probability of winning.

Kathleen Falk will not win. Tammy Baldwin will not win. Mitt Romney will not win.

drozz said...

many other states have taken a stand as walker did. why aren't they holding recall elections?

Christopher in MA said...

Synova's quite right. This is a "put up or shut up" moment for the Wisconsin and American electorate.

As much as garage is an anti-Walker loon, I think he'd agree that what Walker is saying applies to both left and right: you say you want politician X to do something, but far too many scream bloody murder when the pol actually does do that something.

So when Walker says "here's my plan and here's how much pain it's going to cost, but we're going to leave the state in better shape than we found it" and you vote for him based on that, you have no right to shriek and beg him to stop when the teacher's unions wheel out their scoliosis-stricken handicapped mentally challenged lesbi-curious children of color to tug at your heartstrings and prove how mean spirited Walker is.

Jim said...

The libs want a European parliamentary system. If Walker wins this vote of no confidence, then he will be stronger.

I suspect they really don't want a parliamentary system if it doesn't deliver the results they want.

machine said...

"...the Tea Party as the wave of the future."

For realz? Mitt Romney is your nominee and the "conservatives" in Congress have driven its numbers to just about the lowest point in history. That wave has fizzled....

Governing requires compromise...

Scott M said...

For realz? Mitt Romney is your nominee and the "conservatives" in Congress have driven its numbers to just about the lowest point in history

Fundamental Attribution Error.

I suppose the congressional poll numbers have nothing to do with the spurious way Obamacare was passed or the fact that the Democrat-controlled Senate, who only need 51 votes to do so, have not passed a budget in over 1000 days.

There's plenty of poo to fling, machine, but you only seem to want to do it facing one direction. Do you wear the tag "ideologue" proudly?

machine said...

and why was health care reform passed in a "spurious" way? Could it have been the GOP refusal to compromise (along with every other effort to rescue the US economy)?

even after adopting the conservative mandate pushed by Sen. Grassley....refusal to cooperate...

PatCA said...

If he is successful, and I think he will be, Walker's success signals a big shift in retail politics.

Both parties bought our votes for decades, since FDR, and framed the question as "who will distribute your tax levies better" instead of the new Tea Party meme, which objects to party distributing our money to achieve power and/or cultural change.

John said...

No matter what happens at the Presidential level, 2012 is going to be a very bad year for liberals when Walker wins, the Republicans take back the Senate and Elizabeth Warren loses in Massachusetts. The tears will be yummy.

Fen said...

MadisonMan said...I agree with Fen.

The 3rd Sign.

We are closer to the Apocalypse than I thought :)

cubanbob said...

machine said...
Yes, it is pretty brave to pass laws designed to weaken political opponents and strengthen the already powerful...

What guts...

3/22/12 10:1

3/22/12 10:18 AM

Hmmm sounds like the squeals of the pigs who fear their food bowl is about to be taken away.


machine said...
and why was health care reform passed in a "spurious" way? Could it have been the GOP refusal to compromise (along with every other effort to rescue the US economy)?

even after adopting the conservative mandate pushed by Sen. Grassley....refusal to cooperate...

3/22/12 10:44 AM

Maybe because because it's a horrible bill. Maybe because people who took their oath of office to uphold the constitution saw that the bill was unconstitutional. Come June the supreme court will affirm their wisdom.

Fen said...

machine: and why was health care reform passed in a "spurious" way?

From the accounting tricks used to get CBO scoring... to the promises about keeping your provider that are turning out to be lies... to the bait n switch over abortion funding that was used to flip moderate Dems... to...

And you ask what was suprious?

machine said...

Do you mean the "conservative" mandate is unconstitutional? Then why have the GOP been pushing for it so long?

Fen said...

How much money have the Dems and the Unions spent on this so far?

I've got a buddy in North Carlonia who's a Union lobbyist, and he claims they are "all in"

Fen said...

machine: Do you mean the "conservative" mandate is unconstitutional? Then why have the GOP been pushing for it so long?

machine is one of those Dems who always polls "country going in wrong direction" (ie Obama is too conservative, hasn't done enough)

garage mahal said...

The recall — Walker seems to know — is giving him a big opportunity to explain and promote his policies and to present himself as especially courageous in taking a uncompromising position.

He will continue to appear in the friendly confines of Fox News, and only Fox News. They won't ask him any uncomfortable questions.

rehajm said...

machine said...

'Mitt Romney is your nominee and the "conservatives" in Congress have driven its numbers to just about the lowest point in history. That wave has fizzled....

Governing requires compromise...'

translated: governing requires compromise unless you won't like the result, in which case governing requires bravely and righteously running away and hiding out across the border...

BarrySanders20 said...

machine,

The mid-1990's insurance mandate, first raised by R's, was discussed as a tax similar to withholding like Medicare. As a tax, it clearly would be constitutional, then or now.

Obamacare passed the mandate under the claim that it was regulating commerce, a much more dubious claim because the feds require people to engage in the very commerce that they claim the right to regulate. The question is whether the feds can compel the first step of mandatory commercial behavior.

Fen said...

Garage: He will continue to appear in the friendly confines of Fox News, and only Fox News. They won't ask him any uncomfortable questions.

I'm reminded of all your 2008 candidates that were boycotting FOX because they were too chickenshit to debate with Brit Hume and Mara Liasson as moderators...

So I don't blame Walker for avoiding the MSM with all their "how long have you been beating your wife" questions. Fuck them.

Synova said...

"... to the promises about keeping your provider that are turning out to be lies..."

As Instapundit said: If only there was someone, anyone, who was able to point that out at the time.

Those promises didn't "turn out to be" lies. They always were lies, and obvious ones, too.

It was not *possible* that Obama could guarantee the availability of "the insurance you like and want to keep." It was not in his power to do so.

He was *lying*.

And too bad there wasn't anyone who was pointing that out at the time. (eye roll)

It's like two conversations are going on. Someone (like me) says... this is how that would really work. And then the Obama chorus gets offended because what they hear is "this is your intention."

Because intentions matter most of all. Obama *wanted* us to be able to keep our providers and he wasn't going to *prevent* us from keeping our providers... so he made promises on his intentions.

Intentions are irrelevant in the real world where real people live.

Which is, of course, the problem with WALKER. He was just supposed to *want* to fix the budget and keep a relatively strong economy strong, because people are magical thinkers, but he wasn't supposed to take action in the real world. Because if something was unpleasant it was proof that he *wanted* to be unpleasant just because he's a mean person. If he was a nice person the budget would fix itself because his heart was pure.

NO ONE runs their own lives with this level of wishful thinking and expects it to actually work.

Christopher in MA said...

and why was health care reform passed in a "spurious" way?

We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it - N. Pelosi.

Yes, machine, how dare the mean old GOP not compromise when Nancy laid out such a cogent, crystal-clear delineation of the case?

I swear, sometimes I wonder how hacks like you and garage can even look at yourselves in the mirror every morning.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

He will continue to appear in the friendly confines of Fox News, and only Fox News. They won't ask him any uncomfortable questions.

I guess Goggle is a bridge too far for some.

Scott M said...

Goggle

What's Goggle and what body of water does it sit near?

John Stodder said...

I'm a Democrat and I know that the Walker recall is a waste of money. I'm not sure why the other people in my party don't feel the same way--he's not going to lose, especially without a remotely viable candidate to challenge him.

A sense of delight fills me as I begin scrolling down this thread. Surely, downthread, garage mahal will flay this "Democrat," seek to out him as in fact a Santorum supporter, make bold assertions about PENDING INDICTMENTS he heard two guys at a bar whispering about, and wrap up with some piece of hard evidence that Walker's opponent's positions are in lock step with 90 percent of Wisconsin's voters.

Oh, I hope!

Rusty said...

machine said...
and why was health care reform passed in a "spurious" way? Could it have been the GOP refusal to compromise (along with every other effort to rescue the US economy)?




"Got to pass it to know what's in it." That's what totalitarian regimes do, not democracies.

I'll give you a real simple economic lesson.
When you max out your credit cards, it isn't good economics to get more credit to pay them off. You quit spending.

John Stodder said...

What happened? A meek little aside about Walker only appearing on Fox News? (There's an issue that drives votes! He'll only appear on the cable news outlet that gets ratings -- what a bastard!) Nothing more?

Is garage giving up?

garage mahal said...

Interesting Romney has not sought out Walker yet, but has sought out Paul Ryan. Walker keeping his distance as well. Huh! Wonder why that is.

Christopher in MA said...

"Is garage giving up?"

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Scott M said...

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Classic.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Garage you never did answer me that if Walker wins the recall are you going to seek asylum in Quebec?

Fen said...

Is garage giving up?

No, MediaMatters is down again.

And he remembers how many times he's been savaged here when he goes off-script.

I'm looking forward to his excuses when Walker wins.

Predictions? We could start a blog-pool. I've got "the Koch Brothers - Alien Abduction" and "Koch Brothers - Faux News"

garage mahal said...

Garage you never did answer me that if Walker wins the recall are you going to seek asylum in Quebec?

Nah, Walker is effectively neutered right now. He couldn't pass anything controversial. And Dems will add to the Senate starting in June.

Not much left to do than wait for the indictments to start raining down, which I keep hearing, is real soon.

John Stodder said...

Nah, Walker is effectively neutered right now.

Ah. Brave words, but I don't think labor would have invested as much as it has, or as it's going to, if they really thought that. Their fear is that what Walker said to Van Sustern is true, that beating back the recall will send a signal both locally and nationally.

As I've said a couple times and been shot down, this was a big fat strategic mistake, born of intense arrogance and cocooning. You guys started this fight assuming victory was already in the bag, but never thought through what would happen if it didn't turn out that way. Far from "neutering" Walker, your defeat will amplify the effect of his legislative victories far beyond their original significance. It will also give him a new mandate for the remainder of his term. If you'd just chilled out, then, yeah, over time, you could have nibbled at him and eventually neutralized him, as happens almost all the time with hard-charging new administrations. They run out of energy, inertia and the bureaucratic mindset beat them down. But that won't be the case here. You've given Walker a new lease on life and no incentive to compromise.

But, having said that... you are giving up. That's pretty clear.

It's straight outta Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Never strike a king unless you are sure you shall kill him." You're learning it and you'll be living it for the next few years, I suspect.

Scott M said...

But, having said that... you are giving up. That's pretty clear.

This isn't true at all. Just wait and see how many times Garage votes that day. If it's less than three, I will agree with you.

garage mahal said...

As I've said a couple times and been shot down, this was a big fat strategic mistake, born of intense arrogance and cocooning

The recalls have already paid off in a big way. The makeup of the senate changed from last summer's recalls, and has staved off bad bills. Particularly the horrendous mining bill that would have done much more damage than anything they've passed to date. You don't like the recalls? Well, tough shit. Nobody asked you to like them. As they say on your side of the aisle, just close your eyes.

Scott M said...

As they say on your side of the aisle, just close your eyes.

Who says that?

Michael said...

I thought Walker was in the clink! Dont tell me the double super secret grand jury seated, perpetually?, in the John Doe matter have not returned an indictment?

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...

The recalls have already paid off in a big way. The makeup of the senate changed from last summer's recalls, and has staved off bad bills. Particularly the horrendous mining bill that would have done much more damage than anything they've passed to date. You don't like the recalls? Well, tough shit. Nobody asked you to like them. As they say on your side of the aisle, just close your eyes."

I guess it's better than the "You're fucking dead" that we hear from your side of the aisle.

And other than the mining bill...what else has been "staved off?"

John Stodder said...

The recalls have already paid off in a big way. The makeup of the senate changed from last summer's recalls, and has staved off bad bills.

I don't disagree with that at all. As a strategic matter, you guys had to try what you tried last year, and although it failed in the ultimate sense, I always thought the GOP was engaging in triumphalism in ignoring the fact that you did manage to recall almost enough legislators to exert your will.

The mistake was to read into that mixed result a mandate to go forward with something that was clearly out of your grasp.

As I said, you could have diddled Walker to death. You public-sector union guys have a lot of power just by virtue of the fact that your guys are everywhere in the government. You could have made it hard for him to win re-election, or for his re-election to have been effectively meaningless. But you got greedy. The money obviously means a great deal more to you than we thought... and money now and forever, without interruption even for a 4-8 year GOP interregnum of cutbacks. That's your fatal flaw, I guess. A lack of patience about the payouts. You can't tolerate the normal cycles of politics anymore. That's an Achilles heel that will damage your side far more than any little ol' Republican governor can.

garage mahal said...

You public-sector union guys have a lot of power just by virtue of the fact that your guys are everywhere in the government

I'm not in a public union. I've never been part of any union in my life. The union bill is not at the top of my list why I want Walker recalled. But in your mind that's the only way any of it makes any sense I suppose. It will all be over soon though, so there is that.

John said...

Garage,

If Walker is still in office next November it will be nothing but a disaster for the Unions. They can't spend the kind of money in every state that they are spending in Wisconsin. Their only hope was to make an example of Walker. If they fail, then it is only a matter of time before public sector unions get neutered in every state.

Even Democrats like Andrew Cuomo are coming to the conclusion that this cannot go on. And you can recall all you like. And when you lose and the rest of us shove every program you object to down your throat, tough shit. I know this game is played too you pathetic little tyrant.

John Stodder said...

I'm not in a public union. I've never been part of any union in my life. The union bill is not at the top of my list why I want Walker recalled.

Okay, but let's not pretend that Walker's recall would be happening without the massive power of the labor movement, particularly the public-sector unions. Indeed, let's not pretend the Democratic Party would be anything like what it is now without that massive center of gravity. Everything the party does is a reflection of labor's priorities. They pay the bills. If you're an independent activist, perhaps an environmentalist, yes, you're at the table along with private sector unions, health activists, Occupy Wall Street and so on. But you're all riding on an elephant's back, so when I say "you" I'm talking to all of you, but I'm really addressing the elephant.

Joe Schmoe said...

He will continue to appear in the friendly confines of Fox News, and only Fox News.

Walker was just on that bastion of conservative media MSNBC earlier this month.

Joe Schmoe said...

When a Democrat says "compromise", they mean "my way or the highway". Got it.

Obama was so tired of being the adult compromiser that after
Congress passed the health care act on a straight-party line, he turned hard left. Got it.

Fen said...

Their fear is that what Walker said to Van Sustern is true, that beating back the recall will send a signal both locally and nationally

This.

Its already having an affect nationally.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

That was sweet of you to put Santorum's name first. Other than a few snippets, attacks and responses, I really haven't seen much of any of the candidates. Read criticism of Romney's 59 point plan in the WSJ. Seen Romney bury Perry over the immigration issue. Have read David Brooks on Santorum, seen some debates. It really is like 'the war in Romania' while you're in a different sector.

John Lynch said...

You mean, "The Silent Majority?"