November 22, 2013

"The way Republicans can win those in the middle is not by abandoning their principles. To the contrary..."

"... the courage to stand on principle is what these voters respect. The way to win the center is to lead." Writes Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
Republicans need to do more than simply say no to Mr. Obama and his party's big-government agenda. They can offer Americans positive solutions for the nation's challenges—to reduce dependency, and create hope, opportunity, and upward mobility for all citizens. They need to make not just the economic case for conservative reforms but the moral case as well—showing how conservative policies and ideas will make America not only a more prosperous society but a more just and fair one as well.

When I faced the need to reform collective bargaining in the government, I wanted to win, but I wasn't afraid to lose and didn't worry about getting re-elected. That was profoundly liberating.

Too many people in politics today spend their time trying not to lose instead of trying to do the right thing....
Here's Walker's new book, "Unintimidated," which Meade and I have been reading out loud to each other... and not just because we like to think Scott and Tonette read this blog out loud to each other. The editorial corresponds to Chapter 25: "The Lessons of Wisconsin Can Be Used in the Battle for America." The first of 14 lessons is: "Change the polls, not your principles."
If you know you are doing the right thing, and the polls say voters disagree, change the polls, not your principles. President Reagan used to look at polls not to determine his positions, but to see where he needed to do more to persuade the public. That’s a sign of true leadership.

If I had listened to the polls during the fight over Act 10, I would have backed off of our plan. One poll found that if the gubernatorial election were held again, I would have lost to my opponent by seven points. My approval dropped to 37 percent. But I was so confident our reforms would work that I pressed forward into the political headwinds. And my confidence was vindicated. Our reforms did work. And voters stood with me in the recall election.

I wanted to win, but I also wasn’t afraid to lose. I cared more about getting things done than getting reelected. That liberated me to take bold actions I might never have taken if my first priority had been political survival. Too many people in politics today spend their time trying not to lose instead of trying to do the right thing. I often say that politicians need to spend more time worrying about the next generation than the next election. The irony is that politicians who spend more time worrying about the next generation than the next election often tend to win the next election because voters are starved for leadership.
Really worth reading.

44 comments:

David said...

Can Walker be elected President? The sharp knives are out for him. He will have to beat Hillary. That will be a tough task.

If he runs it will be vicious. They hate him because he won and did something. Can he stand up to it?

Garage will tell us. He has an inside track on the talking points.

fivewheels said...

All of that sounds exactly right, even/especially if you take out the political context of what policies he's talking about.

Cedarford said...

The problem is that Republicans are all over the map and various factions have "principles" that other Republicans and moderate voters find unacceptable.

So you have to reject some stuff believers in discredited Reaganomics still hold as gospel, like tax cuts for the rich create jobs (in America, not China where they site their business).

Or creationism and legal "personhood" at conception stuff from the Religious Right.

Open Borders and no taxes and other kooky Libertarian creed.

Israel 1st and we really need several more great new wars - neocon cabal notions.

There is no way getting around it. You either lie to stakeholders as Obama did with Democrat factions and independents long enough to get into office - or you have to say "your principle on this issue will not have a place on the national ticket nor be something I will push if elected - but this, this, and that you want I will push.....

Jack Wayne said...

Gee, ya think?

CWJ said...

I am willing to be convinced that Walker is the guy. He seems to have done well by your state.

But I fear that he may receive the Evan Bayh treatment.

If 2008 had been McCain vs. Bayh, I would have voted for Bayh.

The man who had no accomplishments not handed to him. but who gave a good speech got the nod. But the man who had done a great job as a Dem in a red state who gave a panned speech was sent home.

CWJ said...

Evan made an attempt to create a centrist/realpolitic faction within the Dem party which fell flat after BHO's election. At that point he gave up.

I don't blame him for his decision, but its a shame for our country that he made it.

n.n said...

I like this Walker fellow.

The principles of American conservatism, which is to say America, are founded in the following statement from The Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Every policy, domestic and foreign, every compromise, must be reconciled with these principles. We must recognize individual dignity. We must reject human life as a commodity or property throughout its evolution. This nation was founded to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

Gabriel Hanna said...

I think it is dangerous for Walker to read his recall victory as an endorsement of his reforms.

In my part of the state the general feeling was that it was a fairness issue--Democrats shouldn't have got a do-over just because they lost. I don't think it was that they approved Walker so much as they disapproved of the recall attempt and the pernicious precedent that it set.

CWJ said...

I guess what we are seeing is the question - Is competence scalable?

Can you win at the nationally without promising free shit to everyone?

CWJ said...

Scratch the "at the".

garage mahal said...

Vaginal Ultrasounds for everybody in the center!

AJ Lynch said...

Their platform should be "Back to Basics for the Fed Govt"....and go line by line over the fed budget [an Obama promise he never did].

Anonymous said...

Only those outside of Wisconsin think that Walker's policies gave him the win. I guarantee if he is the nominee he won't win his own state, just as Ryan didn't win his own city.

Andy Freeman said...

> I guarantee if he is the nominee he won't win his own state, just as Ryan didn't win his own city.

Real guarantees have consequences. For example, if someone guarantees that the paint they sell "covers in one coat", at the very least, they owe me the price of the paint if it doesn't.

I mention that because it's unclear what the consequences are if the above "guarantee" doesn't turns out to be wrong, that is, if walker the nominee wins Wisconsin.

I ask because without consequences, it's bluster, not a guarantee.

Big Mike said...

The Democrats have only one wing anymore. Sooner or later the low information voter will notice that they keep going around in circles.

Big Mike said...
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Illuninati said...

Walker and Christie are strong governors but that does not necessarily mean they will be strong presidential contenders. Mr. Cruz has the brains and drive to be a national candidate. Rubio has hurt himself somewhat but he could probably still do well. There could be others out there who will surprise us.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yes, you folks need Cruz, really you do. Walker is a squish, he even spoke out against the government shut down. Walker isn't pure, like Cruz.

Illuninati said...

Inga said:
"Yes, you folks need Cruz, really you do"

Cruz might be a stronger candidate than you think. I'm sure you wouldn't vote for him, but you probably wouldn't vote for any Republican so that is irrelevant.

It is too early to know how Cruz will play out on the national stage. He is smart and has principles. I'm not sure whether he thought he could win in his filibuster or if he was just setting the stage to completely dissociate the Republicans from the Obamacare train wreck. He gave the Democrats the opportunity to delay the rollout until they were ready but they decided calling him a terrorist was better politics than a clean rollout of their new program. Over time I believe the American people will see that Cruz was acting in their interest by trying to delay Obamacare.

traditionalguy said...

Walker exudes a Christian faith. He just cannot hide it.

That makes him a very strong President. But his election will be opposed by many.

Anonymous said...

Yes by all means chose your candidate to fully reflect your principles. Democrats are hoping you do just that.

Illuninati said...

Inga said:
"Yes by all means chose your candidate to fully reflect your principles. Democrats are hoping you do just that"

I'm glad you approve.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Because rightist's principles have been shown to be big winners in the past couple electons. Go for it.

CWJ said...

OMG Inga,

You do realize that you just mocked people for picking someone on principle.

It may not be effective, but it should not be mocked.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Inga, are you trying to make people tense and angry? Why?

Anonymous said...

No, not at all. I am merely reinforcing your resolve to stand on rightist principle, above all.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in all seriousness, I do respect those who stand on principal.

geokstr said...

Yes, Inga, as opposed your party, which has absolutely no principles, morals, or ethics, and will do every underhanded sleazy thing to win, because the end justifies the means.

Which is how an unaccomplished, failed community activist thug beat Romney, a very honest, decent, highly intelligent and successful man with possibly the best experience and background to fix this economy.

Didn't pay taxes, deliberately killed his ex-employee's wife, hated women and dogs, wore magic underwear, played a prank on a gay guy 40 years ago - this kind of ad hom smear was all they had on him. But spend hundreds of millions shouting it out from the rooftops, amplified incessantly by his worshippers in the media, including the DNC plant Crowley falsely undercutting him in a debate all takes it's toll.

We won't even talk about the IRS and all the other slimy tricks they used to enervate the Tea Party, or all the votes Obama bought with taxpayer dollars, the millions of ObamaPhones pumped into swing states, the massive increases in food stamps and fake disability claims and the phony jobless numbers.

Yes, you must be very proud of the "principles" your empty suit used to win re-election, but as far as leftists are concerned, it's just win, baby, win and screw honor and integrity (look them up if you've never seen those words before.)

I know both St Saul and Pope Karl are smiling up at him from their special place in hell.

Illuninati said...

geokstr said:

"Yes, Inga, as opposed your party, which has absolutely no principles, morals, or ethics, and will do every underhanded sleazy thing to win, because the end justifies the means."

Well stated. From the standpoint of the left, your problem is that you still believe in those "rightist's principles" like honesty, fair play, and civility. Those things no longer win elections, so you should abandon them as quickly as possible and become amoral like those on the left.

Since those on the left have no absolute standard of morality, what passes for morality on the left is the result of the mimetic process. Once they convince a majority of people to a certain viewpoint, they believe they have the moral high ground because the crowd is on their side. If they have to lie and cheat or use extreme political and social pressure to get their way is irrelevant so long as they win. Once they have won over the barest majority they then believe that they are on the moral high ground because they are in the majority.

This process has led to the death of about 100 million civilians within one century as well as many other people in war. The American left has no reason to deceive themselves that they also will not perform mass murder if it ever suites their mob.


Anonymous said...

If your gut and your heart and your mind is leading you further to the right, I say you should follow. Continue to stand on the principles of rightism. If purity of principle is important enough to you folks, you will always be doing the right thing in following your rightist instincts. Go for it.

Illuninati said...

Inga said:
"Continue to stand on the principles of rightism."

It used to be that truth, honor, fair play, respect for life etc. were generally accepted as principles which all decent people stood for.

Anonymous said...

It still is.

Illuninati said...

Since I don't know you, I can not judge you, Inga. I base my opinion on the left by their actions.

At one time I believe the Democrat party had a great many moral people. For example, Truman is still respected for his integrity. I see nothing in the modern leftists to support the claim that truth, honor, fair play, respect for life etc. are moral imperatives for the left.

RecChief said...

Yes, but where can we find someone like that? Americans have a tendency to want to be led. That is what I counsel young lieutenants all the time. Don't try to be buddy buddy with the lower enlisted, they joined to be led by someone with both physical and moral courage. You's be surprised how successful the ones who listen turn out.

RecChief said...

Inga said...
Yes by all means chose your candidate to fully reflect your principles. Democrats are hoping you do just that.

yes, just as Democrats run on their principles. Redistributionist fantasies, and free stuff! for everyone. would that the Democrat party follow your advice. I'm just waiting to see Democrats run on obamacare. Because, I am sure the website will be functional by then. Is that why there was a nakedly political move to change the enrollment period for the employer mandate from just before the election to just after, thereby delaying all the cancellations? Please provide more instruction on "running on your values" I'm all ears.

Curious George said...

He is absolutely correct. Inga forget the national (and WI) conservative landslide just four years ago. Of course there is a reason the left wants to be so "helpful" in showing the GOP the way....real Democrat always beats Democrat Lite.

But it really doesn't matter if it's the path to victory, it's the path to salvation for the country. Otherwise, dead country walking.

MadisonMan said...

The way to win is to lead, yes. You have to lead in a desired direction, too, but leading is essential.

Governors understand this. Senators, not so much.

MadisonMan said...

Actually, in all seriousness, I do respect those who stand on principal.

Bart Simpson is laughing.

I agree, somewhat, with Gabriel Hanna in that the recall failure was in no small part due to an aversion to the do-over aspect of it. (That's what drove my vote).

Of course, there are some -- a lot of Union members -- who wanted Walker voted out. I think the last series of many elections might have opened their eyes?

B said...

Actually, in all seriousness, I do respect those who stand on principal.

Good little german types like you don't own principles. How would you even recognize them? I think the following quote of yours from another thread is revealing. At some point you will undoubtedly claim both personal and your party's empathy, compassion, and understanding for the concerns of people who are losing or having lost their insurance plans are experiencing. Undoubtedly you will say that your muddled view of the 'right' never really had any empathy, compassion, and understanding. To do this, you'll have to deny ever belittling those concerns. I think the quote should be preserved against your usual practice of deleting then denying.

...by all means Drago and rightists, continue to showcase those poor folks who have lost their insurance...

Oh, by the way, how is that spiffy new subsidized health plan working out for you? The one those people seeing their current plans dissolve in favor of more expensive plans are paying for.

You know, you should at least try understanding how principled people think, you miserable harridan.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

I too like this Walker fellow. It was a joy to see him wade through the hysterical claque of unions, students, imported busloads of OFA types and barrels of savagely biased journalist ink, and prevail against them all. Without malice, without diplomat-speeches trimmed with hidden meanings, without Obama-style demonizations, but with - for a change! - clear statements of principles and good reasons supporting his actions.

Definitely qualified by deeds and temperament for the Presidency.

cokaygne said...

2016 will be interesting. Hilary has sucked all the air out of the room for the Dems, so all the attention will be on the GOP nominating race.

I liked Giuliani because he changed the culture of NYC. Unfortunately, that meant nothing to the bigots who were the GOP base then. Will it be different this time?

Both Walker and Christie are successful political executives who changed their states. Both would be good candidates. Unfortunately for them, they will destroy each other and a mouth-breathing wack-job like Cruz will be nominated.

I'm OK with that as long as Hilary gives Bill, best president since Reagan, a major role in her administration.

bbkingfish said...

Walker is running for Vice President. He has a chance.