May 14, 2015

"Scott Walker's crisis of faith/The Wisconsin governor is racing to reassure Christian conservatives that he’s one of them."

Headline at Politico. Not much going on in the article in my view. I find this bloggable because 1. Politico is choosing this theme for its coverage (and not, say, the new John Doe documents that just came out) and 2. the absence of material is significant.

Walker tends not to talk about the social conservative issues — probably because 1. such issues are divisive and 2. he appears to be a very solidly religious man — and the social conservatives are having a meeting with him — where he'll probably explain those 2 things.

IN THE COMMENTS: I repeat my point that "Walker doesn't talk the SC issues. He is a conservative man. He comes across as sincerely religious, based on his whole life story and his behavior." I add: "That's his approach, and it's different from the approach of those who use the issues. I think it's an excellent and winning combination." And MaBee says: "Which is exactly why Politico wants to push him out of using it." Yes. And... how do we feel about a candidate winning that way? I guess it depends on whether in the end he does anything about these privately held values.

39 comments:

rcocean said...

He doesn't talk about conservative social issues because he has no intention of doing anything about them if elected. Plus, the rich RINO donors like the Koch Brothers and Addelson are social liberals.

MayBee said...

Politico wants Republicans to focus on social conservative/Christian conservatives so they can make themselves more unappealing to wavering moderates.

traditionalguy said...

One more in a long caravan of continuous stories that start by asserting wishful thinking that Walker has blown it and he has lost all his support because of( fill in the blank) which proves that he is not a smart politician.

Meanwhile the story says nothing at all like that and Walker stays in the focused and the unbeatable position on issues and his character and likeability that he was in last month and the month before Etc...



sparrow said...

Walker does seem very socially conservative to me - none of the current crop do except Huckabee, and maybe Jindal. That approach wouldn't be popular certainly - just principled. No wonder it's so rare.

sparrow said...

Meant to say Walker does not seem conservative ..

Bob Ellison said...

If Walker were President now, would he support the abortion-restriction bill that the House just passed?

traditionalguy said...

On religious social issues, Walker is a Southern Baptist. They are against sin...who isn't. But they are unique among evangelicals in that they strongly committed on principle to 1)the separation of church and state, and 2) The support of the Jews and their claim to the homeland of Israel.

Try to confuse Walker all you want. But he will stay focused on his principles because he believes them.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The process by which a politician negotiates for support from the religious right is what I think people in the investment business call a mature market.

rhhardin said...

I'd be a social conservative if you looked at how I lived, but I'm a social liberal.

Ann Althouse said...

"Walker does seem very socially conservative to me - none of the current crop do except Huckabee, and maybe Jindal. That approach wouldn't be popular certainly - just principled. No wonder it's so rare."

Walker doesn't talk the SC issues. He is a conservative man. He comes across as sincerely religious, based on his whole life story and his behavior.

That's his approach, and it's different from the approach of those who use the issues. I think it's an excellent and winning combination.

MayBee said...

Althouse: I think it's an excellent and winning combination.

Which is exactly why Politico wants to push him out of using it.

cubanbob said...

I not interested if Walker is or isn't a social conservative. I'm interested if he as president will rollback government spending, taxation and regulation. The gig he presumably is running for is president, not pastor of the United States.

Brando said...

The successful GOP candidate will be one who recognizes that he doesn't need to "pander" to social conservatives so much as signal his sympathy to where they're coming from and they will realize that for the issues where a president has influence (judicial nominations, religious freedom laws) he will be an ally, particularly compared to the Democratic alternative.

At this point, Obama has picked about half the federal judiciary, and if he's succeeded by Hillary a sizable majority will be Democratic appointees. Scalia and Kennedy are both pretty old, and even Thomas is no spring chicken. The courts are where matters of religious freedom and most social issues are going to be decided--anything making it through Congress will only pass if widely popular.

But if they insist on a "they better kowtow to us at a tent revival" standard, that turns off the moderately religious and unreligious, then it's the equivalent of attaching an iron leg weight to a distance runner before the marathon (we're going with analogies today).

Brando said...

"I not interested if Walker is or isn't a social conservative. I'm interested if he as president will rollback government spending, taxation and regulation. The gig he presumably is running for is president, not pastor of the United States."

That's my take--I'd rather my priest not be political and my politicians not be preachy. I'd be fine with an atheist president if they respected religious freedom and other civil liberties.

clint said...

There's a difference in the values and principles you live by, and believe others should live by, and the belief in using the power of the state to force others to live by your values.

One is real social conservatism, the other is just another form of authoritarianism.

sparrow said...

"I think it's an excellent and winning combination."

I hope you're right. I like him best, but my preferences are not generally in sync with voters.

Anonymous said...

Walker doesn't talk the SC issues.

Not just SC issues on most everything he tends to punt rather than give a straight forward answer. The Governor also has a history of flip-flopping on all kinds of different issues, depending on which way the political wind is blowing.

James Pawlak said...

The No Religious Test Clause of the United States Constitution is found in Article VI, paragraph 3, and states that:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.[

Gusty Winds said...

Walker is a SE Wisconsin Christian. He understands that for many Catholics and Lutherans in the area, Jesus and Beer non-conflicting parts of life.

Waukesha County, and Wauwatosa are Christian areas but they are not the Bible Belt. This cultural background has a lot to do with the way he approaches his faith and politics.

He has to assure certain Christians who don't see alcohol as a gift from the Lord that he's with them.

But that's just not Wisconsin.

FWBuff said...

I'm socially conservative and an evangelical Christian, and I really like Walker as a candidate. I agree with Ann and Sparrow that his approach is a good one. He has an exemplary (and humble) personal life, but he doesn't bombastically hold himself out as a model. I also like his commitment to separation of church and state. I think there are many more evangelicals committed to the separation principle than the media realize.

Gabriel said...

You know who always kowtow, publicly and frequently, at tent revival meetings and megachurches and such?

Democrats running for office.

Democrats can be as Baptist as they like, it is never held against them.

Probably because their fellow journalists in the press don't have any concern that Democrats are sincerely religious.

William Chadwick said...

Whatever Walker believes has got to be better than the Social Gospel Obama and Hillary believe in (or at least use as a theological excuse for statism). The Social Gospel: the supersitition trifecta.

MRG said...

"Not just SC issues on most everything he tends to punt rather than give a straight forward answer."

Walker is scary. And when he doesn't seem too scary, he's just being a phony by hiding his scariness.

Gusty Winds said...

Gabriel said...

Probably because their fellow journalists in the press don't have any concern that Democrats are sincerely religious.

Gabriel is right about this. I know a lot of devoted Catholics who are Democrats based on the Church's charitable focus from Matthew 25:45. Plus some are in Unions where political loyalty is self-serving, but that another whole complication.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

However, these people tend to see taxation as a form of charity. Conservatives believe it is a wasteful filter of good money, with the sinister 'common good' crowd skimming off millions for themselves. Much like the Clinton Foundation and the United Way.

What often confuses me about Christian Democrats is their alignment with those that demonize, and want to eliminate Jesus from the public discourse.

Of course, both sides here in Wisconsin, although heavily divided politically, are still united by Jesus, Beer, and the Green Bay Packers.

Æthelflæd said...

It always interests me that only social conservatives "privately held values" matter. Guess what, liberals have "values", too. And they also want their values enacted into law, just like conservatives. Taxpayer funded abortion, welfare dependency, etc.

buwaya said...

What seems to be missed by most is that cultural conservatives don't really want much from a President, as far as regulation, enforcement of laws or even legislation. Nothing much of substance.
As far as presidential politics is concerned, getting along with the cultural right is mainly a matter of symbols.
They just want to know what tribe he's in.
The left wants all sorts of things.
The economic right wants all sorts of opposite things.
In the face of these conflicts, it shouldn't be difficult for most Republican contenders to make peace with the cultural right. That many don't indicates a substantial deficit in political ability.

garage mahal said...

Walker claims he didn't do anything illegal because he wasn't a candidate in the recall until two months before the election. LOL.

Anonymous said...

In the long-past days when I would watch network coverage of the national conventions, practically every question reporters asked of Republican delegates translated to "Are you SURE you guys don't want to have a rending intra-party war over abortion?"

Mountain Maven said...

Walker is tough enough to fend off the nancy boys at Politico.

Krumhorn said...

Our hostess is always the canary in the coal mine on this sort of thing. If she's still chirpin', we have a shot with a guy like Walker.

- Krumhorn

Thorley Winston said...

The successful GOP candidate will be one who recognizes that he doesn't need to "pander" to social conservatives so much as signal his sympathy to where they're coming from and they will realize that for the issues where a president has influence (judicial nominations, religious freedom laws) he will be an ally, particularly compared to the Democratic alternative.


Exactly correct. There’s not much that can or should be done legislatively at the national level on social issues. Most of the real action (and harm) seems to be happening through the court system. The only question for social conservatives who vote on these ought to be: would you rather that for the next four to eight years, federal judges and the next Attorney General were nominated by (a) Hillary Clinton/Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders or (b).


The answer is so obvious, I shouldn’t even have to fill in a name for (b).

Jim said...

At least Walker's not like first-term Obama who used his Christ inspired hatred for gays to keep him from supporting same-sex marriage. At least second-term Obama threw off his religious teachings and embraced ssm.

Gabriel said...

President Obama did not attend a gay-friendly church, and his most strongly supportive demographic is one of the least gay-friendly and one of the most religious.

More than fifty percent of self-identified evangelical Christians voted for Obama.

And this is never an issue--the (D) confers absolute immunity to questions about church vs state.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, let's see, what's better? A lying sack of shit like Barack Obama lying about his religious beliefs in order to win the Presidency? Or a decent human being like Scott Walker living his faith, and therefore not feeling teh need to talk about it?

I vote for B.

Michael K said...

"I'm interested if he as president will rollback government spending, taxation and regulation. "

Politico is also interested in that subject, which is why they will try to defeat him on other issues. They represent the governing class and the bureaucracy, both of which are horrified at the thought of any rollback.

Analysis of the UK election is continuing and Republicans might study that analysis, including why the polls were so wrong.

richard mcenroe said...

As a Concerned Christian Conservative I'm worried that Scott Walker isn't doing enough to let oppressed Muslims express their religious freedom—

Oh, sorry, is it too early to unleash the axelrods and mobies?

Unknown said...

Gabriel, if that is so, then over fifty percent of self-identified evangelical Christians are just as dumb as Democrats think they are.

richard mcenroe said...

"President Obama did not attend a gay-friendly church..." slight correction: President Obama attended a church implicated in the murders of several gay men.

Rusty said...

Republican politicians do.

"They should fund their wars and social movements privately, not on the taxpayer's back."

Well. Wars are pretty much a public function. But I entirely agree about social movements. Planned Parenthood, ACORN,The SEIU, and any company doing business with the City of Chicago shouldn't have to depend on taxpayer support.




"Profitable businesses and corporations ought to be paying taxes, all of their taxes."

The vast majority do.



"No special deals, and then spread the failings around for the taxpayers to absorb."

Agree totally. No more Solyndras, Tesla, Battery companies in Michigan. The UAW. I could list dozens.

Oh. I'm sorry. Those are all Democrat funded activities.