Scrutiny for Walker

By Bill Kaplan 

Gov. Scott Walker, contrary to his fanciful bravado, has never had the deep-dive, prolonged and rigorous national press coverage that he is finally getting.

 His presidential run has exploded in scathing articles, columns and editorials with blaring headlines: 

* Politico - "Walker feeling the heat -- He says he's ready for 2016 but the Wisconsin governor hasn't faced anything like this...Nothing, in fact, compares to the scrutiny of a presidential run"; 

* Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz - "The rapid rise of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as a top-tier contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 is one of the more surprising stories ...Whether he was prepared for this sudden emergence is an open question"; 

* Syndicated columnist Richard Cohen - "Scott Walker's reticence (on evolution) made him sound like a typical politician instead of a brash leader who would stand out on the campaign trail"; 

* Washington Post editorial - "Politics without honor -- The latest attacks on Mr. Obama (at a dinner for Walker, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said Obama doesn't love America) say more about the attackers than about the president". The editorial went on to say: "Mr. Walker chose not to lift himself out of the Giuliani sewer ... he has proved himself incapable of saying basic truths that might offend some of his potential voters: First, that evolution is real and second, that an honorable politician criticizes his opponent's policies, not his patriotism." 

Meanwhile, while Walker campaigns, Wisconsin, under his iron grip, is going to hell in a handbasket: 

* No Medicaid expansion, despite ten other conservative GOP govs.' approving it; and according to Reuters, Walker has no "rescue" plan if a conservative GOP lawsuit before the Supreme Court succeeds in doing away with federal subsidies for the purchase of health insurance on the federal exchange (205,839 Wisconsinites have bought health insurance on the federal exchange, with about ninety percent getting federal subsidies); 

* Draconian cuts to the UW System; 

* And, despite many previous Walker disclaimers, his orchestrating a steamroller passage of a so-called right-to-work bill with no deliberation and sham hearings. 

The goal - eviscerate private sector unions and garner Tea party / corporate support for Walker's presidential run. 

Time to get smart angry and let the nation know how disingenuous and extreme Walker is. The national press is finally watching! 

-- Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 - 2009

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