Your early (read: EARLY) Republican presidential frontrunner is Wisconsin Governor Scott Kevin Walker. Governor Walker has been a personal favorite of mine for quite a while, mostly because he has the political backbone to actually do what other GOP governors merely talk about (*cough* Chris Christie *cough*), namely, take on powerful left-wing public sector union interests and make a persuasive argument against structural fiscal insanity. Can he win the nomination or a general election? Heck, I have no idea. But he’s got a spine, he’s a relatable, down-to-Earth human being, and he’s been a successful executive.
He’s also scaring the pants off the Democrats.
See, liberals never really hated Mitt Romney, at least not on a guttural level. They derided his wealth and called him a liar, but that was to be expected. He was still seen as an avuncular loser (methinks Democrats saw more than a touch of John Kerry in his aristocratic goofiness). Scott Walker is no loser. Thus, Walker delenda est.
Over the last several weeks, Walker has been subjected to a media banzai charge of impressive scope. Noted crazy person Howard Dean issued a stridently elitist denunciation of the fact that Walker dropped out of college to take a job. Gail Collins of The New York Times accused him of draconian education cuts that took place before he became governor. Slate’s Jamelle Bouie called him a dog-whistling closet racist. (Admittedly, that’s what Mr. Bouie does for a living. I think he has one of these, but for identifying dog-whistling closet racists.)
He has been ambushed with questions about whether President Obama loves America or is a Christian. Charles C. W. Cooke more fully investigates those ambushes here; suffice it to say these questions had no intent besides tearing town Walker’s credibility.
The best example so far of the “Scott Walker is the monster under my bed” genre comes from John Cassidy, columnist for The New Yorker, and a man who I will assume is an insufferable hipster until evidence emerges to the contrary.
Right there in his headline, Cassidy calls Walker’s candidacy “dangerous.” (Dangerous’ evil kid brother, “problematic,” surely lurks around the corner – e.g., “Scott Walker’s Problematic Racist Dog-Whistling”.) You see, Walker has thrown in with the Obama-is-the-Antichrist crowd and (don’t laugh, please) the “Book of Genesis brigade”. Cassidy never actually establishes why we should believe that Walker is dangerous, nor does he make an honest attempt. Scott Walker simply is dangerous.
If you’re a Democrat, Cassidy might be right. He admits that Walker’s image as a self-made man presents a problem for Hillary Clinton, and I certainly agree. Walker is a compelling candidate, and one with a track record of electoral and policy success. The Left has thrown their best stuff at him, and he’s still standing.
Conservatives may be known for internecine squabbles, but nothing unites us quicker than media attacks on one of our own. If the Left thinks their all-out assault on Walker is weakening his candidacy, they’re dead wrong. In the eyes of Republican primary voters, wounds sustained in combat with the editorial board of The New York Times are prized battle scars. They indicate that a politician has made the right enemies. And Walker, perhaps better than anyone, has a knack for making all the right enemies. Carry on, Governor. Carry on.
— John Henry Thompson is Editor-in-Chief of THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE
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