Scott Walker's Waterloo
Back when I was a newspaper reporter, I covered a press conference where Kentucky Sen. Wendell Ford announced his support for some controversial bill.
I can’t remember the bill. But I recall his analogy: “I’m like the man who jumped off the 20-story building. I’m committed.”
Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s union-busting Republican governor, look likes he's out on a ledge ready to jump.
The Associated Press reports that Walker and the GOP brass “have launched a push to ram several years' worth of conservative agenda items through the Legislature this spring before recall elections threaten to end the party's control of state government.
“Republicans, in a rapid sequence of votes over the next eight weeks, plan to legalize concealed weapons, deregulate the telephone industry, require voters to show photo identification at the polls, expand school vouchers and undo an early release for prisoners.
“Lawmakers may also act again on Walker 's controversial plan stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights. An earlier version, which led to massive protest demonstrations at the Capitol, has been left in limbo by legal challenges.”
Naturally, the Republicans deny they are in legislative warp speed because they’re scared of losing their senate majority via those recall elections, which are set for July.
If they throttle back, they might help those Republican senators in danger of getting recalled. Moderation might be a wiser course.
But moderation is akin to apostasy to almost all Republicans these days.
The old party of "Lincoln and Liberty" -- founded in Wisconsin -- is long gone. The new GOP is the party of tea party-tilting, union-hating, government-despising ultra-conservatives of the compromise-is-surrender persuasion.
Anyway, if I were a Dairy State Democrat, I’d be crossing my fingers and rubbing my buckeye that the Republicans will indeed steamroll their uber-right-wing program. I'd love to see them re-pass their public employee union-gutting bill.
All of that would be more fuel for the fire they’ve already built under Democrats and unions.
Napoleon met his Waterloo in Belgium in the spring of 1815. It could be Walkerloo at the polls in Wisconsin this summer.