Walker Suspends Presidential Campaign: Wrecking Wisconsin Not a Springboard to the White House After All

This from the Washington Post:

“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker suspended his presidential campaign today, effectively ending a once-promising GOP presidential bid that collapsed over the summer.

“Walker, who tumbled from top-tier status amid tepid debate performances and other missteps, had pulled back from other early-voting states in favor of a heavy focus on Iowa, where he once led the field and has strong roots as a Midwesterner.”

I guess that the plan that he laid out just last week to attack unions nationwide was not enough to rescue his campaign. This is a summary provided by AlterNet:

  • Repeal President Obama’s orders improving pay and conditions for workers, including the millions of additional workers Obama is making eligible for overtime pay and things like paid leave for federal contract workers.
  • Pass a national version of so-called “right to work,” the anti-union law that allows workers to claim the benefits of union representation without paying their share, forcing their union co-workers to cover them
  • Outlaw federal worker unions. And if he doesn’t succeed at making them illegal, he’ll make it more difficult for them to spend money on politics. Similarly, he’d erect obstacles to state unions having money to spend on politics.
  • Kill the National Labor Relations Board, which is charged with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act. Walker may perhaps be forgetting that Republican presidents like George W. Bush have used the NLRB against unions. Or else it’s easier to say “I’ll eliminate it” than “I’ll use it to strengthen the hand of abusive employers.”
  • Require “periodic” union reauthorization votes. Right now, if workers are dissatisfied with their union they can get a decertification vote, but Walker would flip that so that unions constantly had to be organizing to win internal votes rather than focusing on pushing the boss for a better contract.
  • Perhaps it was just bad timing on his part. It may be that only so many targets of hate can resonate at any one time, and right now the Far Right’s  is pretty stoked about undocumented immigrants and “anchor babies,” Muslim infiltrators, gay marriages, and Planned Parenthood.

Perhaps it was just bad timing on his part. It may be that only so many targets of hate can resonate at any one time, and right now the Far Right  is pretty stoked about undocumented immigrants and “anchor babies,” Islamists infiltrating America, gay marriages, and Planned Parenthood.

But, paradoxically, the failure of Walker’s campaign may actually be symptomatic of a broader problem on the Far Right: stoking hatred only gets you so far; at some point, government has to do something more than simply institutionalize the vilification of your political and cultural opponents.


2 thoughts on “Walker Suspends Presidential Campaign: Wrecking Wisconsin Not a Springboard to the White House After All

  1. I’ve been a faculty member in the University of Wisconsin System for 31 years. In the 1980s, faculty accepted lower pay increases in exchange for better fringe benefits, especially health insurance and pension contributions. But in 2011 Walker (ignoring that salaries were 10-15% lower in Wisconsin than at comparable universities in neighboring states) whipped up a lot of resentment against faculty and other state workers for their cushy benefits, and with Act 10 he raised health insurance costs and took more pension contributions out of our salaries. The result was about a 6-8% reduction in take home pay. On top of that, faculty have had a grand total of only 2% in salary increases from the state in the last 5 years. So now we’re about 20% behind our peers in neighboring states. Not surprisingly, some people are leaving for “greener pastures”. The rest are paying a “loyalty tax”. Walker cut state contributions for health insurance and pensions and took away collective bargaining rights for most state workers with the justification that through collective bargaining state workers got “overly generous” salaries and benefits. So they had to be punished by reducing those benefits, and taking away the right to collective bargaining! Ironically, university faculty were punished the same — got the same reductions — even though we had never had collective bargaining at all!

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