You know, I hate to go whole-hog politics here. I generally find it frustrating, as people’s opinions are generally set, and no amount of discussion, however well-reasoned, can change that.
But this morning is different. Sorry folks.
Over at CNN.Com, columnist Ruben Navarrette has laid out the case against the GOP nominating Scott Walker for the presidency next year. I have read a great many of Mr. Navarrette’s posts and found him to be, on the whole, fairly even-handed in his discussions of politics and race. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with his eventual conclusions, I find that he handles himself, generally, very well in terms of how he presents his arguments on the topic of the day.
Imagine then, my surprise, when I read this column about Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin and GOP candidate for President.
I find that Mr. Navarrette’s presentation has become unabashedly biased this time, and would like to respond to a couple of points he tries to make against Scott Walker.
[Navarrette] The 2016 presidential race is just beginning. Yet we already can say this much: Despite a bump in the polls, and the fact that some conservatives consider him the prototype for successful leaders, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker would be a terrible choice for the GOP nomination.
[Shadow]At least here Mr. Navarrette has the courage to not hide behind a straw man. He is clearly asserting that he believes that Scott Walker wouldn’t be a bad choice of nominee.
[Navarrette] Of course, Republicans have made bad choices before. A recent Des Moines Register survey found Walker to be the first pick of 15% of the GOP faithful likely to attend the Iowa Caucus.
[Shadow] Complete non-sequiter here. Why drop a single poll result here that in no way supports your thesis? All that poll does is show that an early declared (for all intents and purposes) candidate is polling in double digits in Iowa. Mr. Navarrette is not-so-slyly trying to insert the idea that a GOP front-runner is automatically a bad choice (by his thinking, of course). One could argue that Democrats are getting ready to pick a loser in Iowa as well, with
Tammy Wynette Hillary Clinton pulling in over 50% in the same poll.
[Navarratte] So why would Walker be a bad choice? Three reasons.
The world is a dangerous place. We can’t afford another commander-in-chief with no foreign policy experience who doesn’t understand America’s role in the world.
[Shadow] Good call. Look where the guy in charge right now has taken us–and the rest of the world–with his dearth of foreign policy experience (Nobel Peace Prize not withstanding). But it’s not just experience, it’s the willingness and ability to take in information and to act decisively in foreign policy that needs to be present in the President. Walker would, it seem, has that ability to identify and acknowledge a situation and to address it. A big step up from our current situation, in my opinion.
[Navarrette] Built-in enemies are extra baggage. Walker has repeatedly fought organized labor in Wisconsin — over collective bargaining, an attempted recall, running for re-election — and scored impressive victories. But Walker has also antagonized that special interest, which will spend tens of millions of dollars in the presidential election to settle the score.
[Shadow] True on both counts. Walker gutted unions in Wisconsin, which would seem to be a problem until you realize that it wasn’t Walker that gutted the unions, it was the workers. Walker allowed the workers more freedom to join or leave unions based on their own best interests (which nobody can argue unions remotely care about, by the way). The fact that it didn’t take long for the workers to flee the unions says more about the state of union leadership with its members than it does about their relationship with Walker. Yes, they will spend million (or tens of millions) of dollars against Walker in the primary/general elections, but they’ll be trying to convince the workers that left to vote against the guy that ALLOWED THEM TO LEAVE. That tactic has failed twice in Wisconsin already.
[Navarrette] Finally, courage matters. Walker is not eager to grab hold of thorny issues.
[Shadow] Yes, courage matters. But if not answering a “gotcha” question on evolution is cowardice, then the media really needs to rethink the meaning of courage. You know this, Ruben. They were trying to attack Walker’s religion and imply that Republicans are anti-science. You’re better than that kind of nonsense, Ruben. Maybe we should “gotcha” Hillary with a family values question like “What did Bill think of Fifty Shades of Grey?” I guess we could ask her, if she’d come out of hiding.
[Navarrette] Most of the conservatives I know [Shadow: Ooooh, the straw-man cometh] who think Walker should be the GOP nominee are convinced that Republicans keep making the same mistake of nominating moderates. The secret to beating Democrats, they say, is to draw contrasts and stay true to conservative principles.
[Shadow] Who are you to say they’re wrong? Do you know the mind of all 300+ million Americans? You seem to be encouraging the GOP to nominate the same type of candidate that has lost the last 2 elections, not realizing that to do so would be insane. The GOP candidate must change.
[Navarrette] Voters aren’t just rejecting the GOP’s messenger but its message.
[Shadow] I disagree with this for just one reason: the Democrats haven’t been running against the GOP message nearly as much they’ve been running against (and running down) the GOP messengers.
[Navarrette] To many Americans, Republicans are mean-spirited, intolerant, xenophobic and reactionary obstructionists who care only about the rich, preserving the status quo and protecting the majority, and who are better at explaining what they’re against than spelling out what they’re for.
[Shadow] Ah, the straw-man again. Which Americans are you talking about? How many Americans is “many?” Clearly, you believe that “Republicans are mean-spirited, intolerant, xenophobic and reactionary obstructionists.” I consider myself a Republican, and I’m certainly none of those things. But I suppose it takes an enlightened Democrat to save the GOP from itself. As for not saying what they’re FOR, how can you say that? They are FOR people being able to find a job instead of handing them a check to not work. They’re FOR Doctors deciding what their patients need (instead of some committee in Washington D.C.). They’re FOR enforcing laws that have already passed instead of ignoring them. They’re FOR the rights the Constitution promises the Government will defend, not try to wrest away. They are FOR stable families.
Obviously, if the GOP is FOR those things, and you believe that they are wrong, then clearly the Democrats must be AGAINST jobs, AGAINST Doctors helping patients, AGAINST enforcing laws and protecting Americans, AGAINST our Constitutional rights, and AGAINST stable families.
[Navarrette] But first, the [GOP] has an argument to settle. So, at the moment, there is only one message that matters: Run Walker, Run.
[Shadow] Yes, the GOP does have an argument to settle: whether to become Democrats or return to being Republicans. At least we agree (for the moment) on your last point: “Run Walker, Run.”
I’m nobody. I’m no foreign policy expert. I don’t have a PhD in Economics. I’m no lawyer. I’m just a guy, like the rest of the country that lives “outside the beltway.”
Take my arguments for what they’re worth.
See you around the Shadow!