Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are Right Wing Bloggers Accusing Walker Of Lying Or Are They Just Moving Goalposts?

One of the main contentions during the first "special jobs session" and in the recall of Scott Walker is whether he campaigned on busting the unions and taking away workers' rights. General consensus is that he did not.

That doesn't mean that the fanatic right wingers won't keep trying to say otherwise.

Fred Dooley at the fallaciously named "Read Debate Wisconsin" blog has a post in which he reproduces a table (without attribution so who knows where it came from) with a blurb about Walker saying he "supports a bill that would take away the rights of unions to negotiate health care benefits.

Likewise, Cindy Kilkenny, proprietor of the equally misnamed "Fairly Conservative," leaves a comment on her blog linking to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article in which they report the same thing.

Wow! They really showed us dirty hippie, freedom-loving, rotten union thugs, didn't they?

Not really.

First of all, a blurb does not a campaign make. And despite their attempts to move the goalposts, which appears to be the only defense strategy the Republicans have left, whether Walker mentioned attacking the unions is not at question. It is whether he campaigned on it.

Secondly, even their joint blurb only specifies health care benefits, and only in order for the schools and municipalities could join the state's health care system.

(As a side note, if they think that the recall is solely about collective bargaining, they are more intellectually dishonest than I had even given them credit for.)

But, for this instance, for the sake of argument, let's give them this bone. Let them say that this one blurb equals campaigning. That leaves them with an even bigger problem.

Because if we cede that point, that means that they have just proven Walker lied to the United States Congress.

On April 14, 2011, Walker appeared before a Congressional committee in which he discussed his union busting bill. Ironically, that date was also the anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Walker fared about as well as that fateful ship.

One of the Congressmen grilling Walker that day was Representative Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia), who asked him specifically if he campaigned about it. After much hemming and hawing and many evasive answers, Walker admitted he did not:

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post caught that too:
Asked if he had really campaigned on a plan to roll back collective bargaining rights, Walker repeatedly danced around the question, insisting he had campaigned on a “range” of promises to impose fiscal discipline. But Connolly kept pressing the point, and finally asked him point blank: Did you “explicitly” campaign on this proposal?

“No,” Walker conceded. He then went on to repeat his claim that he campaigned on a range of issues, and insistted that Wisconsinites should not have been surprised by his plan because his views on collective bargaining had long been known.
Sargent goes on to point out that Walker stated he did campaign on it before he said he didn't. (He went back to the false claim that he did once he was away from Washington, D.C.)

So, basically, it comes down to one of two choices for the right. They can say he was lying to the voters when he claimed he ran on union-busting or he lied to congress when he said he didn't. Either way, he is a liar and is undeserving of anyone's trust.

And between the fact that he is a proven liar - whether it is about union-busting or creating jobs - and all of the other malfeasance he has committed in less than a year in office, there is more than enough impetus to explain why every 3.5 seconds, someone has just signed his recall petition.


  1. Based on your assumption that Walker was lying, one could also say Obama was lying when he said he'd close Gitmo, keep unemployment under 8%, jump start the economy, etc... Where's the liberal outrage there?

  2. I don't think it is the liberals who are outraged, it is the unions. In my humble opinion, that is the mistake that was made, thinking that the unions and the liberals were the same thing.

  3. To be clear, the liberals are outraged about liberal issues, like the environment, the wind energy job losses, the high speed rail that is going forward in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, but not here. The liberals just aren't outraged specifically about the collective bargaining issue, they are outraged about many things. The union people are the ones who are not "liberal" by any stretch of the imagination and they feel betrayed and caught off-guard, not realizing they were the enemy of the conservatives, thinking they were the conservatives.

  4. Mr Gray,

    Perhaps you haven't noticed, but there have been plenty of outrage from the left towards Obama. Not that your straw man argument was relative to this post in the first place.

    Anonymous 3:18 - The unions, in case you missed it, also support the liberal causes you've mentioned. How are they conservative when they support those things?