Saturday, September 1, 2012

Walker's Race Baiting Backfires

I pointed out a few days ago that one of the major planks of the Romney/Ryan ticket was race-baiting, highlighting Mitt Romney reliving the specter of Ronald Reagan's imaginary welfare queen.

Unsurprisingly, the race-baiting was a premeditated attack to play on their base's inherent racism.

Equally unsurprising is the fact that Scott Walker is trying to help his team out by using state resources to promote this particular plank.

In his weekly e-newsletter, which, by the way, had a weird thing going on with all sorts of different fonts, he included this passage:
Wisconsin has been a leader in welfare reform for decades, emphasizing the fundamentals of work and personal responsibility. We believe those who can work should work. Work gives individuals dignity and purpose.

I recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding federal changes to welfare.

I’m concerned new guidance from Washington raises serious questions about the current administration’s commitment to moving low-income families from welfare to work. I urged Secretary Sebelius to reconsider their most recent approach and adopt the approach pioneered by Governor Tommy Thompson and approved by President Bill Clinton.
Walker then included a link to this copy of his letter to Secretary Sebelius. In it, the gentle reader will note, is almost a verbatim version of Romney's attack on Obama on the work requirements. At least they have their talking points down pat.

Too bad they're completely inaccurate.

Sebelius replied on the same day with a letter which Walker described as "disappointing" and a "form letter" which did not address his specific concerns.

However, even on the quickest glance, the gentle reader can see that Sebelius' letter specifically answers his attack, pointing out that the new policy does not change the work requirement laws, but is a waiver for governors such as Walker to be innovative in developing more effective means of helping Americans get back to work and off of welfare. Furthermore, Sebelius includes the actual law that allows her the authority to implement this policy in response to Walker's accusation that she did not have that authority.

I can imagine that Walker is disappointed. Not only did she deftly dismantle an entire line of attack, but she put it on him to help people get back to work, something he is utterly inept at doing.

But if it's any consolation, Walker's level of disappointment is nothing compared to our disappointment in his performance as governor.


  1. Tags are: full of chit, public fail, stepping on his d*ck, troll chum.

  2. I am seriously getting tired of the "work gives you dignity" bullshit, whether it comes from the Cons of the Dems. People who trot out this tired old cliche have tyically never worked a day in their lives, except on the political money-wagon grift.

    I have worked plenty of jobs that were not dignified and had little apparent purpose. The only thing those jobs gave me was a paycheck, which permitted me to pay the rent, eat and participate in social activites after work which allowed me to feel human again.

    I had dignity before I walked on the job and after I punched out. During work I was just one more wage slave with supervisors who seemed to think that attempting to crush my dignity was a perk of their job.

    If work gives dignity then why do Republicans slander public employees at every opportunity and why are they so eager to take away our human rights? Where is the dignity payoff?

    Arbeit Macht Frei?

    1. The Republicans are wrong when they slander workers.

      1. We need people who work for the future of our state. (teachers, construction workers,local government planners, social workers, etc.)
      2. We need people who help us now. (teachers, health care people, auto mechanics, sanitation workers, police, etc., grocery store clerks, deli workers, waiters, waitresses, etc.)
      3. Putting down the people who work for us or for our children's future, instead of training them or encouraging them, that will lead to future problems and people won't want to do the job.
      4. Someone needs to do something to boost morale in all jobs, I am thinking mostly of jobs like teaching, social work, and government jobs, possibly also university positions and prison workers. These jobs require self-sacrifice to begin with, they have always attracted people who want to make a difference. There is going to be a crisis situation if all these people continue to feel that they are not needed. They ARE needed.

  3. If someone is applying for welfare, it is because they need help. All this talk of the dignity of work is great for healthy, able people. Sometimes, you are down on your luck, or have a disability. There is no need to imply that you aren't dignified. This looks like a letter written simply to reaffirm the prejudices of the base.

    I agree with Walker that work is dignifying, and that people who can should work. I do not agree with implying that people who need welfare are lazy. Judge not lest ye be judged.

  4. I remember back in the 1990s, Bill Clinton took a lot of criticism from his fellow Democrats for signing the welfare reform law. That law was heavily influenced by Tommy Thompson's W2 ("Wisconsin Works") law.
    W2 was promoted as a centrist reform bill, said to provide the means of getting job skills as an incentive to move from receiving welfare checks (unemployed) to gainful employment (no more welfare checks). It took several years to realize that the program was primarily designed to remove people from the welfare rolls--but not giving people sufficient job training or--if they were lucky enough to find a job--a job that paid enough to support one's self and dependants.
    People really do want to be employed: who enjoys living in poverty?
    I recently saw a documentary on Wisconsin Public Television describing the plight of people living in poverty. One women, a recovering alcoholic, found work through Walker's program. Having no car and living in a half-way house, she took a bus all the way from inner-city Milwaukee to Brown Deer. The job paid $7.00/hr.
    If this is what Walker has in mind for the unemployed of inner-city Milwaukee, I have to question Scott's "commitment to moving low-income families from welfare to work."
    You'll still be low income, but any money you receive won't be coming from the government.
    You'll now be paid poorly so your work will line the pockets of your greedy employer.

  5. W2 did not reduce poverty. All it did was remove those on welfare from government rolls (did anyone's taxes go down as a result of this? NO), give businesses a low-paid labor force, and result in unacceptable, and often fraudulent, child care facilities to multiply.