Thursday, February 24, 2011

Skunk Punked

Tweet seen by a friend: "I hope no one sends Gov. Walker any emails today about a Nigerian lottery or we're in even more fiscal trouble."

Today we're seeing just some of the fallout from yesterday's revelation about Walker's 20-minute phone conversation with pseudo-Koch.

In his press conference yesterday, Walker tried to justify having considered planting thugs among the protesters by saying that he didn't do it. But the phone conversation clearly reveals why he didn't do it: It wasn't because it would be unethical or immoral. It wasn't because it would be dangerous. It was because it wasn't politically expedient.

Apparently that is the litmus test for everything Walker does and doesn't do. The phone call revealed that he thinks of what's happening in Madison along the lines of Reagan's firing of the illegally striking air traffic controllers. Talk about being delusional. The two situations are hardly parallel.

Walker told pseudo-Koch about his plan to lay off thousands of teachers, not because of the presumed budget shortfall, but solely for political ends. Think about that for a minute. Not only is this a horror for the people who would lose their jobs, but it is a horror for the school districts and children who can't afford to lose any more teachers than they already have due to budget constraints.

According to Senator Fred Risser, one of the Fighting 14, Walker's folly has "diminished the image" of the Wisconsin governor's office. Boy howdy. It's not just an embarrassment for Walker and his crony Republicans in the state legislature, it's an embarrassment for his corporate overlords. We can only speculate how all the negative publicity is affecting the secretive Koch brothers. It will certainly have ramifications for Walker's status as one of their favorite puppet governors.

David Dayen at Firedog Lake sums up the effects of yesterday's revelation about the pseudo-Koch phone call:
There’s a definite siege mentality around Governor Walker right now. He has turned the tide of public opinion all by himself. The endgame may not come for a while, but Walker is losing his hold over the situation. He may not crack, but his Republican allies, particularly in the Senate, may succumb to the pressure from state media and the public.
So if you haven't already, write to the senators most likely to succumb. The fateful phone call is undoubtedly a game changer.

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