By Elaine Magliaro
The “goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin”—aka Scott Walker—made quite a splash last Thursday during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone) said that Walker was surging in popularity thanks to his performance at CPAC, “where the union-busting governor inspired raucous applause with his ‘I was a dick in Wisconsin, and I can be one in Washington, too!’ stump speech.”
Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman (New York Times) reported that the governor of Wisconsin “spoke before a standing-room-only crowd, was repeatedly bathed in loud ovations, received only a handful of softball questions after his remarks, and avoided any direct criticism of his potential Republican rivals.”
Taibbi described Walker’s address as “a broadside against a litany of conservative bugbears, from Planned Parenthood to the media to tax day to the subversive act of voting without a photo ID, etc.” He noted that Walker’s “money line” came during a Q&A session when the “goggle-eyed homunculus” was asked how he would take on radical Islamist terrorists. That’s when the tough-talking governor compared fighting ISIS to standing up to pro-union protesters who demonstrated at the state Capital in Wisconsin in 2011. Walker spouted with pride, “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
Right, Scotty, “taking on” protesting teachers, nurses, and other public employees is akin to fighting the bloodthirsty members of ISIS who go around beheading people. OY!
Arturo Garcia (Raw Story):
Walker said that “people in the media don’t understand” that his position enabled him to get threat assessments from the FBI, and that he had been concerned about the group for years.
“You’ve already seen some of the reported stories about what we see in the Twin Cities, some of the issues there,” he said, alluding to reports last year that authorities were investigating whether ISIS was recruiting in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
Walker continued: “I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads and ultimately will send a message not only that we will protect American soil, but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world. We need a leader with that kind of confidence.”
Walker’s seeming comparison of peaceful union activists to head-chopping Islamic terrorists drew a predictable response, with progressive groups like American Bridge sending out alerts denouncing his comments, along with outrage from the Democratic National Committee.
But the National Review also called it an “unforced error,” with writer Jim Geraghty taking special offense at the fact that Walker had forced him into a place where he had to defend, of all people, union activists. Even Rick Perry, not exactly a kumbaya-chanting paragon of tolerance, chided Walker for crossing a line:
These are Americans… You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate.
Martin and Haberman reported that following his speech, Walker participated in a brief interview with a small group of reporters. That’s when the governor attempted to clarify his remarks about comparing protesters with radical Islamist terrorists: “There’s no comparison between the two, let me be perfectly clear. I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling a difficult situation was the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) took to Twitter on Saturday and “ripped” Walker for his remark about protesters and ISIS when she tweeted the following: “If Scott Walker sees 100,000 teachers & firefighters as his enemies, maybe it’s time we take a closer look at his friends.”
Rivals Christie and Walker Find Fortunes Reversed as CPAC Opens (New York Times)