Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin sure has attracted the ire of the Left during his tenure. It started with his victory over Democrat Tom Barrett in 2010 and has followed ever since. The Left certainly has their reasons to hate and more importantly fear Walker. In 2011, Walker reformed teacher’s bargaining agreements. By almost all accounts, this has saved countless school districts from bankruptcy and taxpayers millions. A solid majority of Republicans and Independents support the move. Unions and Democrats worried about the damage this could do waged serious of costly efforts to first win a Supreme Court seat, recall enough state senators to take control of the upper chamber and finally recall Walker in the summer of 2012. Ultimately, they failed.
Fears of a Walker candidacy for 2016 are apparently so strong virtually every leftist outlet is out to get him. The New Republic released an atrocious hit piece on him last week attempting to label him a racist. Without easily refuting every point the article makes the best take down of the piece comes from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Christian Schneider. The New York Times tried to get in on the act and in a biased article tried to tie Walker’s recall campaign to illegal contributions. At the Nation, John Nichols wrote a scathing piece titled “Why Scott Walker Will Never be President.” Apparently, a false scandal keeps politicians from becoming President. Guess somebody should tell Hillary (maybe it only pertains to Republicans).
The Left will never note however that this scandal has largely run its course. Two judges, one federal and one state, have stated no wrongdoing was proven and tordered the investigations should halt. The Left has ignored these orders and simply come up with new, unproven charges to present in front of new judges. Sadly, in our democratic and judicial system, judge shopping is fully legal and accepted. In state polling most voters are aware of the investigation but say it is unlikely to impact their vote in November, a warning sign perhaps to the Left their efforts to beat Walker on this front are failing.
Democrats have good reason to fear Walker. Beyond the fact his CBA reform has proven successful he has an ability to unite the various factions of the GOP in a very polarized state. He also is seen as pragmatic by many of the crucial swing voters in the state. Walker also hides his social conservatism well and has passed abortion restrictions while not championing them in the public spotlight. In this mold he cuts a more Paul Ryan kind of figure able to get things done rather than just talk them to death.
Walker is locked in a tough reelection fight and the polarized nature of the state ensures his victory will be no cakewalk. Democratic attempts to destroy him may not even matter in the end. If Walker does run for President in 2016 he would have to navigate a crowded primary field and appeal to a geographically and ideologically diverse group of voters who have not seen leftist attempts to destroy him firsthand. Walker may have the cash to mount a bid but his personality ensures he would be eclipsed by bigger personalities such as those of fellow New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and KY Senator Rand Paul. Walker would need something else to win.
Regardless of his ambitions, Walker remains public enemy #1 to many on the Left. He has touched the sacred right of unions to bargain with ultimate power and been able to survive multiple onslaughts against his leadership electorally and judicially. Walker has shown tremendous political courage and skill to survive endless attacks since 2011. Democrats continued attempts to destroy him are thus likely to continue to fall short.