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February 18, 2011

Walker: I'm Sending Out The Cops

They'll pick one of them up. At least a couple of them are going to have to come back home at some point. Being Democrats, it's easier for them to abandon their families, but they'll still need changes of socks.

Here's something not_steve_in_hb suggested: They're probably all set up for direct deposit payroll payments. The governor can (I'm thinking) stop direct deposit payments and start writing physical checks, which have to be picked up in person.

That won't help for a while, but screw it, it's fun. (I know someone's going to say Hey stop paying them altogether and I guess I'll have to say -- yeah, that's even more fun.)

I really like Walker. I think a lot of the time people don't understand what I mean when I say "moderate in temperament." Like, I like politicians who come off calm and "just doing the people's business" and stuff. That doesn't mean you can't be a hard-core conservative ideologue -- Walker isn't flinching here at all. But he is doing that more-in-sadness-than-anger thing that sells, projecting the idea that he's just workin' for the people and above partisan spats. (Video after the jump.)

Partisans tend to love very partisan-sounding politicians because such politicians give voice to their beliefs and feelings. And not very partisan sounding politicians are often derided as squishy.

But at the end of the day it's the guy who doesn't sound partisan, but is unflinching on principle, who actually gets things done. This is the genius of Christie's act; this is what made Walker seem, well, presidential.

I've been saying this for like four years. Rush Limbaugh is great and maybe you want a Representative or three who talks like him but you don't want a Senator who talks like him and you definitely don't want a presidential candidate who talks like him. Thinks like him, sure. Talks like him? No.

So many times a Republican politician, like Boehner or McConnell will say, "Of course I want to work with the President and hear him out and figure out where we can move forward with shared principle" and people will yell about it, like this is a big sell-out, and what they should say is "I hope he fails." Or whatever.

No. Not for a national leader. A leader's supposed to say stuff like "of course I want to work with the other side" even if he's frankly lying, or even if (most likely) by "work with the other side" he means only I want to work with the other side so long as they concede everything to me and basically fall in line.

Which is what Obama meant when he said it.

Obama, by the way, was denigrated by the left during his run as a "squish." Kos, for example, denigrated him for always "accepting the premise and framework of conservative arguments" when he talked. Like, Kos wanted him always to scream that the conservatives were lying about everything.

I thought Kos was insane. I thought Obama was doing exactly what was needed to get elected, and I was pretty sure he would get elected if he won the primary. (Hence my prayers that Hillary would win it, a more clearly partisan and polarizing figure.)

Anyway, this is my real problem with the idea of Jim DeMint, for example, for president. It's not his ideology -- he's right on it. It's that I fear he's become too associated with a partisan movement to ever be able to credibly say "Oh yeah, of course, I want to be a healer or uniter or whatever the fuck I'm supposed to say to please the ninnies." Honestly, I'd like a stealthier version of Jim DeMint. Maybe Jim DeMint can actually make himself a stealthier version of himself; I don't know.

But a lot of people don't seem to like this "stealth" idea, because it's dishonest, but probably more because if the candidate isn't a firebreathing partisan ideologue in his public declarations, you can't be sure he'll vote that way.

I don't know what to say to that, except that voters need to be flattered some. There is 12% or so of voters who lean right but do not identify as conservatives, because they want to think of themselves as independent, and also because, probably, they think the conservatives are wrong on some issues. I don't know how you pick up that 12% with a candidate who says to them "You're wrong, conservatism is right on everything." I think they'll flee that message because I know they've already been fleeing it all their lives: If they believed that, they'd just self-identify as conservative and always vote to the right. That is, they'd be part of the base already.

Since they're not part of the base, they don't like that message. And I do not for the life of me get the people who say "Just use the message they've already explicitly rejected for 15 years; it'll work this time."

Anyway, this is what I'm usually talking about in these purity wars sorts of arguments. I don't mind politicians who think like Rush Limbaugh. I just don't want them talking like him in public. Unless they're in a super-red district, in which case, fine, we can always use a dozen bomb-throwers. But anything national or statewide? It just doesn't work.

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posted by Ace at 12:59 PM

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