More and more people are linking Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his political chicanery to that of Richard Nixon. Yesterday I drew a direct line to the way Walker is conducting himself in office to that of Nixon. As a Nixon history buff I at once thought of the former president upon hearing the phone call that makes Walker look, at best, a fool, and at worst a plotting enemy of the citizens of Wisconsin. To consider placing “troublemakers’ in a peaceful protest rally is simply appalling. To think of the possible consquences should that have happened, and chaos erupted, is chilling.
With that in mind I heard today a Democratic State Senator made another reference to Nixon.
As I thought more about it today it seems unfair to smudge Richard Nixon with the likes of Scott Walker. Nixon deserve better! After all, there was no better political analyst and shrewd observer of politics than Richard Nixon. The former president would never have allowed himself to get into such a situation over legislation as Walker now has done with his budget repair bill.
To top it off Walker has seemingly nowhere to go politically….except down. The bill he is championing may pass, but the political fallout will bury him. Nixon, even at the end of his political career, knew how to create an exit plan. Walker is so tone-deaf and cock-sure he has never once thought he could be broken down. Therein lies the difference between a ruthless politician and an arrogant one.
What will be the political fallout over Walker’s taped phone remarks to a New York blogger he thought was David Koch, an energy industry executive? In that 20-minute call, Walker laid out a hang-tough strategy on his plan to limit union rights, sought support for wavering Republicans from swing districts and even discussed an idea he had dismissed of planting troublemakers at the Capitol to discredit the anti-Walker protests.
Democrats said they were digging in for a long fight.
“This tape would make Richard Nixon blush,” Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) told Walker in a letter.