Zach posted the video earlier of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker answering a question about how to deal with ISIS–without question, the single most dangerous regime on the face of the planet right now–by saying he managed to face down 100,000 protestors in Madison when he and the WisGOP pushed through Act 10 in 2011.
Walker said it this time at CPAC, the far right-wing’s annual love-in and by far Walker’s largest audience since he officially unofficially launched his 2016 presidential campaign, but he’s been using the line for a while now, including notably in Iowa in January.
People all over the internet, left, right, center, whathaveyou, have already explained how every aspect of what Walker said was a bad answer to the question. For one, he never, ever actually faced down the protesters in any way, opting instead for the tunnels under the capitol and chili with Tonette on Idol night.
And for another, Walker’s own spokesdroid walked back the sentiment moments after it was uttered, to reassure the kindergarten teachers of America that no, Scott Walker was not really saying that he believed they were as bad as an apocalyptic death cult.
I don’t know why people haven’t learned this already, though: Walker was not talking to the kindergarten teachers of America, or the foreign policy wonks who take the threat of ISIS seriously, or even to the person who asked the question on stage at CPAC.
He was talking to the the right-wing’s most abundant class: perpetual victims. And he was saying to them: I’m one of you, so it’s okay to make me your leader.
I’ve written about this before. Walker understands as well as, or better than, anyone about the power of narrative bias. And he tells the same story over and over and over and people eat it up and vote for him.
There’s a reason why the signs all said “I Stand With Walker” and his effing book was called Unintimdated: He plays to conservative voters’ deepest id, the personal narrative they all weave about how it is they who are truly the victims.
“‘Those people‘ are mooching off my tax dollars.” “‘Those people‘ are taking my place at the law school.” “‘Those people‘ are taking the Bible out of schools and forcing me to say ‘Happy Holidays.'” “‘Those people‘ are making me join a union.” “I was on food stamps and nobody helped me.”
At CPAC, Walker wasn’t even trying to say, as his spokesperson offered, that he knew how to stand strong in the face of adversity. He was trying to say, Look at me. I am a victim, too! Now make me your king.
There’s not another candidate out there right now who can play that card the way Walker can, so believe me, every opportunity he has he will drop that sucker every chance he gets. For a man born to such privilege and so long living on a government paycheck, he is the biggest, whiniest victim there is–and the GOP primary voters are going to eat that schtick up.
UPDATED TO ADD: All the criticism Walker’s taking on this is going to 1) let the statement get replayed over and over to reach more primary voters’ ears and 2) let Walker keep playing the victim, now adding “lamestream media” to the list of people victimizing him today.