By comparing protests to terrorism, Walker affirms his perpetual victim status

2tyu3Zach 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.


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22 thoughts on “By comparing protests to terrorism, Walker affirms his perpetual victim status

  1. I think this is a tad overthought, or maybe overwrought. Are you suggesting he does this deliberately to provoke ridicule, which perpetuates his victim status, which then increases support among his base/potential base? He, not Obama, is the 11 dimensional chess master?

  2. It’s never about me, but this is the reason I have always looked down on street protests. Walker is simply reflecting a Joe American Schmo mood. He’s good at it, as you know.

  3. I’ve voted republican all my life. I’ve voted for Walker every election, but this is the dumbest statement I’ve heard him say!

  4. What a punk!! I displayed more character in 30 seconds by getting off the bus at MCRD San Diego than this Moron has ever even thought of. Very disgraceful comparison.

  5. I disagree. This wasn’t one of his talking points. He was asked the ISIS question and he gave his same general answer how we need tough leadership but then he couldn’t avoid his delusions of grandeur and had to paint himself as a tough guy. You are correct that he does repeatedly paint himself as a victim but in this case he came across as just plain stupid by comparing citizens who opposed his policies to terrorists. He is incapable of thinking on his feet and probably without ALEC he is incapable of thinking!

  6. The beauty of this is, it has shown that Walker will clearly not survive the circular firing squad that is the GOP primary process. The person who is really happy about all this is Jeb Bush. Remember how back in 2000, His Brother started a whisper campaign that made GOP voters doubt the integrity and morals of John McCain, a decorated POW. You think Brother Jebby isn’t willing to run ads saying Walker equates first responders, little old ladies and clergy with Islamic State terrorists? Count on it.

    The recall election, and 2014 re-election wins have given Walker delusions of invincibility . Getting fox news addicts in Juneau County to vote for you is easy, being in the national spotlight is far less forgiving. As Walker is finding out. No amount of Koch Brothers money is going to be able to save Walker’s candidacy.

  7. Jay,

    Do you think an all-but-announced candidate declaring 100,000s of Wisconsinites to be akin to ISIS morally disqualifies Scott Walker from the presidency of the United States.

    The clarifications offered by Walker and later Walker’s flack are unconvincing. Vis: “Let me be perfectly clear: I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling this difficult situation is the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with,” Walker told reporters. Asked if he regretted the statement, he said, “No.”
    (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal)

    Not even Joe McCarthy ever compared Wisconsin citizens to terrorists beheading people.

  8. The more he is exposed as not very bright and super paranoid that everyone is out to get him and he continues to step on his tongue…..the Koch brothers will decide not to run him and they will use him as an attack dog and a cheerleader for their conservative causes and policies in trying to gain control of more state governments. The sinking economy and dwindling wages in Wisconsin will begin to hit home with Wisconsinites and Walker’s lap dog legislators might find themselves in trouble as 2016 approaches and they might be tempted to through Walker under the bus or at least abandon him.

  9. Good work Jay. This victim narrative is boilerplate PR for that side. Here I go weaving Charlie Sykes into this, but on your idea of the victim narrative, a former station-mate of Charlie’s named Dan Shelley spelled out that this was a deliberate, sustained claim that Sykes made on air. He was broadcasting “behind the lines”, as Sykes said. Also, Walker is deploying the Karl Rove tactic of turning a weakness into a positive. I’ve never understood how a supposed leader who provokes the biggest protest in state history can be seen as anything but a failed leader. Only now that frail talking point is breaking down as it moves beyond the warm, swaddling Wisconsin media.

  10. Walker has all you Demorats and mini-mice scurrying in and out of your rat holes to find more cheese to eat. Keep up with the free pr, boys. Are you looking forward to Rebecca Kleefisch as Wisconsin’s first woman governor?

  11. If WI citizens protesting Act 10 was the most difficult situation he faced, seems his mom might strike more fear in the hearts of those foreign terrorists if they knew about the second most difficult situation he ever faced, and also denied and ran and hid from.

    Bernadette reports that at this point Scott began denying that he was the father of the baby, and when Ruth said she was considering an abortion, he claimed he didn’t care, as he wasn’t the father anyway.

    Bernadette remembers being present when Ruth was dealing with the wrath of Scott’s mother, who allegedly admonished Ruth for trying to “ruin [her son’s] reputation.”

    1. That story is false–debunked over and over. Scott Walker never fathered a child out of wedlock. Period. Stop repeating it.

      1. Where is it de-bunked? I’d like to read it just so I can judge for myself in the same way Wisconsin Republicans made sure we all read and judged for ourselves about the supposed Burke firing and afterward we learned the source was actually, not much of a source.

          1. Thank you. So Bice was involved. Wonder why he didn’t print it one day and then post a consider the source-type walk-back the next after all the TV stations and newspapers state-wide went with it? The Journal Sentinel and Republicans crossed a rubicon in the last election so it really fits the new normal for BB to continue to run with the story and let folks decide for themselves. Seems only fair.

            1. I don’t claim to speak for the management here–I’m just a cranky keyboard monkey grateful the management offers me an outlet at all–but this is my thread and I don’t play that bullshit. If it’s false, it doesn’t fly.

              1. Oh, I get where you’re coming from. Too bad Bice and the Journal Sentinel share your standards only selectively.

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