The importance of Scott Walker

Most important this election cycle, that’s how important:

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Can Mary Burke avoid sinking in an ad hominem spiral?


The most important single election next Tuesday is for governor of Wisconsin. The incumbent, Scott Walker, was elected in the Republican wave of 2010 and embarked in 2011 on a serious, substantive program of reform. He succeeded in his effort to eliminate “collective bargaining” for most government employees, a boon to the state fisc and a blow to politicians, mostly Democrats, who benefit from public-sector electioneering at taxpayer expense.

Hell’s fury has a new opponent for the worst.

Because of the latter effect, the Walker reforms provoked furious outrage and extreme tactics. Democratic state legislators fled the state and hid out in Illinois to deny majority Republicans a quorum and forestall passage of the bill. Opponents tried to unseat a state Supreme Court justice and mounted a recall drive against the governor. Both efforts failed; in the 2012 recall—a rematch with 2010 opponent Tom Barrett—Walker expanded his margin of victory. Watching MSNBC that night was awesome.

(The recallers did succeed in capturing a state Senate majority for the Democrats, but the victory was Pyrrhic. The decisive recall came after the end of the 2011-12 legislative session, and the GOP retook the majority in November 2012.

(Some observers argued that Walker prevailed not because a majority of voters supported him, but because a substantial number of nonsupporters objected to the idea of unseating a governor via recall. By that argument, the real test comes next week. Meanwhile, among Republicans there is talk of a Walker presidential campaign should he win (although it is accompanied by skepticism as to whether he has the requisite stage presence).

Opponent a trekkie:

With so much at stake, the campaign has been high-minded and substantive. Haha, just kidding. As we noted last month, Walker’s opponent, Mary Burke, put forward boilerplate policy proposals—literally copied from proposals used by earlier Democratic candidates in other states. In the tradition of Vietnam veteran John Kerry and businessman Mitt Romney, she is running what is known as a “biographical campaign,” one focused less on what she’d do if elected than on what she did before going into politics. Like Romney, her experience is in business. She was an executive at Trek Bicycle Corp., a privately held company founded by her father. . . .

For the rest of this column, cough up a measly $12 for 12 weeks of Wall St. Journal. Tell them Bowman sent you. (heh)

Karl Marx on how people get rich

. . . reminds us of the Obama doctrine, as in (to business moguls) “you didn’t build that,” echoed (then walked back) by Hillary a week ago.

Marx’s definition of “primitive accumulation” of money as what’s achieved by “force, robbery, subjugation of the masses facilitating their expoliation, . . .  admirably tallied with ideas common among intellectuals of all types, says Joseph Schumpeter in his 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. .” (Italics added)

Marx “contemptuously rejects the bourgeois nursery tale . . . that some people [become] capitalists by superior intelligence and energy in working and saving.”

He was “well advised to sneer at that story about the good boys [hard-working smarty pants]. To call for a guffaw is no doubt an excellent method of disposing of an uncomfortable truth, as every politician knows to his profit.”

However, “this [alleged] children’s tale . .. tells a good deal” of the truth.” In fact, “nine out of ten” cases of business success are accounted for by “supernnormal intelligence and energy,” says Schumpeter.

He’s worth our attention, writing as he did with flair and basing his analyses on 40 years of reading and thinking. He’s not blowing hard at Marx either. Indeed he defends him from some heavy-duty accusations, of which more later.

You’re in a struggle. Stand fast.

The inimitable Paul to the Christians of Ephesus:

Brothers and sisters:
Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm
against the tactics of the Devil.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood
but with the principalities, with the powers,
with the world rulers of this present darkness,
with the evil spirits in the heavens.
Therefore, put on the armor of God,
that you may be able to resist on the evil day
and, having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.

With all prayer and supplication,
pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.
To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication
for all the holy ones and also for me,
that speech may be given me to open my mouth,
to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel
for which I am an ambassador in chains,
so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.

God’s armor in an evil day. For many it’s nothing but. For some of us, it’s just another, so????

God’s ambassador, yes.