Sunday, March 01, 2015

I was wrong about Scott Walker, not that it really matters

So it looks like the whole hub-bub about Scott Walker and university sexual abuse reporting was in fact a non-story.

“UW System spokesman Alex Hummel said Friday that the university requested the change because information given to the state is duplicative of data required to be reported to the U.S. Department of Education under federal law. The university also posts the information on its website.”

The issue revolved around removing language that was already a Federal mandate.  Fair enough.  Sloppy reporting by Jezebel (the original story), the Daily Beast (where I got it), and me for jumping the gun.

However the problem is so much bigger than a misrepresentation of the facts.  The problem is that a moderate Republican like me was pretty much ready to believe that a man like Scott Walker was too damn foolish to enact that kind of policy.  The party has become a bastion of hatred of the different and a hiding place for those that desire a 1950’s style America that never really existed, at least not for most.  I evolved into a Republican for two reasons.  First, I don’t like the idea that the government can solve the problems of society if the people don’t want to be held responsible for those problems.  People are ultimately the prime protagonists for their own actions and government policies should reflect the ideal that nurtures that idea, not the idea that people deserve everything.  And second, I became a Republican because the Democratic Party has a history of playing in the pool irrational outward optimism of policy.  Diplomacy is always the right path towards a solution until it isn’t.  Then the realpolitik sets in (actually it is always there) and you might have to kill people and break things.  It’s always an option.  But I’m more Feinstein than Boxer.  Just like I’m much more Huntsman than Walker.  I like a Democrat that has no problem with using every means of the United States to project power.  Just like I like a Republican who can stand at a Republican primary debate and speak Chinese.  But no, the Walker Republican, the one who I could actually believe pulling off a budget item like the one Jezebel reported on, is the one that is the focus.

Everyone (including me) should be engaged in some amount mea culpa for jumping on the wagon of this untrue story.  But at the same time the Republican Party needs to realize that there is a significant group of people out there who are not fringe that think this is possible.  Getting rid of voting rights, shutting down gay marriage, denying climate change, promoting income inequality; at what point does the party actually try and help govern the United States?   

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