The jewel in the crown that Walker wore with such pride and countenance through his countless nationwide fund raising appearances was his Act 10 reforms, which eventually gained him national attention and carried him to the podium of the Republican Convention where he suggested that he was a reformer who cared not for his political career but for generations to come.
It was this Act 10 jewel, that disguised his “Divide and Conquer” strategy that would strip most public workers of collective bargaining rights. The “Divide” part was that he so cleverly exempted police and fire fighters from the law, predicting that they thought like he does, that they would get what they wanted from the action and take his side against any who opposed the law. He was dead wrong.
Most people do not think like he does, and we were only beginning to learn the dissembling nature of this newly elected Governor who came to be known as a little bit Karl Rove, a little bit Richard Nixon, with a dash of Bernie Madoff. The problem is that Walker proved to be a master at this game, and played his hand with enough finesse and camera charm to establish a following of dedicated and hard working people across the spectrum of demography – like Rove, like Nixon, like Madoff.
A maligned sort of psychology was at play in the state and the country, that most certainly had its predecessors, the McCarthy era, the anti-war movement, and then there is the evil prince of such a psychological stew – the rise of Hitler. Of course, it is wrong to make a cookie cutter comparison of any of these lost souls to Walker or one another, but all we have to negotiate the present is the atmosphere of the past, and wise men look at the similarity of conditions and atmosphere that are present from one storm to another.
The storms of the past, filled with the updrafts of fear and pressure of economic hard times, drove men to seek shelter in a hurry. In today’s frantic rush the “any port in a storm” adage puts us at opposite camps which are chosen on a whim of fear, but are defended as the only hope for survival while brewing the divisiveness of this camp and that camp.
Walker seems to have held ground. He has said and done the right things at the right time to be a trusted shelter. But, oh the whims of man are fleeting and fickle and the tarp begins to leak, the flag begins to unravel, and the crown jewel, which held such a gleam in the storm, proves to be paste in the sun light, and soon the “three little pig” problem develops and houses and crowns are blown in the wind.
Now, that the crown jewel appears to be mere paste, it remains to be seen whose house is made of sticks, brick, or straw, and I am not betting on Walker’s.