Speaking to delegates, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate said it does no good to give Governor Walker a “target to shoot at one day sooner than we have to.” Tate said Walker has a political history of not promoting his ideas on the campaign trail, but by “making himself the least worst option on the ballot.”There were Democrats who were vocally disappointed in this news. They understandably wanted someone to rally around, to give them something to fight for instead of always fighting against the damage Scott Walker has been doing to this state.
But if the Democrats were disappointed, Walker and WISGOP were frantic.
As Tate pointed out, without an opponent to attack, Walker cannot stand on his own record. This is a point I made some four years ago* when former Governor Jim Doyle announced he was not going to seek reelection:
Ever since Scott Walker started gearing up for his perpetual gubernatorial campaign in 2002, he has been painting himself as the anti-Doyle. This wasn't very practical early in his campaign, but could have been effective given Doyle's dismal approval numbers during the past several months.Without an opponent to demonize, Walker has no way of deflecting attention from his dismal track records which include, but is in now way limited to:
Unfortunately for Walker, Doyle threw a big monkey wrench into Walker's campaign strategy by choosing not to run for re-election. This news sent Team Walker into a tailspin, panicked that he would now have to run for the seat based on his track record as Milwaukee County Executive, which has been anything but spectacular. If anything, Walker's record actually makes Doyle's record look good.
His campaign started flailing around, first trying to continue against Doyle. When that failed to gain traction, he tried to smack around primary opponent Mark Neumann. He also started a series of attacks against City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who hasn't even decided if he was going to run or not (although more and more people are thinking he won't).
All this has shown is that Walker is terrified of both of these men, either of whom could clean his clock if he was forced to run only on his record.
- Trashing the state's economy and keeping it at the bottom;
- Having one of the worst record of job creation in the entire nation, bringing in only about 30,000 jobs in the past two years;
- Attacking women's rights and sanctioning legalized sexual abuse;
- Cutting a billion dollars from the state's school systems and then hoisting a second school system on taxxpayers' backs;
- Allowing mining companies to illegally rape the land and make the great Northwoods look like a terrorist training camp;
- Attacking the unemployed (which he helped create);
- Being the most dishonest governor in the nation, with only 23% of his rated statements being true;
- Being named the worst governor in the nation by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington;
- Infringing on the First Amendment Right of Free Speech and making political prisoners of those who exercise it;
- Sending in 13 armed goons to execute a helpless, orphaned fawn.
- Being the chair of the most corrupt and inept board - WEDC - in state history; and
- Not only being John Doe and using his county staff to help run his campaign, but actively taking a role in having his campaign do a cover up regarding the death of a fifteen year old boy.
And all of this exposure is taking its toll on Walker's image, which is all he really has going for him.
Walker's popularity is below 50%. Unsurprisingly, Walker is even more unpopular among women. Also unsurprisingly, Walker has been tanking in straw polls around the country. Even fellow Koch employees are calling Walker only a runner up.
With Walker sinking in the polls and no opponent to act as a foil, Walker and WISGOP are scrambling to do damage control, which for them means trying to focus the public's attention elsewhere.
Thus you have the corporate media going bonkers on trying to find out who might be running so they can help Walker's campaign by going into attack mode.
You also get articles like this one from Christian Schneider, where he already wins next year's Burlington's Liar Club contest with this doozy:
Now, Walker can raise a million dollars in the amount of time it takes him to listen to a Styx album. His talking points are now forged of titanium, impenetrable by any prospective electoral opponent.Schneider then spends the rest of the article attacking Mary Burke even though she hasn't announced whether or not she is even running for the governor's seat.
They are so desperate that they would rather go against a straw opponent than no opponent at all. That only goes to show how little faith they have in Walker's ability to win next year's contest on his own.
Continuing this line of panic, WISGOP also issued a press release revealing their belief that if everyone ain't goosestepping together, well, they take that as a sign of discord and division. It's actually a sign of democracy, which is something that the Teapublicans don't recognize when they see it, much less understand it.
As one might expect, Walker won't let the truth get in his way of fundraising, going as so far as trying to declare Burke's candidacy even before
By my reckoning, Walker will have at least another month before anyone announces. That's a long time to sit in the bright hot spotlight. If I had my druthers, I'd almost like to have the candidates wait until after New Year's Day, when people get to see how much their taxes are going to go up and how much their services are going to be cut.
And for the record, I am still not enthused with the thought of Mary Burke being the candidate. We already have seen with Chris Abele what can happen when a uber-wealthy corporate-minded person takes office. I'd rather see a more populist type of candidate such as Senator Chris Larson or Representative Chris Taylor.
*Just imagine - if someone had pointed out that to Tate four years ago, we might not even be having this conversation now because Walker would never had won in the first place.