Sunday, April 26, 2015

National Review Waxes Melodramatic Over Walkergate

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is soon due to make a ruling regarding the John Doe investigation into Scott Walker and his illegal collaboration with third party dark money groups, such as the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Even though four of the seven justices are obliged to recuse themselves due to the large amount of support they received from WCoG and other such dark money groups, they have shown no indication that they will be doing the proper thing.

The possibility of this going south for Walker and the dark money groups have them scared to death. If all of Walker's misdeeds come to the light of day, it will sink his presidential bid just as fast as if he was caught deflowering a virgin goat. Even if their Machiavellian scheme to bury the John Doe works, the fact that the Supreme Court is so tainted will raise doubt in people capable of independent thought.

In preparation for whatever the results, the right wing is doing preemptive strikes to gain sympathy for Walker and his fellow scofflaws. The right wing has decided that the best course of action is to clutch their pearls and swoon back on their fainting couches.

One of the most notorious of these strikes is the God-awrful dreck penned by David French at the National Review.

After giving one anecdotal - and highly embellished - account after another, French ends up with this melodramatic prose:
For some of the families, the trauma of the raids, combined with the stress and anxiety of lengthy criminal investigations, has led to serious emotional repercussions. “Devastating” is how Anne describes the impact on her family. “Life-changing,” she says. “All in terrible ways.”

O’Keefe, who has been in contact with multiple targeted families, says, “Every family I know of that endured a home raid has been shaken to its core, and the fate of marriages and families still hangs in the balance in some cases.”

Anne also describes a new fear of the police: “I used to support the police, to believe they were here to protect us. Now, when I see an officer, I’ll cross the street. I’m afraid of them. I know what they’re capable of.”

Cindy says, “I lock my doors and I close my shades. I don’t answer the door unless I am expecting someone. My heart races when I see a police car sitting in front of my house or following me in the car. The raid was so public. I’ve been harassed. My house has been vandalized. [She did not identify suspects.] I no longer feel safe, and I don’t think I ever will.”

Rachel talks about the effect on her children. “I tried to create a home where the kids always feel safe. Now they know they’re not. They know men with guns can come in their house, and there’s nothing we can do.” Every knock on the door brings anxiety. Every call to the house is screened. In the back of her mind is a single, unsettling thought: These people will never stop.

Victims of trauma — and every person I spoke with described the armed raids as traumatic — often need to talk, to share their experiences and seek solace in the company of a loving family and supportive friends. The investigators denied them that privilege, and it compounded their pain and fear.
Keep in mind that none of these people were beaten, tasered or shot to death like so many, unarmed, innocent black people - whom this group loves to mock.

Also keep in mind that the Walkergate proceedings have led to six convictions and revealed a vast criminal scheme of illegal politicking with Scott Walker at the center of it.

Not only does French lay it on thick with the hysteria and melodramatics, but he plays loose and fancy free with the facts.

For example, take the first story French regales us with regarding Cindy Archer, who was then Walker's top aide as Director of the Department of Administration for Milwaukee County. After telling us of the horrors that this criminal was treated like a criminal, he writes:
“I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

They wouldn’t let her speak to a lawyer. She looked outside and saw a person who appeared to be a reporter. Someone had tipped him off.

The neighbors started to come outside, curious at the commotion, and all the while the police searched her house, making a mess, and — according to Cindy — leaving her “dead mother’s belongings strewn across the basement floor in a most disrespectful way.”

Then they left, carrying with them only a cellphone and a laptop.
Now the truth of the matter is that the raid was conducted by sheriff's deputies and FBI agents. And they took boxes full of stuff from her home and the stuff she tried to pawn off on her neighbors:
Archer's neighbors said about a dozen law enforcement officers arrived Wednesday sometime before 7 a.m. One agent took photos of the house, and others wore jackets that said they were responsible for gathering evidence.

Around 9 a.m., a reporter saw four FBI agents - two of them wearing latex gloves - talking in Archer's backyard before going into her house. Later, one removed a large box and put it in the trunk of an FBI car. They left about 10 a.m.

The FBI also seized the hard drive from a computer that a neighbor had bought from Archer six to eight weeks ago at a garage sale.

Next-door neighbor Dale Riechers said he had never turned on the computer because he was planning to work on it later in the fall. He told the agents about the hard drive and they asked to take it, Riechers said.
If one was wondering why the law enforcement officials were interested in the electronics, part of the reason is that a large number of computers and files came up missing when Walker left for Madison.

Another reason is that Archer was up to her armpits in the illegal politicking, as evidence by her email to Kelly Rindfleisch, one of those convicted, welcoming her to the "inner circle":
Included in more than 27,000 pages of emails and other documents unsealed Wednesday are the closest links yet between Gov. Scott Walker and a secret email system used in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive.

"Consider yourself now in the 'inner circle,'" Walker's administration director, Cynthia Archer, wrote to Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch just after the two exchanged a test message.

"I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW and Nardelli. You should be sure you check it throughout the day," she wrote, referring to Walker by his initials and to Walker's then-chief of staff, Tom Nardelli.

Court documents have previously showed Walker's aides set up a secret wireless router in the county executive's office and traded emails that mixed county and campaign business on Gmail and Yahoo accounts. The email from Archer made public Wednesday is the closest link yet between that system and Walker.
Contrary to the arguments that the Walker apologists are using, the Walkergate investigations have nothing to do with Free Speech. They are all about their role in the theft of our democracy.


  1. They wouldn't be squawking and playing the victim card if this thing was dead and there wasn't any danger of Walker and his accomplices still looking at the chance of charges. Something's up with this working of the refs and whining in the media in recent days.

    We know the connections and money-laundering go well above Walker and onto the national level. This thing wouldn't be fought so hard and with so much Bradley/Koch propaganda trying to discredit it if it wasn't huge. But the question is how far up, and what's in those documents we haven't seen leaked?

  2. What odds that the emails implicate certain wealthy (and perhaps even some brotherly out-of-state) donors not yet named, in illegal contributions and campaign activities not yet published? Whom would Wanker be most desperate to protect?