I was talking to my father the other day and he told that this “Walker fellow” seemed like he might be reasonable. It wasn’t my father talking; it was the Charles Krauthammer talking. My father doesn’t really drink. Like kids spinning in circles, my father gets loopy listening to Krauthammer’s calm monotone. Dad’s always been a sucker for people who put forward an air calm rationality. But I am not similarly fooled. Krauthammer is a joke. I’ve called him on his anti-science global warming denial. And his hypocrisy. And his general stupidity. But dad hears him say that Scott Walker is just the kind of reasonable politician America has been looking for, and dad follows along.
I didn’t shout. I just pointed out two things that I knew my father would bristle at. First, Scott Walker is a major union buster. Although in years past, my father was anti-union, in his middle years he became part of union and found that it was very nice. It wasn’t the leading the edge of communism as conservatives have been arguing since, well, since unions came into being. The second thing that I told him was that Scott Walker was a total supply sider — trickle down economics! Well, in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was pushing trickle down economics, my father was totally on board. A lot of people were. It sounded plausible. But over the following decade, he learned what a con it was.
So my father’s enthusiasm has waned for Walker. But sadly, it isn’t just Krauthammer who is going to cram Scott Walker down our throats for the next year or more. Yesterday, Media Matters reported, CNBC Host Demonstrates How Not to Interview Scott Walker About His Weak Economic Record. You see, Walker doesn’t have a good economic record. He has a great record as far as the power elite are concerned: funneling money to the top and destroying unions. But as Eric Hananoki pointed out in the article:
Reuters reported in a February 15 article that Wisconsin has lagged behind the nation and the Midwest in private-sector employment growth: “Private-sector employment has grown by 6.8 percent in Wisconsin under Walker, behind the national pace of 8.4 percent, according to preliminary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector employment in the industrial Midwest, from Ohio to Minnesota, grew by 7.1 percent over that period.” …
Marc V Levine, professor of history, economic development and urban studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, wrote last June that Walker’s “failure” on reaching his job creation goal should lead to “a serious discussion of why the policy choices made after 2011 failed to generate job growth in Wisconsin at a level remotely close to national averages and what policy options might better address Wisconsin’s jobs crisis going forward.”
But what does any of that matter? For the CNBC set, making the economy better has nothing to do with economic growth and new and better jobs. It is about making the economy better for the people for whom the economy is already working really well. That’s the Republican Party platform. It’s all they really believe in. But they aren’t going to put it that way, because almost no one would vote for them. So they talk about how great economic grow is under Republicans like Ronald Reagan, even though it wasn’t that good under Reagan. And they needn’t worry. No television commentator is ever going to challenge them on their lies.