I’m sure you all saw the headlines coming out of CPAC on Thursday, the first full day of events, when liberals and the media (B.I.R.M.) erupted in collective fauxrage over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s latest “gaffe.” During his remarks, he included what’s become a rather standard theme in his prospective presidential campaign which points out one of the largest challenges he’s faced as governor. He said that if he could handle a massive number of protesters he could take on difficult problems across the world. This had the usual list of suspects setting their hair on fire as if Walker had just torched a burn barrel full of puppies and orphans.
Oh no! He “stumbled” again!
Walker did, in my never very humble opinion, make one mistake in this whole affair. He gave the appearance of trying to walk it back.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his home-state battles against labor unions prepare him to take on terrorism — but he denies he’s comparing the two.
Walker drew attention at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday with his response to a question about how he’d handle ISIS, and the “radical Islamic terrorism” he condemned during his speech.
“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe,” he told the audience…
Afterward, Walker told reporters he wasn’t making a direct comparison.
“You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit,” he said, “but I think it’s pretty clear, that’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.”
When you have people demanding that you either expand on what your said or explain yourself, that means one of two things: you either said something fairly foolish or the people making the demands are seriously itching to get some dirt on you. When we look at the fuller context of Walker’s comments, it becomes clear yet again that the latter is the case.
I have two sons. … I know all of you as parents feel the same way. I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure the threat from radical Islamic terrorists will not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads and ultimately will send the message that will protect American soil but “Do not take this upon freedom-loving people here or anywhere around the world.” We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.
Walker was obviously talking about the need for real leadership and the character traits of an executive who will not flinch in the face of daunting, wide ranging challenges. He is the governor of a single state, and while he’s technically in charge of the national guard, he is not responsible for battling Islamic extremism around the globe or waging the war on terror. He needs to draw on his own executive experience to make his case, and his battles with union supporting protesters (read: Democrats) are his most recent credentials. Twisting that around to imply he was saying there is some equivalence between the two groups is mostly dishonest. (I modify that phrase with “mostly” because we’ve seen some pretty violent and underhanded union protesters, but they don’t actually behead people that I know of.)
The explanation for all of this is clear, and it has nothing to do with unions, ISIS or CPAC. It has to do with some repeating sets of poll numbers both in early primary states and nationally, which show Walker at or near the front of the race. As such he has become target number one for the opposition – specifically much of the media – and he will be hammered relentlessly unless he can somehow be damaged to the point where he’s no longer a threat. In some ways, it’s good that Scott Walker is getting this treatment now. It should toughen up his hide for the predictable media onslaught to come.