The Washington Post Sports section on Wednesday turned political with an article headlined "Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after Packers' loss." Would the Post actually fail to recognize the difference between private-sector unions and public-sector unions, the subject of Walker's reforms? Yes.
Strangely, the author wasn't a sports reporter. It was Brad Plumer, a veteran writer for The New Republic and Mother Jones whose usual Post habitat is Ezra Klein's Wonkblog. In fact, that's where this article is found online. Plumer joked "When it comes to professional football, the usual rules of politics apparently take a timeout."
Earth to Plumer: not only did Wisconsin politicians of both parties do the utterly natural thing by identifying with Packer Nation's pain on the horrendous referee call that awarded the game to the Seattle Seahawks as time expired. President Obama also insisted the league needs to end the strike by the referees. But Plumer thought somehow Walker was being a hypocrite:
“After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs,” Walker wrote on Twitter early Tuesday.
The irony here is that Walker made national headlines last year when he pushed to strip Wisconsin’s public employees of their collective bargaining rights. But Walker sounded less enthusiastic about the outcome of the NFL’s hard-line stance against its unionized workers.
Strangely, that's the last Plumer mention of Walker as he digresses into a wonky examination of corporations try to pare down pension plans. He failed in any way to demonstrate how Walker had shredded the "usual rules of politics" or how he "fumbled on Twitter."
Walker responded to criticism later by tweeting, "Being pro-taxpayer doesn't make me anti-union. Besides, private sector unions are often our partners in economic development."