Esquire blogger Charles Pierce considers the web site/newspaper Politico an embarrassment to journalism (he habitually refers to it as “Tiger Beat on the Potomac”). Recently, Pierce found more fuel for his ire, a Politico story that to his disgust 1) merely hinted, rather than stated, that Scott Walker is an “unprincipled scoundrel,” and 2) virtually endorsed Walker’s “fundamental mendacity” as long as it’s effective -- in other words, if it helps him to “lie his way into the presidency.”
Pierce added that Walker’s shiftiness won’t matter to the GOP base, which “is filled with crazoids, Bible-bangers, and people with short-wave radios for brains. All they know is that Walker knuckled all the people of whom The Base is terrified. The only way Walker's bone-deep dishonesty can hurt him is if the people who stoke the plutocratic engine of the party believe that it might make him a loser. So far, they seem quite happy with the way he's done business for them.”
From Pierce’s Friday post (bolding added):
Every campaign [Walker] has run since he was a student at Marquette has been marked by, ahem, irregularities. The way you know this is that a number of his aides have been sent to jail. [Politico] looks at his record on many major issues and sees a similar corruption of mind. What he says on a number of important issues -- labor rights, women's rights, the environment -- while he is running for an office has little or nothing to do with what he actually does after being elected. The man is an unprincipled scoundrel.
But the story doesn't say that.
[Politico:] While Walker has governed Wisconsin as a conservative, he's used to wrapping his policies in a soft blanket of moderate rhetoric that can leave room for interpretation. When he sought re-election in 2014, Walker didn't brag about his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Nor did he mention his opposition to abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. Instead, after signing a bill with a provision that would likely have shuttered a Wisconsin abortion clinic had the courts not tossed it, Walker ran an ad where he declared "there's no doubt in my mind the decision of whether or not to end a pregnancy is an agonizing one." And he said the bill leaves the final decision on abortion "to a woman and her doctor."
This would be what many of us would call a "lie."
[Politico:] It was textbook Walker. He was getting pounded for his position by abortion rights supporters, and though he is clearly on the right of the political dial on this issue, his delivery in the ad was designed to assure swing voters there was nothing threatening about his beliefs. But the language of the ad also underscores one of the factors Wisconsin insiders believe has contributed to Walker's early struggles on the national campaign trail—his tendency to create his own reality…
First of all, this "problem" is not going to mean fk-all [sic] to the Republican base, because the Republican base is filled with crazoids, Bible-bangers, and people with short-wave radios for brains. All they know is that Walker knuckled all the people of whom The Base is terrified. The only way Walker's bone-deep dishonesty can hurt him is if the people who stoke the plutocratic engine of the party believe that it might make him a loser. So far, they seem quite happy with the way he's done business for them.
But there's a deeper problem with how this piece says something without really saying it. What the story clearly illustrates is that Scott Walker cannot be trusted as far as you can throw Lambeau Field. He's a half-bright messianic fraud with the political instincts of a wolverine and the integrity of a gaboon viper. But, in this story, you can already see forming the notion that Walker's fundamental mendacity can be washed in the blood of the Lamb and repurposed as a clever campaign strategy…[T]he writer of the piece is very careful to leave himself an out if Scott Walker shows the ability to lie his way into the presidency...I predict this writer will go far in his chosen profession, and the country can only hope Scott Walker doesn't.