"He's a weasel," ma Brawler, a lifelong Milwaukee resident, declared earlier this week over dinner.
She was referring, of course, to Scott Walker.
How is he a weasel -- or as I say in the headline a "dumb, antidemocratic failure" who no one likes? Let's count the ways.
1. Walker is Dumb. This is Folkbum's assessment in wake of Walker nixing the sales tax referendum, and the Brawler agrees.
2. Walker is antidemocratic. As the Brawler noted previously, Walker was in favor of referenda -- and opposed to backroom deals and machinations -- before he was elected as county anti-executive. Now he opposes one when it doesn't fit his ideological agenda.
3. Nobody likes him. Dan Bice, not for the first time, follows the Brawler's lead! Last Sunday the Brawler -- armed with nothing but a friend's email, common sense, anecdotal observation and the result of a south side election -- said he suspected people of the county harbored a "deep reservoir of well-deserved contempt" toward Scott Walker.
Mere days later, Bice reports the results of a survey by Progressive Majority Wisconsin showing a mere 43 percent of county residents say they're likely to vote for Walker in spring's election, compared to 64 percent in January 2004. Moreover, 58 percent of people say the county is on the wrong track.
Let's be clear: These numbers suck.
Bice points out that Doyle's support numbers in polls leading up to the election were below the magic 50 percent, which is true.
But here's a big difference: Walker's numbers are in the turlet despite the fact he receives the equivalent of tens of millions in free PR from the barkers at WTMJ and WISN. These same stations, of course, slandered Doyle and no doubt hurt his poll numbers.
A Walker flack suggests people will be more jazzed about Walker once the campaign kicks into high gear and he talks about all the great things he's done (like missing the latest pension scandal). The Brawler gives the flack credit for presumably saying this with a straight face, assuming he did. But the Brawler suggests the flack is delusional if, in his heart of hearts, he believes that.
4. Walker is a failure. That sounds harsh, don't it? But take a gander at how Walker described the three most critical issues facing Milwaukee County to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel back in 3/24/02:
After acting to restore public trust in the work of county government, the three most critical issues facing Milwaukee County are jobs, transportation and quality of life.
We need to create jobs, protect current jobs and connect jobs to the people seeking them. More jobs means a better economy, which should lead to a lower tax burden for all.
We need to link people who want jobs to the places where those jobs exist by building a great transportation system, which also will attract more jobs to the area. This means working beyond county government with the private sector, community organizations and other levels of government.
We need to improve the quality of life in Milwaukee County by empowering people to take advantage of the resources that can improve their lives. We also need to address these issues knowing that the county is facing a major fiscal crisis that will take some time to correct.
Can anyone seriously argue that, five years later, Walker has seriously addressed -- not solved, just taken steps to solve -- any of these "critical issues"? And no, spinning out a parks district is not addressing the issue --it's passing the buck.
I mean, given he missed ongoing pension abuses, can he even say he restored the public trust?
In conclusion, the Brawler wants to hoist a comment from a previous post by the worthy Capper:
The thing that is truly exasperating is that Walker acknowledges that the County needs a new funding source, i.e. higher taxes or a sales tax. This is evidenced by his more than willing approach to creating a parks district with taxing authority and wanting to pawn off the transit system to a regional system with a taxing authority. If he was truly anti-tax increase, he would hold onto these systems in his stranglehold until they were utterly destroyed.
Like ma Brawler said: Weasel.