Governor Walker's Game of Chicken

Monday, March 07, 2011

Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks at a news conference inside the Wisconsin State Capitol February 21, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Eric Thayer/Getty)

Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker has officially threatened to lay off some 1500 state employees if he can't get Democratic state senators to return and allow a vote on the Governor's much-disputed state budget proposal. Beyond the implications for those who might be put on notice as early as April 4th, the move is just the latest in a game of political chicken, in which Republicans and Democrats are trying to assign the blame for the state's troubles on the other party. Will the threat work for getting Democrats — who fled the state in order to prevent a three-fifths budget quorum — back into Wisconsin? Democratic State Senator Bob Jauch says: not very likely. 

Meanwhile, recent polling in the state seems to suggest that while residents are split down the middle on many issues, Governor Walker's numbers are slipping. 


Bob Jauch

Comments [10]


And more, to "Nope from Wisconsin":

If you think that ObamaCare was the product of bipartisan negotiation and debate, why did it fail to garner a single Republican vote? ObamaCare passed on a party-line vote only after the Obama Administration had twisted enough Democrat arms, bribed enough Democrats, and managed to use a filibuster-proof Democrat majority to ram it through.

I refer you to specifically to Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Bart Stupak and Joe Lieberman. Almost all of them have paid for their votes with their electoral careers.

Mar. 07 2011 06:45 PM

To "Nope from Wisconsin":

John Engler was elected Governor of Michigan, with a massive upset of James Blanchard in 1990. Engler won by less than a percentage point over Blanchard, who was universally thought to be an invulnerable incumbent.

In 1994, Governor Engler was re-elected, trouncing Democrat Howard Wolpe by a margin of about 61% to 39%.

In 1998, Governor Engler (who had once indicated that he'd serve no more than two terms) ran against trial lawyer (and John Edwards fundraiser) Geoffrey Fieger. And Engler won in his biggest landslide yet, with 62% to 38% of the vote.

And throughout his three uninterrupted terms as governor, Engler continued to cut the size and cost of Michigan state government, appointed conservative judges, and led the way to aggressive tort reform.

And as Spence Abraham pointed out in the Weekly Standard link that I provided but which you apparently overlooked, John Engler started out with slumping poll numbers in the ealry 1990's. But look what happened.

Oh, and about the February, 2000 Presidential Primary in Michigan: It was an open primary, in which Democrats could and did vote, without need to be concerned with Al Gore contesting a primary. Up to one-third of those primary voters were union Democrats, turned out by their leadership to sabotage the Republican primary, voting for John McCain. The Michigan primary in 2000 was an outlier event in every sense of that term.

Mar. 07 2011 06:38 PM
Judy Murdoch from Denver, CO

Glad to know some folks know what the "Big Guy" wants.

How about the war in Iraq and Afganistan, does the "Big Guy" support spending $11 billion a month to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

I can think of better ways to spend $11 billion but then I don't presume to know what the "Big Guy" wants.

Mar. 07 2011 02:32 PM
lizzykk from Washington

Hey Tea Partiers, can't handle the polls? I'm laughing and cheering and cheering some more!!

Mar. 07 2011 02:22 PM
Nope from Wisconsin

Charles - Gov. Engler was so unpopular that he couldn't even deliver his own State to Bush during the 2000 election.
Ann- Nice to meet you. You now know one person that does not agree with Gov. Walker.
Charles - The Affordable Health Care Act did pass but only after 18 months of debate, meetings and a corporate campaign to destroy it. I like to call the Afforable HC Act: Christian Health Care...I think it speaks directly to the teachings of the big guy. I'll stand with Jesus over corporations and private interests and the conservatives who represent those interests.

Mar. 07 2011 02:18 PM
ann robertsen

I think the press is making up lies about how many folk are for the Unions. I do not knoe a single person who does not agree with the Governor

Mar. 07 2011 02:03 PM
Terry Anne McEachern from Washington State

Gov Walker reminds me of a hostage taker - he keeps threatening to fire the government workers he is holding hostage in an attempt to force his will on the public sector unions.

Mar. 07 2011 01:37 PM
Cody from Oklahoma

I love how the term "the people" is used to validate every politicians agenda. Voting numbers are the "the people".

Mar. 07 2011 11:27 AM

By the way, if The Takeaway wished to provide equal time to a view opposing State Sen. Jauch, the producers might want to consider former U.S. Senator Spence Abraham of Michigan. Who saw the same progression of events in Michigan during the era of then-Governor John Engler in the 1990's. Gov. Engler's poll numbers fell at the beginning of his first term, just as with Gov. Scott Walker. And John Engler went on to win two more terms, by increasingly large majorities.

Mar. 07 2011 10:37 AM

If public polling numbers determined public policy, ObamaCare would never have passed, and would by now have been repealed.

Little wonder that Governor Walker's "poll numbers" might have "slipped," if The Takeaway's editorial posture is representative of broadcast media.

Mar. 07 2011 10:09 AM

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