I've linked to this item describing a Scott Walker flip-flop on renewable energy mandates already, but I'm linking again, because I haven't properly addressed the profound statement Mr. Walker makes at story's end: "(y)ou go big and you go bold to win the center...You don't have to go to the center to win the center." And you know what? That's advice I wish Democrats would take, so they might do good works and get re-elected on the basis of their good works, rather than hope Republicans nominate an ogre so they can get re-elected. The "center" respects politicians who "go big and...go bold" either because they don't think all that much about policy or they think so much about it they can't act. But naturally, the quotation tells less than half the story of Scott Walker's success: he's conned people into voting for him mainly because he doesn't tell you the "big" and "bold" things he plans to do once he's in office. In 2010 he said he wouldn't gut public sector unions, then he did; in 2014 he said he wouldn't gut private sector unions, then he did. How many folks in the "center" would have voted for him if he'd actually campaigned on these things?
Of course, the precise nature of Scott Walker's recent "evolution" has caused some confusion, which Matt Viser demonstrates in this Boston Globe piece when he suggests that Mr. Walker has adopted a Romneyesque strategy, to wit: "Adopt positions that are more conservative than your record, in an attempt to appeal to the Republican base." But calling Mr. Walker's record anything but reactionary doesn't just insult intelligence, but sentience -- surely no one but a far-right winger has ever been galvanized by all that union-crushing -- and it means little that the author himself shows a lot more skepticism in the story's final paragraphs, because most folks have stopped reading by then. (Note to Mr. Viser: the "inverted pyramid" means you put all the important stuff at the beginning, not the end!) At the risk of piling on, the "evolution" of Mr. Walker's position on immigration can only be seen under a microscope -- he's gone from right-wing to far right-wing and, apparently, back to right-wing when he thought no one was listening. No matter how much the "liberal" media pretends gulfs exist between these positions, they'll still be sidewalk cracks.
Sen. Marco Rubio gives an economic policy speech in advance of a Presidential run, which he'll announce tomorrow, so says word on the street. Hopefully, you'll recognize the pattern: Mr. Rubio says the American Dream gets harder and harder, etc., and working families have it really hard, etc. -- sounds like Republicans finally get it, right? But then come his "solutions" -- get rid of regulations that protect our air and water but-just-say-regulations, get rid of rich people's taxes but-don't-say-rich-people, privatize Social Security but-definitely-don't-say-it-like-that, replace the Earned Income Tax Credit with something more fancy-named and say it's pro-work, give crappy for-profit colleges an easier time getting the accreditation they don't deserve, let corporations pay for your college education like every 18-year-old thinks college is a big vocational school and knows exactly where they want to work for their first 10 years or so after graduation, ad nauseam. Like most Republicans, Sen. Rubio thinks the same plate of shit tastes better if you just say you care deeply about good dietary habits before serving it.