Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Scott Walker and the Republican Governors Association hope you're stupid, gullible, or both

RGA trots out tired line in campaign ad that has been debunked several times over

Every time the Republicans of this state repeat a line about jobs lost under former Gov. Jim Doyle, they are hoping that your intelligence isn’t high enough to understand events from recent history.

You should know the line by now -- current Gov. Scott Walker and his surrogates have repeated it often enough that it would be impossible to have not heard it by now. It goes like this: under Doyle, we lost more than 130,000 jobs. On first hearing this tidbit of information, yes, that DOES sound troubling, and it immediately causes the listener to agree with the equation the Wisconsin GOP is trotting out:
Doyle laid out a liberal platform.
Wisconsin lost 130,000 jobs.
Therefore, liberal policies like Doyle’s = BAD BAD BAD!!!
The equation, of course, is flawed: it assumes wrongly that the 130,000 jobs lost were due to the policies Doyle enacted, when in actuality those losses came about at a time when there was a global economic catastrophe.

But here’s the kicker: in the last 12 months of Jim Doyle’s term in office, Wisconsin gained 33,658 jobs, a rate that is equivalent to what was Gov. Walker’s best December-to-December year gain.

So how is it that the “failed” policies of the Doyle administration turned out essentially the same outcomes as the “wildly successful” gains under Walker? How are Scott Walker's policies supposedly better when the policies of Jim Doyle created an equivalent recovery rate? The Wisconsin GOP has yet to provide a sufficient answer to that.

So they’ve come up with a better one: ignoring it completely, and focusing on the losses (but not the reasons) incurred during the previous administration.

Now, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is airing an ad which, in part, repeats that same line -- only this time, they’re trying to link current gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke to the 130,000 jobs lost.

What’s crazy about this is that Burke, who was in the Doyle administration from February 2005 to November 2007, wasn’t even in office when the job losses occurred. In fact, during her time in office Wisconsin saw an increase of more than 72,000 employed citizens, and an increase of 48,400 jobs.

That doesn’t stop the RGA from stating, point blank, that “Burke was a senior member of the Doyle administration that left Wisconsin with 130,000 fewer jobs.” They even cite PolitiFact in their video as proof!

But here’s something worth noting: that same PolitiFact article that the RGA is citing rated the claim “Mostly False” since it disregarded the recession and recovery of the Doyle administration.In other words, the RGA is citing an article that disproves the very claim they're trying to make.

Here’s PolitiFact’s official rating (emphasis mine):

[Walker’s] correct about the number. But experts agree that Wisconsin’s economy was caught in the same economic crash that crippled the entire country -- the recession was deeper and more severe than any single state’s policies, including those of Doyle.

They note that Wisconsin actually fared somewhat better than the rest of the country [during the recession]. This leaves us with a statement that’s numerically true, but with scant evidence at best when it comes to blame. That’s Mostly False on our meter.
This leaves us to ponder: do they think we’re dumb? Do the Republicans of this state, and moreover the national Republican Governors Association, think we can’t piece together recent history to understand that these losses can’t be blamed on Burke, for not just one but two reasons (the recession, and her being out of office at the time)?

We can only assume that the RGA, the Wisconsin GOP, and Scott Walker are banking their re-election hopes on you being stupid, gullible, or both. It’s up to you to show them, at the ballot box this fall, that you’re smarter than they give you credit for.


  1. "Do they think we are dumb?" Yes they do and the last two elections have proven that they are correct.

  2. We know you are dumb...