Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Deniability is a key tactic in Scott Walker's playbook

Walker campaign allows candidate to say one thing, and explain away the consequences to the media later on

...don’t believe me? Here’s the most recent example of how Scott Walker operates.

This week the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee unanimously approved of ending the ban that restricted gays or lesbians from serving as employees and volunteers of troops across the nation.

The changes wouldn’t be overwhelming, nor uniform across the country. It would allow individual troops the choice to determine for themselves whether they should allow gay or lesbian leaders to enter their ranks.

But it’s a significant change nonetheless. Whereas before gay and lesbian individuals were expressly forbidden from being hired or volunteering, following these changes they will at least have a chance to serve at several locations across America.

That doesn’t bode well for many conservatives, including Gov. presidential candidate Scott Walker, who lambasted the policy change.
"I was an Eagle Scout, my kids have been involved, Tonette (Walker) was a den mother," Walker said in a statement, according to the Independent Journal Review (Emphasis in bold added).

"I have had a lifelong commitment to the Scouts and support the previous membership policy because it protected children and advanced Scout values."
That sent red flags up across the internet. Was Scott Walker really saying that children were unsafe around gay and lesbian Scout leaders? Was he comparing them to pedophiles?

It seemed to be the implication, but following the fallout from his comments a spokesperson for Walker tried to clear things up (Again, emphasis in bold added):
“The previous policy protected Scouts from the rancorous political debate over policy issues and culture wars. Scouts should not be used as a political football on issues that can often be heated and divisive.”
This is typical Walker posturing at work here – he says something, and though it may help him greatly with his base, it causes a stir among the general public. When the media asks questions, he tap-dances around the subject, making up an excuse like above to make it all seem perfectly fine.

And if the media doesn’t accept that excuse? Then they become the liberal media, and Walker’s supporters immediately go on the attack. (And Walker makes money off of it, too.)

Walker can deny what he said was an attack on gay and lesbian Scout leaders. Of course, the message has already been sent to conservatives – "the former policy was PROTECTING kids from these heathen monsters!" – but the dog whistle political maneuvering is specially tailored to allow him deniability on any given issue.

In short, Walker said he’s for protecting children, but he squirms his way out of specifics from an inquiring press. The national media should get used to it – that’s just how Walker plays ball.

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