Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scott Walker's shameful "legacy" needs to be undone

We shouldn't wait for Walker to end his presidential ambitions before we work to undo his damage

In the pursuit for higher office, Gov. Scott Walker is embarrassing our state on a national stage. His presidential ambitions have created incredible moments of “facepalm,” of trying to explain to friends and relatives across the nation why we elected this man, three times, to be in charge of our state.

He’s not our “favorite son” any longer; he’s truly the shame of Wisconsin.

Just look at what he’s proposed and supported during his short presidential jaunt. A wall separating the U.S. and Canada. A health care plan that essentially eliminates coverage for millions. A desperate call to “trump” up support by promising to wreak havoc in Washington.

It’s no wonder that his polling numbers have dropped to dismal levels on the national scene. And it’s equally unsurprising that his state numbers have tanked, too.

Whatever happens in the coming months -- whether, by some freak miracle, Walker rebounds or not -- our governor needs to do the responsible thing. Having largely ignored our state since his re-election last November, Walker needs to resign and allow a governor to take office who will be in Wisconsin for a majority of the time.

I’m not going to pretend to like Rebecca Kleefisch’s politics. The Lieutenant Governor once compared same-sex marriage to marriage between a person and a table. As soon as we’re able, we should remove her from office through electoral means, allowing a more sensible option to lead our state back to its original stature before Walker and Co. took power.

But there is one positive about Kleefisch: she isn’t Walker. And she is, for the most part, residing in Wisconsin most of the time.

After this era of politics in Wisconsin is over, and after “presidential candidate” Scott Walker becomes “Citizen Walker,” we need to work fast to restore our state. We need a Democratic-controlled legislature, a tough but not impossible feat to accomplish given the legislative lines that Republicans drew earlier this decade.

We need to undo the damage that Walker has wrought. This isn’t just about workers’ rights, for public and private workers, but that will be a part of it. It will also include a series of legislative acts to restore women’s rights (reproductive and economic); to restore funding for schools; to allow low-income families better health care options; to care for and preserve the environment; to restore sensible gun legislation that he has demolished under his watch; and more.

Those aren’t crazy positions of a far-left party. Those are reasonable and sound policies that everyday Wisconsinites can get behind.

The shame of Wisconsin is definitely Scott Walker. But we won’t stand around waiting for him to come back to our state to fix things. Believing he even cares about us anymore is faulty logic.

We can take matters into our own hands. And it begins by electing reasonable candidates for office, not ideologues hellbent on “wreaking havoc” in our state.

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