Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Scott Walker finds his conscience -- uh, sort of

Walker is happy to make the right decision, when opportunity coincides with doing the right thing

In March I took Gov. Scott Walker to task for refusing to denounce presumptive Republican nominee for president Donald Trump. At the time, Walker said he would remain true to his word, and support whoever the nominee for president would be for the GOP.

I disagreed with that notion:
Some pledges are worth breaking. A woman who endures abuse from her husband is right to break her bonds of marriage, to dissolve the promises she made on her wedding day, for the betterment of her well-being.

And Republicans, who have endured months of mistreatment from Donald Trump, should likewise follow their consciences and refuse to support the candidate that spouts hatred and cruel ideas that would turn America’s treasured ideals upside down.


It may not a rewarding position to take politically, but Scott Walker and other Republicans ought to show true leadership and say unequivocally that they will not support Trump as their party’s nominee, opting instead to support a different candidate, or to not support one at all, if necessary.
Walker has since wavered on that stance, and in recent days has demonstrated that he’d be open to backing someone besides Trump for president. Trump isn’t, after all, the official nominee yet, and the Republican National Committee could change convention rules to allow delegates to select someone other than Trump to be the nominee, allowing Walker the opportunity to keep his pledge and back someone other than Donald.

To which I say: good on Scott Walker, and good on the Republican Party, if it is indeed looking at its options to dump Trump. I’m not a Republican, and I wouldn’t likely support any of the candidates up for consideration. But Donald Trump is a dangerous candidate, far more dangerous than the alternatives that were offered this year by the GOP. That he is even this close to the presidency should concern every Republican, indeed every American as well.

It seems that many Republicans, including Scott Walker, have finally found their conscience. The way that Walker found his conscience, however, is concerning. Walker didn’t start to waver on Trump until, it seems, that it was politically beneficial for him to do so. From CNN:
And yet a fourth group has emerged in recent days, with the most provocative proposal: to dump Trump at the Republican Convention should he not improve over the next two or three weeks. Given Trump's delegate haul, that would require a major change in RNC rules to trigger an open convention.

One name is emerging as the saving grace: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has privately told friends he is "intrigued" by the possibility of allowing his name to be put in the ring at the GOP convention as a challenge to Trump, two sources with direct knowledge say.
Emphasis in bold mine.

So the governor is changing his tune in light of the possibility of becoming the nominee himself. Of course, he denies this is the case:
Walker, who has said he would support the Republican nominee but last week said that Trump is "not yet" that person, denied he is even considering the possibility in a statement.

"Let me be clear: I am focused entirely on being Governor," he said in a statement from his office. "If there's any campaign in the future, it's going to be running for re-election in 2018, which is a decision that we'll make in the months ahead following the next state budget."
But we’ve heard that before, in 2014 during his re-election campaign:
During the re-election race that he won on Nov. 4, Gov. Scott Walker told voters he intended to spend the next four years in the statehouse.

"My plan -- if the voters approve -- is to serve as governor for the next four years," Walker said in early October.
Walker announced his campaign for president the following July. He dropped out in September 2015, polling under 1 percent in a crowded GOP field.

Again, it’s a good thing that Walker and other Republicans are looking at ways to get rid of Trump before or at the convention in July. I applaud Walker for suggesting that the rules be changed to allow delegates to vote their conscience.

Yet the way that Walker found his own conscience strikes me as troubling. From the outside looking in, it appears as though it took suggestions from others that he could lead the coup against Trump before he jumped on board with the idea fully. Walker’s conscience, in other words, was only found once it suited his interests.

When you act courageously only when it helps you personally, that’s not really finding your conscience at all. It’s opportunistic, and that should worry the American people, should Walker be successful in his coup attempt.

1 comment:

  1. And since when has our governor done anything not motivated by what is best for him politically?