Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Activist who advocated for placing instigators at Trump rallies is rightly fired. Now what about Scott Walker?

Conservatives are inconsistent with their outrage, forgetting about governor's similar comments on instigators

UPDATE: Scott Foval just released this statement:
"This scheme to cast legitimate organizing activities as a sinister plot is nothing but a ruse. When O'Keefe's team of grifters attempted to find illegal activities going on , they were disappointed to discover, in fact, that I and my associates were only involved in above-board, legal, legitimate organizing work to counter Trump's campaign of division, misogyny, hatred, and xenophobia. Despite our attempts to redirect the conversation and actions towards positive, results-oriented, legal and ethical political organizing, O'Keefe's crew of imposters continued to walk down a path of deception and manipulation. Our team took the high road, deciding to not indulge the imposters in their dubious scheme, rather attempting to put our energies and intentions towards positive activities that garner electorally relevant results. All who view these recordings should remember that they were speculative conversations where we attempted to correct a misguided idea put forth by O'Keefe and his cronies, and we did not take the bait."
More updates will be coming as they develop. Stay tuned...original post below...

Conservatives are outraged because new footage from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas shows a high-level member of a liberal organization suggesting ways to agitate supporters of Donald Trump at his rallies.

[Scott Foval of Americans United for Change] made false comments that are wrong about inciting violence at the rallies. Foval has since been fired from Americans United for Change, which had a contracting relationship with Democracy Partners.

"I mean, honestly, it's not hard to get some of these a------- to pop off," Foval purportedly says at one point in the video. "It's a matter of showing up, to want to get into their rally, in a Planned Parenthood T-shirt. Or 'Trump is a Nazi,' you know. You can message to draw them out, and draw them out to punch you."
The outrage over Foval’s comments are understandable. His words demonstrate part of what is wrong with politics today, that it has become a win-at-all-costs affair. Just because they come from the left doesn’t mean we should dismiss them, and I wholeheartedly condemn his suggestions as wrong.

But I do have to wonder: where was this outrage from the right when Gov. Scott Walker also considered putting agitators in the crowds? In 2011, during the mass protests that engulfed the Capitol Square in Madison, Walker took a phone call from a man he thought was billionaire conservative donor David Koch.

And when the fake Koch asked Walker about placing “troublemakers” into the large crowds protesting the anti-collective bargaining bill that he was trying to pass at the time, Walker told the caller that “We thought about that.”

Ultimately Walker also told the fake conservative donor that he and his advisors decided not to instigate the protesters, but it wasn’t out of compassion or ethical consideration; it was because doing so might help the protesters’ cause more than his own. In fact, that was his only concern:
My only fear [about planting troublemakers in the crowds] would be is, if there was a ruckus caused, is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has gotta settle to avoid all these problems.
Scott Foval was rightly fired from a liberal organization for suggesting he could work outside the law on a variety of issues, among them purposely instigating Trump supporters to engage in violence. His tactics should be shunned by all, especially those on the left.

O’Keefe’s Project Veritas organization has a history of selectively editing its undercover sting operations, but Foval’s words seem pretty clear to me. And they should be rejected.

At the same time, the outrage from those who view this as unsavory should be consistent. Many on the left have already condemned Foval, and he has been terminated from his employment for his words. Many on the right, however, are inconsistent with their outrage. They are flabbergasted with Foval’s recent actions, but in 2011 they dismissed Walker’s disturbing considerations as not worth acknowledging, in many instances.

In politics today it is hard to find consistency across the political aisles. What may harm your opponent today you may ignore about your own side tomorrow. If Americans are truly in favor of reshaping the political landscape, that sort of thinking ought to be rejected at once.

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