Gov. Walker’s All-or-Nothing Style Political Folly?


Governor Scott Walker (R-WI)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stepped into office and exercised what some have referred to as a more dictatorial than democratic leadership. Do as he says or else. While that method has worked in other places outside of the U.S., it has a dated shelf life. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve witnessed a turning of the tide in the Middle East, Africa and other places as ordinary citizens stand up demanding jobs, better wages and a voice in the government.

The battle in Wisconsin seems to be coming to a head. It’s important to note at every opportunity that unions have already conceded to demands that will result in an 8 percent pay cut for the average worker. Walker and conservatives refuse to believe the unions. I believe they are making a big mistake in not taking the unions at their word. The “all or nothing” approach is beginning to swallow the conservative message in Wisconsin and the GOP governor along with it.

After 17 days of protests, Unions stand firm on their right to collective bargaining. Democrat senators stand firm with the unions and stay in exile. Walker prepares to start laying off 1,500 government employees. Union prepare recall of six Wisconsin’s Republican senators who have been in office for at least one year (as per Wisconsin law, senators can be recalled after one year of service).

The results of Walker’s all or nothing has sent his approval ratings plummeting in the polls. Rasmussen reported on March 4th Walker’s approval rating is at 43 percent, and 57 percent of Wisconsin voters disapprove of Walker’s performance. The report also notes that, among households with children in the public school system, 67 percent of voters disapprove, including 54% who Strongly Disapprove.

Walker’s poor poll numbers coupled with the unions filing to recall six of the state GOP senators, along with the negative impact (mainly to Republicans) of 1,500 layoffs has some Republican senators wavering in their support of Walker on the labor bill. The buzz is that possibly three or four Republican senators could side with Democrats instead. What walker seems to miss here is that you can’t bully people into submission. It doesn’t work; especially in America.

References
Are Wisconsin Republicans preparing to break with Walker? | The Plum Line, Washington Post
The Wisconsin Wobblies | The Wall Street Journal
Walker Losing Support from Senate Republicans in Wisconsin? | Fire Dog Lake
Rasmussen Poll: Almost Six In Ten Wisconsin Voters Disapprove Of Gov. Walker | TPMDC
Wisconsin Governor Walker: 43% Approval Rating | Rasmussen Reports

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