Scott Walker’s Federalist Victory

Opening Remarks

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is defying a directive from the National Park Service to close down several state parks that receive federal funding in the wake of the partial government shutdown. …

“Blame can go around for everybody,” Walker, a GOP leader contemplating a presidential bid, said recently when asked about the shutdown. “The best way to resolve it? Just look at what we did in Wisconsin. We had a $3.6 billion budget deficit. We now have more than half a billion surplus.”

Fox News

Tooting the hautboys of federalism, the governor continues his dominance as a thought leader in national conservative politics. More importantly, he’s annoying the left-wing media establishment. Talking Points Memo issued a breathless and hurried report that declares, “But the National Parks Service now says no such order was given. Or not exactly, anyway.”


A spokesman for the National Park Service clarified the issue to TPM:

Due to the government shutdown, there was no longer funding available with which to make grant payments to the DNR and on October 1 notice was given to them to suspend performance of all activities funded by that agreement. There was no directive from the National Park Service to cease operations; we merely informed them that the payments through their cooperative agreement would cease for the period of the shutdown. It was left to the discretion of the DNR how to best deal with the curtailed funding.

-Mike Litterst, acting chief spokesman for the National Parks Service

Whether the governor or his administration defied a direct order, as the scenario is portrayed by those reporting on it, or whether he decided to keep the parks running without federal funding is irrelevant. Most importantly, this showcases the triumph of the state making do without additional cash and resources from the federal government.

With Vietnam and World War II vets in the news as victims of the government shutdown, unable to visit their respective monuments in Washington — which are, after all, federally-run parks powered by federal tax dollars — it takes little imagination to believe that the NPS would’ve also been instructed to oversee the closure of parks across the country.

The point of TPM’s reporting was to diminish Mr. Walker’s standing as the Bad Boy from Wisconsin who could be a formidable force in 2016. In the wake of his union-busting and consecutive trouncings of Tom Barrett, he has the momentum, fan base and fundraising base to be a serious player; he’s well-spoken, articulate (and clean!), doesn’t have multiple homes and can’t be vilified for being successful in business.

This victory belongs to Mr. Walker completely, another feather in his cap for efficiency and pragmatism, and is a win for state sovereignty. At Tenth Amendment Center, Ben Lewis elegantly declares, “As states continue to become self-reliant and reassert their sovereignty, they show the utter dysfunction of the federal government and the incredible efficacy of state-based resistance.”

Quote of the Day

Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.

-John Adams

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About the writer: Nik Nelson is publisher of and Founder/CEO of OpenBox Strategies, where he connects political candidates and small businesses with excellent digital marketing tools and strategies.