The Scott Walker Show Trial

The standard partisan pants-wetting from Cap Times writers has been par for the course since the Scott Walker email dump last week. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been weighing in, but without having to change their underpants every ten minutes from bouts of overexcitement.

There have been two major implications from the data dump that analysts have been dining on, and doing their best to extrapolate further implications and accusations against the governor and his inner circle.

The first is the use of a secret email system, which functions as the hub of all finger-pointing. The “secret” qualifier implies an additional level of sinister politics — at least more awful than good practicing progressives assumes Mr. Walker to be. This system is the coordinated effort to keep campaign-related emails separate from official government emails, as the law requires. The governor’s implication as a user of this clandestine network comes from a memo through which he orders his staff to keep off any campaign-related work at the office.

Granted, that memo was sent last week, which seems to portend his involvement in running for president while trying to run the state.

Oh wait, what? It was sent four years ago? Huh.

It is the governor’s knowledge of government-employed staffers doing campaign work — before he was elected governor (!) — that should have merited him being charged with a crime. This is tantamount to accusing the governor of knowledge that he had a campaign in the first place, with some people on government payroll simultaneously executing campaign-related duties.

The other is the racist email. This one’s a doozy. I’ll leave judgment of Thomas Nardelli to you. The most entertaining part of its analysis is the desperation to connect it to the governor. MSJ remorsefully itemizes Mr. Walker’s manifestly un-racist personal and public history:

Walker won county executive races in racially diverse Milwaukee County and once called out race-baiter David Duke for his divisive comments. […]

Walker has spoken of doing more GOP outreach to minorities at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and has quietly supported making Cesar Chavez’s birthday a voluntary state holiday.

This is a media show trial designed to destroy their greatest political threat. The left has cause to be worried, having lost a general election and a recall; now their best face forward is Mary Burke’s, which has yet to prove its muster.

Most Democrats are desperate for some ethereal kind of justice, where Mr. Walker gets hauled away in handcuffs. They might even entertain the death penalty in Wisconsin for the first time if it meant ending him once and for all.

But even if he were guilty of this campaign violation, the worst he faces is a fine. Per the statute:

(1) (a) Whoever intentionally violates s. 11.05 (1), (2), (2g) or (2r), 11.07 (1) or (5), 11.10 (1), 11.12 (5), 11.23 (6) or 11.24 (1) is guilty of a Class I felony.
(b) Whoever intentionally violates s. 11.25, 11.26, 11.27 (1), 11.30 (1) or 11.38 is guilty of a Class I felony if the intentional violation does not involve a specific figure or if the intentional violation concerns a figure which exceeds $100 in amount or value.

Each of these sections directly involve keeping improper campaign finance records, or wrongly accepting campaign donations. While this kind of transgression would make for juicy news, it’s just not applicable here.

A civil trial could also mean another slow death of a political career, but would ultimately not end in the satisfying conclusion for which Democrats are so hungry.

These details are irrelevant in Democrat strategy. They are demonstrating their coordinated effort to bring down their threat piece by piece, like when that pack of hyenas had Mufasa for dinner in The Lion King. Honest Democrats know that these allegations are limp. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of those. That the national media has rejected this as a story speaks to that; they’re spending time now on Chris Christie.

If the left were able to beat Republicans on the battlefield of ideas, they would. Instead, they resort to the most childish of name-calling and accusations to demonstrate their displeasure. When faced with reality, they run away to Illinois to avoid having to vote, they curse profanities on social media, they drive drunk on the wrong side of the highway.

In the narrative and in the headlines, it’s quickly forgotten that the worst of this happened before the governor took office, and it’s designed that way. This is partisan hackery at best, and the one of the most illustrative examples of the media’s tendency to lie by omission.

At National Review, Christian Schneider tidily summarizes what’s happening here:

There really doesn’t appear to be anything new in the e-mails: Voters knew about Rindfleisch’s conviction when they went to the polls in 2012 and Walker still won by a larger margin than he had in 2010. But there’s just enough in them for Democrats to try to do what prosecutors couldn’t: convict Walker in the court of public opinion.

As we know, that’s the court where the governor thrives. He’s a hunter, family man, sports enthusiast, grass-mower, volunteer, good-guy citizen, who might be one of the few in politics without a closet full of skeletons. That’s certainly rare today.

Mary Burke’s opposition candidacy is built on the same kind of feel-good, new direction schtick that helped catapult Barack Obama to superstardom more than six years ago. But Scott Walker has been the best example of this kind of politics since taking over in Madison. His politics are disagreeable to many, but his character, despite being systematically investigated and pulled apart, has held up to the most aggressive criticisms.

He’s even relatively immune from making cringeworthy comments that continue to haunt him. As a career politician, he’s well-trained in protecting his persona, and insulating himself from these kinds of mistakes. That kind of careful charisma represents the kind Republicans must cultivate across the state and country as another layer of insurance against the media.

This unending probe is annoying, but it also means that Republicans are winning in Wisconsin. If Democrats weren’t so desperate to take down one of the GOP’s biggest stars, he might not have the power needed to affect real change.

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.