Mary Burke’s vision for Wisconsin is uninspiring. The tired liberal dogmas she advocates are couched in the context of her business experience, as if her nepotistic ascension to the C-Suite at Trek magically endows her with an ability to run the state’s affairs.
Until now, I’ve extensively argued that Ms. Burke is probably pretty smart and would actually be capable of running this state’s economy left on her own, but that she was selected to take on Scott Walker because she tests well with the Democrat base, and would apply policies accordingly. That base needs someone inspiring after suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of boring Tom Barrett and the consistent, creeping realization that conservative governance actually works. The partisan platitude that Wisconsin isn’t in better shape under the Walker administration comes from ignorant leftists divorced from reality.
I’ve come to realize Ms. Burke is obviously one of those Democrats. Her fence-straddling, waffling, non-campaign campaign that touts nothing new could not be this consistently obtuse unless she were to actually believe her own partisan nonsense.
In an interview with Shepherd Express, Ms. Burke delicately approaches her stance on Act 10, which I have repeatedly argued requires intellectual gymnastics to justify:
“I had said that I thought that it was only fair to have contributions to healthcare and to pension. But as governor I would have negotiated it, firmly and fairly. Those items were on the table. But what we saw Walker do was divide the state. This was political. It wasn’t the way that I would have done it. As governor I want to work to restore collective bargaining. That doesn’t stand in the way of having an effective and efficient and accountable government.”
She chose her words very carefully here, and she meant every one of them. Beginning with “I had said…” grants the satisfaction to the enraged fringe that voted to recall Gov. Walker that her belief in employee contributions is in the past. It’s like talking about walking the statement back without really walking it back.
She should have to answer exactly how much is fair, then, for public employees to contribute to their own benefits, especially if the marginal amount the law dictates they pay has been so crippling financially. “Oh! But how will I afford to feed my family now?” they cried. Further, she must account for the power of collective bargaining, and whether the reliably Democrat union base would be kosher with increased contributions had that amount came to be under a collective bargaining agreement. Finally, Ms. Burke must lay out a plan for accountability and efficiency under the auspices of collective bargaining and how disincentivizing innovation impels achievement.
By the very nature of collective bargaining, unions strangle efficiency, and in government, where bureaucracy necessarily chokes efficient production, there is little hope for excellence, especially in education, a sector Democrats pretend to want to protect, when educators can wallow in the luxury of collective bargaining rights and not worry about accountability.
For a Democrat running against Scott Walker to accuse him of playing politics is ignorant and absurd. Playing the political game would be to run away from polarizing policy and the kind of governance that scares a significant portion of the legislature south of the border to Illinois. (While we’re asking Ms. Burke questions, I’d like her take on those who ran to avoid a vote on Act 10. In business, can you up and leave when management makes decisions you disagree with, then keep your job?) Mr. Walker laid out a clear vision for Wisconsin and ran on creating a more efficient government. People in Wisconsin voted to make him governor — twice! — and to make that campaign platform a reality. That sounds like a straight-shooter, not someone hiding behind bipartisan policy for the sake of protecting the office.
Democrats like Mary Burke and her less-intelligent counterparts like Christine Sinicki orbit Planet Yahoo, where they can speak in platitudes that don’t mean anything and then bemoan every conservative initiative just because it’s a conservative initiative.
Any time Ms. Burke pretends her stint as Commerce Secretary suggests even a modicum of economic success for the state she only deepens her delusions. In the Shepherd Express interview, she explains that the unemployment rate was 4.8 percent from 2005-2007. That’s true: it varied form 4.9 to 4.5 percent during those years. But so did the national unemployment rate, which ranged from 5.3 to 4.5 percent during that same time.
Compared nationally, Wisconsin has beaten the national unemployment rate each month since Gov. Walker assumed office. Even during the unsure times of the recall, though it ticked up, it was still better than the national average. That uptick can be fairly attributed to the economic uncertainty the recall created. Certainly the recall wasn’t his own fault.
But playing with a statistic as bogus as the unemployment rate is a shoddy way of making a convincing argument to people who are paying attention. Nationally, it’s been decreasing because fewer people are choosing to either work or look for a job. The Obama Administration spun that statistic into liberating people from the invented problem of “job lock” a few months ago. Throwing around statistics and making childish accusations against the opposition is the non-thinker’s way of winning a campaign.
Leaders sell their followers on a vision. That’s what Scott Walker did four years ago, what he did during the recall, and he’s already doing it again ahead of next November.
His opponent is nothing new. She’s running as a weak Democrat candidate who’s branding herself as not being the opposition. When Barack Obama ran for the presidency in 2008, his campaign — other than being composed of ethereal and trite platitudes like Hope and Change — was centered on not being George W. Bush.
Six years later, Ms. Burke is taking the statewide stage on a similar campaign, and she’s failing tremendously. For months I believed her blatant and wild partisanship to be inauthentic, and that would be her undoing with the voters of Wisconsin.
It will turn out that wild liberalism and an uninspiring brand of Democrat politics fails to win her the governorship.
On the bright side, Governor Walker will win if this boring candidate is his strongest opposition. At the other end of the canoe paddle, it means conservatives should start microwaving the popcorn while they get ready to watch another kook sideshow when Scott Walker’s detractors mount another recall in 2015.