Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker waits to speak at the American Action Forum in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 30, 2015. 
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty

Walker, Clinton, and ‘the company they keep’

Updated
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) op-ed in the Des Moines Register yesterday:
You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Hillary Clinton is no exception. […]
 
Much of Clinton’s time [during her most recent trip to Iowa] was spent in meetings with union bosses. The fact that Clinton is shunning everyday Iowans in favor of big-labor special interests sends a clear message about where her true loyalties lie.
A Politico report, published just hours earlier:
Four leading GOP presidential candidates – Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker – are traveling to a Southern California luxury hotel in coming days to make their cases directly to the Koch brothers and hundreds of other wealthy conservatives planning to spend close to $1 billion in the run-up to the 2016 election. […]
 
Freedom Partners’ annual summer conference is set for August 1 through August 3, and is expected to draw 450 of the biggest financiers of the right… Most have the capability to write seven- or even eight-figure checks to the super PACs fueling the GOP presidential primary.
The Republican governor’s timing certainly could have been better. It’s odd enough for Walker to condemn Clinton for meeting with Iowa labor leaders, but for him to argue that it’s wrong to “shun everyday” people as he hops on a jet to SoCal for a luxury gathering with far-right billionaires is a bit jarring.
 
Does this “send a clear message” about where his “true loyalties lie”?
 
The disconnect reminded me of Dana Milbank’s recent Washington Post piece on Walker and why the columnist sees the governor as “so dangerous.”
By scapegoating toothless trade unions as powerful and malign interests, [Walker] enlists working people in his cause of aiding the rich and the strong.
Quite right. Greg Sargent had a good piece last week flagging an interesting tidbit from the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll: white voters without college degrees are convinced the U.S. economic system “is stacked in favor of the rich,” but they also overwhelmingly support the Republican economic agenda — which intends to lavish benefits on the rich.
 
To be sure, there are multiple angles to results like these, but Walker’s rhetoric, though substantively nonsensical, helps crystallize why these voters are drawing seemingly inexplicable conclusions.
 
The presidential candidate who pals around with the Koch brothers and eagerly pushes an agenda built on tax breaks for the wealthy is the same presidential candidate who claims to champion the interests of “everyday” folks. For Walker, the real scourge isn’t economic inequality or the challenges facing working-class families, but rather, “big-labor special interests.”
 
Or to repeat Milbank’s line, “By scapegoating toothless trade unions as powerful and malign interests, he enlists working people in his cause of aiding the rich and the strong.”
 

Scott Walker

Walker, Clinton, and 'the company they keep'

Updated