Last night I happened upon an image that genuinely disturbed me and bothered me enough to cause me to spend an inordinate amount of time in reflection. The image was not bloody, gory, spooky, or even doctored to give a false impression. However, in the same way that it isn’t so much what President Obama says but how he says it that produces results, it wasn’t so much what was on the picture but the way in which it was used – perhaps even the fact that it was used at all – that got to me.
The image was a picture of Scott Walker and his family. It appeared on a relatively obscure left wing blog that features a link to, among others, Frank Rich’s page with the New York Times. The picture was featured above an attempt at a tongue-in-cheek top ten countdown of reasons that Scott Walker changed churches almost four years ago. To me, the appearance of the picture and the nature of the post harkened back to the 2008 presidential campaign and the way that Sarah Palin’s family was not only thrust into the national spotlight, but subjected to unending and unmerited scrutiny. Not only will Scott Walker be subjected to the politics of personal destruction indefinitely, but the potential for his family to be dragged along for the ride is great. Being a Conservative in the public eye for over a decade and a half has probably numbed Mr. Walker to many of the attacks leveled against him on a daily basis, but as 2010 creeps over the horizon and into focus, both he and his supporters should be aware that the attacks will not only become more prevalent but that they will also become dirtier, more unscrupulous, and more shameless than ever before. Everything from the clothes on his back to apparently his family’s church life will be fair game to the left wing establishment in this state.
It’s as sickening as it is angering to think that even the most prominent paper in Southeastern Wisconsin probably won’t be going out of its way to ensure any sense of civility or balance during this election cycle so long as the scale is tipped to the left. Anybody who doubts that elements of the Journal Sentinel are in cahoots with the Doyle administration hasn’t been paying attention. In their minds and the minds of the rest of the left wing establishment and blogosphere, it is their job to protect a governor whose popularity continues to decline almost as rapidly as the productivity and economy of the state he governs. This all for the sake of the “D” affixed to his name and all of the useful connotations that letter has for their various causes and special interests. Unfortunately for Scott Walker and his family, protecting Jim Doyle for any reason will also inevitably entail blatant and repeated attempts to destroy Mr. Walker’s credibility, denigrate his accomplishments, and even shake the foundations of his family life in unethical and untruthful manners. Regardless, Walker must soldier on because Wisconsin deserves better than a disconnected and self-interested governor who is more concerned about playing with his toy trains than protecting the jobs that still exist in this state and preventing further hemorrhaging of the jobs that are bleeding into any of the other 42 states that rank higher than us in business climate.
Four more years of Jim Doyle: now that’s a frightening picture.