Fear of a Hack Planet

leapfrog A lot of virtual ink has been spilled the last few weeks on the topic of Scott Walker and his as yet undeclared candidacy for president. He gave a speech in Iowa that thrilled the kingmakers. Then he surged ahead of the natural pick of the New England elite, Jeb Bush, in an early New Hampshire poll. Most recently he’s been in the United Kingdom on trade talks, where he punted on a question literally out of left field on evolution. All of this has the chattering classes, well, chattering.

The left has been busy preaching the orthodoxy, of course. Scott Walker is The Next White Hope of the GOP, with diabolical plans to drown the newborn post-racial world Barack Obama birthed. He’ll do this either by suppressing the vote or unifying whites, or maybe both. There will be plenty of dog whistles, nonetheless. And Walker will, of course, dismantle education from kindergarten on up to university, which he desires to do because he doesn’t have a complete college education himself and thus disdains education in general. The left is particularly rabid on this last point, to the point of being downright snobbish and mean about it.

The right, on the other hand, is sounding the alarm. The left is quivering in mortal fear of Scott Walker, they say. He’s being portrayed as the Great and Powerful Oz! But he’s really just a man, a self-made one, who just happened to win two gubernatorial elections and a recall attempt in stone-cold blue Wisconsin. And he’s just a family guy with a couple of ideas about how to go about dismantling those institutions set up or strengthened during the ascension of progressive—or is it liberal? Oh, we’re progressive again—politics of the last century. And this is a task that really needs to be done, they say.

Both sides get ahead of themselves. While visions of sugar-plum-sweet governing politics dance in their heads, Scott Walker is just trying to get in the game. He’s doing the electoral politics dance. And electoral politics are a distinct body separate from governing politics. I don’t think anyone truly knows if he’ll make it, and that includes Scott Walker and his entire team so far.  It could all come crashing down with a well-placed source on one of those John Doe subpoenas being used in what is surely a targeted probe of a potentially strong GOP contender led by insider Democratic office holders (ahem) in Wisconsin. Make no mistake, there is a huge ground game that’s been flourishing for a couple of years in this probe that likely has the backing (and funding) of key national players on the Democrat side.

Now that I’ve bored you to tears with all that horse-race handicapping, let me introduce the idea that I really came here to talk about. Scott Walker has no pedigree, and lacks a college degree, which, in the parlance of the day, makes him a hack. Rand Paul, another heavy favorite in the embryonic field of electoral politics pre-2016, has one, but like Walker, he’s also a hack, a fact brought into startling relief by a recent WaPo article about that time he tried to start his own ophthalmologist certification board.

Walker & Paul are not what you think of as regular, professional politicians. They have little ability to charm the native population of Washington DC, or the electorate, and they aren’t skilled at finessing the game or of strong-arming their colleagues.  These are not men in the mold of Reagan, or Bush 41 & 43. They are, however, the kinds of candidates that the GOP needs to win.

GOP Chairman Reince Priebus has been quoted as saying that the party is going all in for 2016—they need to win this presidential election, or they can sleep with the fishes on an underwater bench. Permanently. He knows that if they fail to win, his career, and to a greater extent the entire GOP apparatus, will be dead. To win, he knows that the party has to redefine the debate, and the electoral choices people make.

To win the presidency, Priebus must know that the electorate has to be sliced and diced in a way that is distinct from the way that Obama, and Democrats in general, have been doing. They cannot play the diversity game and win. With the election of the first black president in US history, they have no hope at all of peeling off that particular constituency, or appealing to the larger group of “people of color.” Democrats have spent the last 40 years and a considerable sum of money staking a claim on these increasing demographics. The Obama presidency marks the pinnacle of that long-term strategy, originally conceived in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.

The GOP and Priebus are not playing Ken Mehlman’s game, however.  This is not the party of the Southern Strategy, and talk of dog-whistles is basically a dog-whistle itself—just the noise of the activist left priming the base for what’s to come. If Priebus is playing the game I think he is, he’s asked himself how he can remake Romney’s math—how do you beat the resonance of 47%? How do you change the argument from one of Democratic strength based on shifting racial and gender demographics and completely side-step the trap lain therein?

There are a lot of different ways to be the boy who came from hope. The narratives that helped Clinton & Obama get elected are narratives that cast them as imperfect men who, through the unique system of government set up in America, have been able to transcend through grit & determination, who fought their way to be eligible for the highest office in the land. Clinton & Obama were not far off from you and me, so the story went, though of course they were, just by virtue of their degrees from the Ivy League.

What Walker & Paul represent are candidates who can go one step farther with their narratives. They are not of the Ivy League at all. They are men who don’t need to precious institutions of the left or the elite. Because they were not brought up through that system, they can see that America might have a different destiny than the American elite have planned for us—and how that destiny can be achieved. There is the kernel of broad appeal in this simple fact. Walker has spent the last four years putting the theory to practice.

More importantly, there are millions more people who are currently politically disengaged, who could identify with either candidate. Forget the 47%. Only about 92% 78% of Americans students graduate high school. Just over 65% of them go on to college. Only 56% of those folks even graduate college. So the vast majority of Americans don’t complete college, if they even go. In the 21st century economy, with exorbitant tuition and student debt loads what they are, an increasing number of people who traditionally would be college-bound are deciding it isn’t worth it. Enrollment rates are dropping. There are more non-graduates than there are graduates, and their numbers are increasing. Then there’s your tech class, who don’t need college educations to be successful, and who lean libertarian.

What these populations translate to is a different kind of map than what Democrats have worked so hard to draw. Activating this map is what the GOP is attempting to exploit with the likes of Scott Walker & Rand Paul. Between the two of them, they have the potential to prompt the kind of groundswell that could lead to a Republican resurgence at the national level.

Rand Paul will bring with him key constituencies that his father, Ron Paul, collected over a political lifetime, and he will appeal to many of the libertarian-left constituencies who oppose the surveillance state because of his vocal opposition to it. He speaks to a deeply dissatisfied and eclectic group of people, not all of whom have been politically active. The activist-left may laugh at his attempt to create an independent accrediting body for his profession, but there are many people shut out of their dreams by the likes of the kind of professional associations he sought to rebel against.

Walker, for his part, brings to the map the alienated masses of working class and middle class workers who have been shut out of political and economic games for a long time, and who have been demoralized into silence for the better part of a generation. Many have been alienated because they haven’t received the right credentials from the right institutions, and have had to zigzag their way across the unlevel field of American opportunity. These folks will feel a heightened sense of persecution and protectiveness if the Democratic base continues to blast its institutional orthodoxy.

It’s a long road to the first primaries of 2016, and a lot could happen. The GOP will need more than candidates with personal narratives people can identify with. Such narratives are not the sum total of the entire purse laid on the poker table. The party is also going to have to work at sophisticated micro-messaging and targeted GOTV efforts, which they have already experimented with in 2014. They’ll also need to employ a technique the left has perfected, specifically the provocation of pubic episodes of the worst inclinations of the opposition. Scott Walker in particular appears to be working that angle pretty well these last couple of weeks.

Note: GIF via

About Lola-in-a-Basket

Bitch, please.
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75 Responses to Fear of a Hack Planet

  1. HELENK3 says:

    Walker brings backbone to stand and fight when needed. Also smart enough to govern to make his state a better place. When is the last time we have had that in DC? Is he perfect NO, but who is? As far as the college thing, that is a plus in today’s educational system. It means he learned to think, not just memorize.

  2. HELENK3 says:


    Netanyahu video you will not soon forget

    why backtrack hates him. Netanyahu is a man, backtrack is a sick joke

  3. piper says:

    Excellent thread Lola although I challenge the 92% high school graduation rate which tends to be a fudged number.

    • piper says:

      On January 22,2015 the U.S. Department of Education released new data showing that the nation’s high school graduation rate rose 2.7 percentage points to 78.2 percent, the highest level in more than three decades based on a measurement called Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR).

  4. piper says:

    Yesterday I posted the Jen Psaki color chart thinking it was created by Dave. My apologies to the original creater, the fabulous mirror, MOTUS, a snarcilious gem
    Link: http://www.michellesmirror.com/2015/02/everyone-lies-about-foreign-relations.html

  5. HELENK3 says:

    brought this back from yesterday.
    with today’s educational system in this country, this seems like a good idea.
    make him Secretary of Education

  6. HELENK3 says:

    Nobel Peace Prize Committee sends message to backtrack

  7. DeniseVB says:

    Oh boy, coffee with Lola ! Great read !!

    The first Republican Primary debate is just 6 months from today, it’s going to be a busy spring for the GOP to herd their cats, as they get picked off from the sidelines by the vile progs 🙂 I guess it isn’t too soon to pick favs. Right now, Walker looks mighty fine …. and whoever he picks for his ticket, there’s a lot of potential on the GOP bench. Yet, we forget the “chosen one” by the establishment GOP may have already been picked. They have to raise a billion dollars and they ain’t going to find it in middle earth America😉

    I’d really like to see the Dems queue up some other candidates other than Hillary and Elizabeth. I have Clinton fatigue and Warren is just nuts (her claim to fame? The Mother of Occupy Wall Street, really?), even some lib friends are pining for “Hey maybe the Dems need a Tea Party too !”. They do. If we’re going to lose, I’d really like it to be to a well-vetted, experienced and genuine love of country kinda a person this time. The politics-hating Jim Webb could be their “tea” …. Webb/Booker could be unbeatable.

    Here’s that debate schedule…..


    Gird your loins ! 😀

    • Glad you liked it. JFTR, though, I’m not picking Walker as the favorite. I just noticed how his appeal could cut if he does make it through to the primaries and thought it was interesting. I like handicapping races. *shrug*😀

      • DeniseVB says:

        We still have the media to contend with, it sure helped Obama😦 I don’t think Zombie Lincoln, JFK or Reagan could pull it off in the corporate media today. This little op-ed pretty much tells me what they don’t cover is our biggest problem today (of course, it wasn’t that Williams lied, but he never mentioned Gruber calling us stupid, yet plenty of behind the scenes of his daughter’s Peter Pan ?)


      • lizzy says:

        I would like to see a candidate emerge who would give an honest take on the economy. All of Obama’s financial numbers are cooked-rigged-massaged. Between offshoring and automation decent jobs are disappearing like dinosaurs. Actual solutions to problems would be appreciated.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      They are Girded. 😆

  8. DeniseVB says:

    Remember? I do. That’s crazy Beck and his chalkboards. This is circa ’09 I believe……sound familiar now?

    The blog is run by veterans, they do a pretty good job of piecing together Obama’s foreign policy and military fails without going full infowars😉

  9. votermom says:

    The pic is authorizing me.

  10. lyn says:

    As a Fannibal, all I can say is: “Eat the elite.”

  11. foxyladi14 says:

    Thank you Lola.
    This is a fantastic post. 🙂

  12. foxyladi14 says:

    Is John growing a pair? 😀

  13. SHV says:

    “high school graduation rate rose 2.7 percentage points to 78.2 percent, the highest level in more than three decades based on a measurement called Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR).”
    And how many of those “graduates” are functionally illiterate?

    • DeniseVB says:

      Or being taught what to think, not how to think ? I know that’s the big problem with elite colleges now. At least those giving credit for “protesting”.

  14. Constance says:

    New England Elites are actually only New England elitists. So far as I can tell they don’t perform at an elite level but they do seek to elevate themselves above the “stupid” unindoctrinated masses. Our country is screwed up and has massive debt and it is the Ivy indoctrinated elitists who have created the mess. In my book not being Ivy indoctrinated is a big big plus, and not wasting your time finishing college is a very reasonable choice and can represent a thoughtful decision. We don’t need more of the same.

  15. leslie says:

    I just received my emailed “The Progressive” newsletter. In it was “Rebecca Kemble’s gut-wrenching take on Walker’s path of destruction: it’s his sure ticket to becoming a GOP hero.”
    One of the comments referred to Walker’s “bright white skin” and saying that, and his destructive governing of Wisconsin, will make him a darling of the GOP. The comment closed with this sentence: “We are a deeply racist country”.
    I wrote a reply to that comment – I have no idea whether it will be accepted and included in the letter. But I reminded the writer that the ones who continue to mention skin color are the Dems and Progressives. And that it appears that if we are a “deeply racist country” it isn’t coming from this side of the national conversation.

  16. DeniseVB says:

    OT: Bracing for “Octavia”. Predicting 3-8 inches of snow through Tues. (Stop laughing Northeasters, this equates to 12 feet of your snow here😛 )

    • leslie says:

      NW Indiana and SW Michigan just had blizzard-like conditions The traffic was restricted to emergency vehicles. My daughter had just arrived at her BFF’s home at the northern end of this storm front and has been stranded since Friday night. But she is at least in a warm, safe place. She was planning to drive back today, but I’m trying to persuade her to stay put. she is head strong but not stupid. I hope she remains so. I know she is needed at work tomorrow in Chicago. I hope she realizes that she is more necessary to our lives than to her job.

    • elliesmom says:

      If you could just keep it there long enough to wring all of the snow out of the sky, Denise, that would be very nice, OK? It’s supposed to hit us on Wednesday. We’re just seeing the sun after 24 hours of snow, wind, thunder, and lightning. The snow has now completely buried my 4ft high fence, and I have 10ft long 8″wide icicles hanging from my roof on the south side if my house. #freeelleismomfromhericepalace

      • 49erDweet says:

        Cherry blossom pollen was wafting in the breeze yesterday in Monterey and people were complaining about it. I didn’t hit them but i sure glared at them for you easties.

    • Constance says:

      That’s wild. This morning on my walk (Seattle) I was taking pictures of the daffodils and crocus that are already up. This is certainly not normal for us but I like it better than snow!

  17. 1539days says:

    I think Walker ticks the right boxes, which seems to be lacking among other candidates. Jeb Bush is also a governor, but his signature issue is amnesty. Chris Christie has a lot of problems in general (and in the primaries). The really neat thing about Walker is that he knew what he wanted to do when he was elected (change the balance of union negotiations so local governments could actually bargain instead of capitulate) and got reelected (twice) because people ultimately supported what he did.

    If you look at the electoral system over the last decade, the Democrats have figured out how to target votes to win national elections at the cost of local ones. If they had a lot of competitive Senate races in 2004, Democrats wouldn’t have put the effort into getting Obama elected. If the GOP keeps looking for the brass ring of the White House, they could be disappointed. If they try to get the elusive veto-proof majority in the Senate, they could control the budget regardless of the president.

    This is the important point. In any “swing” state, there is usually a big city or two. Those cities generally have apartment complexes with a high density of Democrats. By targeting a couple dozen city blocks and harassing everyone to vote until election day, they can turn almost any state in a presidential election. This is only possible because of early voting, a process that only exists to extend the harassment period of people who haven’t voted yet in Democratic locations.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Also, this amnesty thing with automatic voting rights and IRS refunds are concerning. You know how those 6-9 million votes will swing ?

    • leslie says:

      Early voting in Chicago began today (I think). This morning when I turned on the tv for the news, I was greeted with the Mayoral debate. It was interesting and I was continuously distressed by the limited choices “the people” are offered. One candidate couldn’t string 4 words together to create a simple sentence. Another harangued the mayor. Rahmbo, repeatedly. But when asked for his plans could only repeat his mantra, “I am the man of all the people” . But could they – any of them – put forth a plan? I swear, Rahmbo looked good. One of them (an AA) accused the mayor of creating a situation “worse than when he came into office”. and then said that “Barack” should stay out of this election. That the only reason bronco was involved was because the mayor “is in trouble here”. Honestly, Chicago will be worse off with any of the yahoos who are running against him.
      It pains me to say this,, but if I had to vote in that election (and I can’t) I’d have to vote for Emanuel.

    • Check out the last link in the last full paragraph of my post. The GOP tested this in Texas with Abbott last year, and they were successful. Now you can say Texas is a comfortably red state, but they increased their margins among nonvoters, women, and Hispanics by quite a bit with micro-messaging /GOTV. If they do that in 2016 at the national level, it won’t matter what the map looked like in 2012. It’ll effectively counter-balance the apartment complex approach.

      • 1539days says:

        Remember, Abbot had money on his side because it was a statewide election with national implications. Davis was a lousy candidate and the Obama “all money is mine” national funding strategy thwarted her campaign relatively early. The GOP definitely has more tricks up their sleeve. If you look at 2014, they had a two pronged approach. Get as many inoffensive middle of the road Republicans into primaries and train the ideological Tea Party types to win elections. This was the case with Joni Ernst. She won a primary by castrating a bull and the GOP swooped in and made sure she wouldn’t say something in the media that would destroy her in a general election.

        The fundamental flaw is that the GOP does not legislate things that will help their party. They also don’t fight things Democrats do to help theirs. Early voting helps Democrats, especially when they can see who voted early and strike them off lists. Military ballots help Republicans, and our military is constantly screwed over late ballots. Corporate money is evil, yet big union money gets a pass. The Stimulus was free money for all the groups who voted for Obama. If the GOP was more careful about this stuff, they wouldn’t have to push a boulder up a mountain every election.

        • IIRC, they didn’t pull Davis’ money until pretty late in the game. Polls were showing a competitive race until she went after his wheelchair. They effectively used that to paint the taint of victim on him, which is another useful strategy Dems have used that Reps could co-opt.

          I agree they need better governing strategy to lay some groundwork. We’ll see if they recognize this and move to take action on it.

        • Of course, none of this accounts for what’s going to happen on the other side. I’m not convinced Hillary is running. She could just as easily be sucking up all the oxygen to make way for a last minute surprise candidate. She could be planning to try to lay a sexism trap to prompt the gender constituency of the Dems, but I don’t think that’ll play. I think the ongoing debates about campus rape and gamer-gate show that young men will walk off the plantation if the dems try to play the gender-victim card.

          • 1539days says:

            Remember the rumor that the Clintons convinced Wesley Clark to run in 2004 because they were afraid Howard Dean might win the general election and they wanted the White House available for Hillary in 2008?

  18. DeniseVB says:

    Here’s a great rant … hope the GOP operatives read it for the pure battleground tactics of dealing with Dem gotchas.


  19. HELENK3 says:

    I had to post this here

    the kanye west jokes are not going away

  20. lyn says:

    “Life of a King” is a good film and rents for 99 cents at amazon.

  21. DeniseVB says:

    Well, well, well, protest we must ? The signs all look professional to me. Any real “journalists” dare approach and interview to ask who hired them and how much they’re being paid ? Nah, didn’t think so.

  22. elliesmom says:

    It doesn’t matter who the Republicans run. If it’s a white person, he or she will be racist. If it’s a black person, he or she will be an Uncle Tom. If they don’t run a woman, they’ll be sexist. If they do, she’ll be dumb as a bag of rocks. The best offense and defense is, “Is that all you’ve got?” and move on.

    • 1539days says:

      You know how we waterboard and put Special Forces under harsh conditions for training? That’s what Republicans need. They should learn that the media are spies for the Democrats, they are not their buddies and their only goals is to make Republicans look bad. If they thought about that during every interview, but made sure not to openly bash them every time, it would help.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I’m so ready to start my own country. The US is so divided and Obama’s making sure the next President can’t put it back together really sucks. Should the Dem be the oppo party, they will do so with all the hate and venom of the past 8 years, only it will be more profitable to them. Unfortunately I read somewhere that the Dems have been hijacked by the far left’s vile progs which are only 7% of the party. Sounds about right ? Oh, and the media.

      The first Civil War wasn’t only about slavery, same type of heads were butting in the early 19th century. I’m glad I’ve picked the side with the guns.😉

  23. DeniseVB says:

    Ouch, MoDo’s column….not sure if it’s anti-Clinton or anti-David Brock, but ouch……


  24. DeniseVB says:

    Well, if I’m going to be a “thread killer” I might as well go out BIG 😉

  25. swanspirit says:

    Only 704 days left until Obama is out of office.

  26. DeniseVB says:

    Ok, one more……the #SNL40 show pissed me off, so disappointing. Stay off twitter if you don’t want to be spoiled. I’ve been a fan since the first, and yes it was amazing/shocking at the time, show debut 1975, (when Lola was about 3, so I’m back on topic😉 )…… they ran montages of “highlights” faster than blinking for each “highlight” skit…lots of boring filler, so if you include the self-promoting NBC stars/commercials perhaps 15 minutes of “squeeeeeee” out whole freaking 4 and 1/2 hour (including the insipid “NBC Kissing their own ass” Red Carpet “pre-game” show) it’s been a long night. <—- sh*t, did I just win the longest sentence award, rats. Here's my one more…..

    • 1539days says:

      It was a pretty star studded special considering how little promotion it got and the death slot it was in. Were Dennis Miller and Victoria Jackson barred from the show? I saw a glimpse of Nora Dunn in one skit, I’m pretty sure she’s on the banned list, too.

      Making the special a live event hurt more than helped.

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