Destroying Wisconsin for Personal Gain
Issue of the Week
Whether you like Gov. Scott Walker or not, you have to concede that he has gotten farther than any Wisconsin politician in recent history in the Republican presidential nominating process. He has consistently polled in the top five or even top three among the major Republican candidates. The explanation for his success is fairly simple. As people who have watched Walker’s political rise understand, he has always been very clever politically, saying and doing whatever he had to say or do in order to further his climb up the Republican ladder. Unfortunately it is often at the expense of the citizens of the state of Wisconsin.
One of his latest efforts to win support from the far right wing of the Republican party is to shift hard right on the question of woman’s reproductive choice. That is a bit of a feat since he has always been very far to the right on this issue. Last Thursday night’s debate was a case in point. Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked Walker a simple question: Would you allow an exception for abortion if the mother’s life were at risk? Now if you are truly “pro-life” you would save the life of the mother who is currently alive. Walker refused to answer that straightforward question and instead attacked the question as a “false choice” and said, “There is always a better option out there.” Of course he didn’t explain what that better option is because there isn’t one. As doctors will point out, there are situations where there are only those two options, perform the abortion or let the mother die. Even though more than four out of five Americans support an exception in anti-abortion legislation to “save the life of the mother,” Walker didn’t care. He was pitching to the small percentage of Americans who would rather see the mother die than to allow her to have an abortion, but this small percentage of Americans is also a large percentage of the extreme right-wing Republican faction that is active in Republican primary elections. If it were only talk that would not be a big problem, but again his desire to please the far right wing is going to become action that will further hurt Wisconsin.
Walker and the “mean spirited” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, are supporting legislation that will make it a crime with severe punishment for anyone who is involved with the sale and use of fetal body parts. Currently there are laws preventing any organization or person from profiting in the sale of fetal body parts, however the medical establishments can recoup their costs if they transfer fetal tissue necessary for important medical research. Politicians like Walker and Vos grew up at a time in this country when there was no fear of contracting polio, for example, unlike the time when their parents grew up and were afraid to leave their homes as children for fear of contracting polio. That all changed because Dr. Jonas Salk used fetal tissue to produce the first polio vaccines, and currently there is still a long list of lifesaving vaccines that are produced with fetal tissue. This legislation will prevent our medical schools from continuing their very noble lifesaving research.
There is actually one more political step in this right-wing political drama where Walker and Vos are just well-behaved little foot soldiers. The national right-wing political groups have decided that Planned Parenthood will be the new bogeyman for 2016 similar to the way Obamacare was used by the tea party thugs who disrupted hundreds of congressional town hall meetings in 2010. So when you hear Walker and Vos continually attacking Planned Parenthood with every nasty invective they know, you can smile knowing that they are not really that nasty or dumb, but rather little, well-behaved followers repeating the talking points that the national right-wing political groups that write checks for their campaigns are providing to them.