Time to Start Swinging

If you’re Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Each one of Walker’s three television ads to date feature someone in the education field (teacher, school board member) explaining that they are standing behind Walker for making the tough choices to balance the state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit. Two of the ads end with Walker himself calmly reassuring voters that Wisconsin’s best days are ahead. (The teacher in the second ad recently revealed she has been receiving threats for appearing in a pro-Walker advertisement.)

The ads are well produced. They make excellent, well-reasoned points and adequately defend Walker’s position. They are also a complete and total waste of money.

As an old campaign guru once said, “nobody ever successfully defended anything; there is only attack, attack, and more attack.” Walker is fighting the battle for his political life with a shield and not a sword; every dollar he wastes trying to explain his policy to the voters of Wisconsin, who have been saturated with stories about his policy for almost a year now, is a dollar he can’t spend aggressively moving votes in his direction.

Walker can no longer run against a concept, such as public sector collective bargaining. He needs to run against a bad guy — and the nomination for Wisconsin’s most obnoxious union loyalist currently stands as a 1,000-person tie.

So if it’s a waste of money to spend it defending his position, how should Governor Walker’s team be using money spent on advertising you ask?  Well how about educating Wisconsinites about those protestors who have been at it since mid-February.

Hours of footage exists of protesters screaming and being dragged feet-first from committee hearings. One young woman chained her head to a railing in the Assembly chambers while floor session was going on. Walker has received death threats and his children have been targeted on Facebook. Rabid union demonstrators have been arrested for pouring beer on lawmakers. Organized labor loyalists have disrupted Special Olympics award ceremonies and booed Walker at the state’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Union misanthropes are free to scream expletives at 14-year old girls.

In other words instead of  utilizing “reason”, utilize “emotion” by reminding voters how the unions and the left have been acting.  It could be very effective when this tidbit is considered.

The message is simple: If Walker is recalled, these people win. Their grotesque tactics will be vindicated, further ripping the state apart. Wisconsin will cease being the state its residents love; it will instead be a place where threats and intimidation reign.

Wisconsinites get this. When the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (my outfit) asked the state’s residents what they thought of the Occupy movement (which some would argue emanated from the Wisconsin collective bargaining protests), only 34% had a favorable impression.

When it comes to the recall effort, a valid point is made.

Scott Walker has a fire that could soon consume him. If he continues to appeal to reason while the unions appeal to emotion, he could soon hand the unions the nationwide win they have craved since he took office. It is now time for him to pull out his blowtorch and clear his path to victory. Until then, it is only his campaign money that he is lighting on fire.

The ultimate question is this: “Will  Mr. Schneider and others giving similar advice be listened to?”

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