Consider the following from this profile of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (all emphasis mine):
Wisconsin may seem to the rest of the country like an unlikely catalyst, but to people who have watched the governor’s political rise through the years, the events of the week feel like a Scott Walker rerun, though on a much larger screen and with a much bigger audience.
Critics and supporters alike say Mr. Walker has never strayed from his approach to his political career: always pressing for austerity, and never blinking or apologizing for his lightning-rod proposals.
He regularly clashed with the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors over the past decade when he was that county’s elected executive. He pushed to privatize cleaning and food service workers and sought changes to pension and health contributions and workers’ hours. At one point, he proposed that the county government might want to consider, in essence, abolishing itself. It was redundant, he suggested.
“All I can think is, here we go again,” said Scott Larson, one of 14 Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin last week to block a vote on Mr. Walker’s call to cut benefits. Mr. Larson knows the governor well, having served on Milwaukee County’s board when Mr. Walker was the executive. He says that Mr. Walker is a nice guy on a personal level, “a good listener,” but that his politics are another matter.
“Unions have always been his piñata, over and over,” Mr. Larson said. “And this time I think he’s trying to out-right-wing the right wing on his way to the next lily pad.”
As the excerpt, and the highlighted material makes clear, Walker has been an open book as a politician. He has never tried to disguise his stance on the issues of the day, and if it can be said that “[u]nions have always been his piñata, over and over,” then one can hardly be taken by surprise by his stance on unions in general, or on public sector unions in particular.
And despite–or because of–this stance, the voters of Wisconsin elected him Governor in 2010, with a 6 point, 124,000-plus vote margin between himself and his opponent. Not a landslide, but not inconsequential either, especially given the fact that Walker has not shied away from stating clearly his public policy views. In doing so, the voters not only elected Walker, they endorsed his views, views he clearly articulated throughout his career in public life.
If Democrats want to oppose his views, that is their right, and their business. But it is one thing to oppose in good faith. It is quite another to ditch the state senate, the capital, and the state, in order to try to frustrate the democratic-republican process. This latter stance amounts to open defiance of the will of the voters. It seeks to frustrate government via temper tantrum. Here’s hoping that the voters of Wisconsin remember in 2014.