HEY, ALL YOU SERIOUS JOURNALIST TYPES! Want to be useful? Here’s a question Scott Walker really needs to answer about Murphy’s astonishing “Koch’d up” conversation with him:
Surprisingly, Walker has already been asked repeatedly about his admission that “we thought about that” when Murphy suggest planting agents provocateurs among the Wisconsin protesters. Even more surprisingly, Walker has essentially fessed up to considering the idea, and dropping it because it was strategically a loser. While he has made weak statements that it would have been wrong, he made no such protestation to “Koch.” But there’s another aspect here that needs pursuing: In his responses Walker has implicated legislators (presumably Wisconsin Republican legislators) and his own staff in suggesting the wildly illegal tactic. Who are they?
Here are Walker’s statements on the subject, first from his press conference immediately following the story’s revelation, the duration of which was actually shorter than the call itself:
“The fact of the matter is, people have brought up all sorts of different options. And as you saw, if you’ve listened to the tape, we put that down…. That’s something while others have brought up as a consideration, and we’ve had all sorts of options brought to us by staff, by the lawmakers, by people from all across the state, but as you’ve heard on the tape, we dismissed that and said that wasn’t a good idea.”
Who? Which staff? Which lawmakers?
As we’ve heard on the tape, the idea to infiltrate peaceful demonstrations with troublemaking thugs was dismissed as a bad idea strategically. There was no moral or ethical concern noted whatsoever.
Here he is getting a bit of a thrashing from Greta Van Susteren, of all people:
GRETA: But you thought about it.
WALKER: Well, we did, we had people contact–I had people–I even had lawmakers and others suggesting riling things up. What I pointed out increasingly, and I’ve said it all over the media and I’ve said it in all my interviews, is that we’ve had a civil discourse here in the state of Wisconsin.
Again: Which lawmakers? Which people? Who?
On Meet the Press, Walker tried some kind of Jedi mind trick, ending up his answer as if he were actually scolding someone else
who was guilty of his transgression:
MR. GREGORY: It was suggested by someone who was a liberal blogger that you might think about planting troublemakers into the crowd. And you said quote, “We thought about that.” Is that right? You really thought about trying to bust up physically these protests?
GOV. WALKER: No, we thought, as the call continues and I’ve said repeatedly, we, we rejected that. But we have people all the time who contact us for and against this bill, and you can imagine people with all sorts of ideas and suggestions, and we look at everything that’s out there. But the bottom line is, we rejected that because we have had a civil discourse. We’ve had, you know, a week ago, 70,000 people, we had more than that yesterday, and yet we haven’t had problems here. We haven’t had disturbances. We’ve just had very passionate protesters for and against this bill, and that’s OK. That’s a very Midwestern thing. But we’re not going to allow anybody to come in from outside of this state and try and disrupt this debate. They can inform it, but we’re not going to allow them to disrupt this debate and take the focus off the real issue here. And the issue is, the people in Wisconsin, particularly those 14 state senators, need to come home and have the debate here in the state Capitol.
We’re not going to allow them? Who the hell is “them”? Not to mention that “we rejected that because we’ve had a civil debate” is a causal inversion. They’ve had a civil debate because they rejected that.
Walker is answering “Yes” when asked if he considered—with others—the tactic of disrupting peaceful demonstrations by sending in thugs disguised as protestors. And so far, the media has reacted to that admission thusly:
MR. GREGORY:All right. Governor Walker, we will leave it there. Thank you very much.