Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Albert Burneko is probably the best political writer around right now.

He writes for Deadspin, a strange place to get political commentary until you realize that sports sites talk about everything, these days.

Here is the beginning of Albert Burneko's "Walk Into Lake Michigan Forever, Scott Walker," and you can almost imagine he lives in Wisconsin as he says:

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has abandoned his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He says he has been “called to lead by helping to clear the field,” but he was polling at around half a percent, which is to say that nobody is calling him to lead a goddamn thing. In a just world he would be the world leader in getting hit by trains; in a just world we wouldn’t know his name at all.
The New York Times says Walker once was “seen as all but politically invincible,” which seems maybe a tad overstated in reference to a shrimpy, pallid, balding twerp with a face like mashed potatoes and the oratorical skills and personal charisma of a jellyfish. It’s true that he was regarded as something of a rising star of the right not so long ago, thanks to his proud and endless cruelty to and contempt for workers and vulnerable people. He all butkilled Wisconsin’s public-sector unions with his “budget repair bill,” then pulled a hit on private-sector unions by signing a right-to-work law he’d denounced while campaigning; he needlessly turned away millions of dollars in federal food aid to his state’s poorest residents; he rammed through a (not-even-all-that-) crypto-racist voter ID law; he diverted state school fundingfrom public schools that educate the poor to private ones that educate the wealthy; he tried to eliminate the weekend! This is how one becomes a darling of the right in the United States. Unfortunately for him, though, an elected official will never be as good an avatar for America’s hatred of the poor as a pure capitalist—if nothing else, settling for a governor’s salary implies less than total commitment to the cause—and so he found himself outflanked by both Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina (failed capitalists both!) on the only front he had.

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