Yeah, Scott Walker Is a Social Troglodyte. This Is News?


Greg Sargent:

The other day, Scott Walker declared that if the Supreme Court rules for a Constitutional right to gay marriage, he’d support a Constitutional amendment allowing states to ban it. This stance would not have been surprising coming from Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, or Ted Cruz. But coming from a self-styled reform governor who represents a new generation of leaders, it turned a lot of talking heads.

Here’s my take on why heads should probably stop turning. First of all, constitutional amendments are the last refuge of scoundrels. It’s the ultimate in mood affiliation campaigning, backed by the sure knowledge that it’s going nowhere and requires no actual work from the candidate aside from occasional applause lines about supporting it.

Second, this is one of those areas where Republican candidates get something of a free pass. Campaign reporters all know that this is the kind of thing Republican candidates “have” to do, and they take it as sort of an elaborate lodge handshake, rather than a truly antediluvian position that Scott Walker actually cares about. So they shrug their shoulders, dispatch a few paragraphs about it, and move on. Just another day in GOP-land.

Now, if they could find anything about some Walker relative being gay, or perhaps Walker owning a speedboat, or possibly honing campaign strategy in secret with the help of polling numbers—well, that would be a story. And if he controlled a foundation that gave billions of dollars to worthy causes? Well hold the presses! That would be flood-the-zone news indeed.

NOTE TO CAMPAIGN REPORTERS: Scott Walker is actually a pretty full-blown evangelical tea party type. He sands the edges off occasionally, but not really that often. Nobody should have been truly surprised by this.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.