Scott Walker Proves His Foreign Policy Chops

After trying and failing to show that he has a grasp of foreign policy at CPAC by claiming that if he could take on 100,000 teachers, he can take on ISIS, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin went to Florida and spoke to the Club of Growth. And he made this rather bizarre argument about Ronald Reagan’s greatest foreign policy accomplishment:

Frayda Levin, a board member of the Club for Growth who moderated a question-and-answer session with Walker, said that after the governor met with top donors in New York last week, “the feedback was you were not prepared to speak about foreign policy.” What, Levin asked, was he doing to prepare to be president?

Walker responded by ticking through his recent itinerary of face time with foreign policy luminaries: a breakfast with Henry Kissinger, a huddle with George P. Shultz and tutorials at the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution.

But then Walker suggested that didn’t much matter.

“I think foreign policy is something that’s not just about having a PhD or talking to PhD’s,” he said. “It’s about leadership.”

Walker contended that “the most significant foreign policy decision of my lifetime” was then-President Ronald Reagan’s move to bust a 1981 strike of air traffic controllers, firing some 11,000 of them.

“It sent a message not only across America, it sent a message around the world,” Walker said. America’s allies and foes alike became convinced that Reagan was serious enough to take action and that “we weren’t to be messed with,” he said.

Okay, I think it’s time that we just concluded that Scott Walker isn’t very bright. This reminds me a lot of a conversation I had in the green room of a TV news show on a PBS station here in Michigan with a legislative aide to former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who was announcing on the show that he was running for governor (he lost, badly). And we’re watching the show on a TV in the room and every time Hoekstra says something, his aide was looking disgusted and shaking his head.

I said, “You don’t look happy with your boss’ performance.” He replied, “Off the record, right?” I said sure. And he said, “He’s an idiot. He gets these arguments in his head and he repeats them over and over again and it drives me crazy.” He said the one that his boss kept repeating those days was, “If wind energy was the key to energy security, the Netherlands would rule the world.” It wasn’t the only such conversation I ever had with an aide to a politician. Get a few drinks in them and the ones who know they work for an idiot will come out and tell you that. And this is not at all an unusual situation for them.

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  • eric

    Yeah, holy frakking god that’s a really bad answer. Most significant policy decisions since 1967, let’s see…does late stages of the Vietnam war ring a bell? Nixon opening relations with China? Iraq war 1 or 2? Toppling the government in Iraq? In Afghanistan? The US interventions during the breakup of Yugoslavia? Heck, even Reagan’s decision to trade arms for hostages was probably a more significant foreign policy decision than the air traffic dispute.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Fuck, I wish he’d just go over there and tell them to cease and desist.

    You know, like Sulla did to Mithradates. That’s the ticket: convince him that it’ll be his great moment to go down in the history of the empire.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I saw him walk past a credit union once. He punched it right in its shiny door. I hear he’s building a time machine, so that he can travel back and fight for the Confederacy. He can’t even eat onions, because they’re too close.

    &nbsp

    What I’m saying is, he really hates unions.

  • blf

    He has to do something to show his expertise. You can’t just assume he’s an expert since can’t see Russia from his house. So he hasn’t got any relevant experience.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kevin.long.9887 Kevin Long

    Yep, that’s why there were no attacks on American interests during Reagan’s term. Other than Beirut, KAL 007, Lockerbie, the Gulf of Sidra, the Berlin disco, a half-dozen or so hijackings, and numerous provocations by the USSR, the bad guys didn’t dare try anything while St. Ronnie was in charge.

  • caseloweraz

    Yeah, see there were these 11,000 people back then—air people—and they made a strike… It was an air strike. And Reagan busted it, he knocked it down. He wasn’t fooled. Fool me once…

  • John Pieret

    Well … if a president convinces the leaders of other countries that he is willing to go way overboard and risk his fellow citizens’ lives to prove a political point, it might make them wary of crossing the guy who has the largest military in the world. OTOH, it might make them think he is seriously nuts and/or senile and lead them to try and trick him to get what they want. Iran-Contra rather supports the second option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    So, bottom line is that Walker thinks “leadership” is all about crushing unions. I’m not surprised.

  • karmacat

    Walker is basically looking like a one-trick pony. His answer to any question is bust up unions, no matter whether the answer is relevant to the question.

  • Chiroptera

    When you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  • John Horstman

    Okay, I think it’s time that we just concluded that Scott Walker isn’t very bright.

    He’s not! He’s also one of the most corrupt politicians in recent memory (he might even go to jail for it – the investigations are held up in bogus legal challenges leveled by Right-wing political groups at the moment). If it wasn’t for the hypnotist-like power that two Right-wing talk radio assholes hold over our intensely-racist White rural/exurb population, he wouldn’t have won any of his gubernatorial elections. He is toast, possibly once the Republican primaries kick off for real, and definitely once the national campaign starts.

  • brucegee1962

    Yes…it definitely sounds like his recent surge in the polls mostly consists of “I don’t know much about him, so I’m sure he agrees with me on everything.”

  • eric

    @12. Or possbly, “nobody else is talking Presidency, so let’s talk about this guy.”

  • busterggi

    Unions is made up from foreigners, Amurkkkans make up Republics & Tea Parties.

  • dugglebogey

    That uneducated little fucker hates the shit out of unions, doesn’t he?

  • raven

    Walker certainly didn’t do much for Wisconsin. His track record on the economy and budgets is simply terrible.

    In terms of recovery from the Bush Great Recession, they rank low, 35. Wisconsin is running a $280 million deficit this year and projected $1 billion for each of the next two years.

    Meanwhile the adjacent state, Minnesota has a Democrat governor who raised taxes. They are rated 5th in recovery and running a $1 billion budget surplus.

    Walker must have to keep talking about union busting because he’s only done three things, cut state services, trashed the state’s budget and economy, and demolished a few unions.

  • Michael Heath

    President Reagan’s greatest foreign policy achievement, significantly contributing to the demise of the USSR in a way that also greatly reduced the threat of nuclear war, was dependent on his using a very liberal approach to diplomacy. So naturally modern-day conservatives are ignorant on understanding the root causes to his success.

    Instead most modern-day conservatives appear to delusionally believe President Reagan’s unhelpful threats early in this presidency, an approach Mr. Reagan quickly abandoned, were the primary reason the USSR was dismantled.

    Here Gov. Walker demonstrates he’s in Palin-ignoramus territory by not even referencing a foreign policy matter. I predict Pete Hoekstra will be his Sec. of State if Walker wins the presidency. [/snark]

  • Trebuchet

    You can’t just assume he’s an expert since can’t see Russia from his house. So he hasn’t got any relevant experience.

    But he’s pretty close to Canada, which has gay marriage, which makes them CommuNazis, right?

  • dean

    Reagan’s most notable foreign policy acts: getting 200 Marines killed in Beirut, starting a fake war in Grenada to make up for it, and selling weapons to terrorists form the White House then lying about it.

  • lorn

    Firing 11,000 air traffic controllers, whose main complaint was that the US air traffic control system was massively over designed capacity, an easily verifiable fact, and that this was degrading safety margins, another irrefutable fact, makes sense in a Keyser Söze, kill the innocent to prove you are dangerous and unpredictable, way. Reagan would have accomplished a similar effect, with far less risk to public safety, by stomping a kitten to death on camera before each fireside chat.

  • gshelley

    It makes sense in the world view of the people he is trying to appeal to I think – the ones who think Russia has been more aggressive because Obama is seen as weak, who think that Iran is chasing a nuclear weapon because Obama is seen as weak.

    So, good foreign policy is anything that makes people think you are strong, bad policy is anything that makes people think you are weak.

    It doesn’t need to be logical, or to make sense, or to follow from the actual facts

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  • Michael Heath

    dean writes:

    Reagan’s most notable foreign policy acts: getting 200 Marines killed in Beirut, starting a fake war in Grenada to make up for it, and selling weapons to terrorists form the White House then lying about it.

    The liberal version of BENGHAZI!

  • lpetrich

    Let’s see what might be something comparable for President Obama. Trying to impress President Putin by showing that he also can be tough on opposing oligarchs? Treating the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, etc. like Mikhail Khodorkovsky? Finding then guilty of dubious charges of influence-buying and sending them to an Alaskan prison camp for several years.

  • dingojack

    Marcus Ranum (#2) – or perhaps Wanker – er – Walker could try to play Gaius Popillius Laenas opposite some ISIL leader as the Seleucid Empire’s King Antiochus IV!

    Dingo

  • petrefax

    Ed, you know what “Off the record” means, right? Among other things, it means you’re not supposed to blog about it.

  • scienceavenger

    “I think foreign policy is something that’s not just about having a PhD or talking to PhD’s,” he said. “It’s about leadership.”

    IOW, Scott Walker is the real Bush 3.0

  • dean

    The liberal version of BENGHAZI!

    Except for the fact that the things I listed happened.

  • Michael Heath

    dean writes:

    Reagan’s most notable foreign policy acts: getting 200 Marines killed in Beirut, starting a fake war in Grenada to make up for it, and selling weapons to terrorists form the White House then lying about it.

    I respond:

    The liberal version of BENGHAZI!

    dean responds:

    Except for the fact that the things I listed happened.

    Um, so did Benghazi.

    The point is that all these events are used as red herrings to deflect attention away from the actual monumental foreign policy events the partisan would prefer to deflect attention away from rather than fully engaging about. In President Reagan’s case it’s his role in the demise of the Cold War. In President’s Obama’s case it’s ending the war in Iraq and resisting starting a war with Iran. That along with sending in significant U.S. ground troops in Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine.

  • Michael Heath

    Correction in bolded brackets:

    In President’s Obama’s case [monumental foreign policy events] it’s ending the war in Iraq and resisting starting a war with Iran. That along with [not] sending in significant U.S. ground troops in Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine.

  • dean

    The point is that all these events are used as red herrings to deflect attention away from the actual monumental foreign policy events the partisan would prefer to deflect attention away from rather than fully engaging about.

    Umm, no. We know now from Soviet records that were opened the collapse that the Soviet Union was tapped out prior to President Reagan doing anything. That administration’s role in bringing down the “Evil Empire” was greatly overstated by President Reagan’s fans, just as the level of incompetence shown by the current administration in Benghazi has been overly hyped.

    The Marines, the Grenada invasion purely for public relations, and the selling of arms to terrorists, on the other hand, have been amply documented, and are serious problems-again, except to the serious fans of President Reagan. (The aid to the Contras and waste of money on missile defense could also be listed as his “monumental” accomplishments.)