Alex Altman explains:
Strip away the massive spending and the bare-knuckle tactics and the spectacle of a state torn in two. At bottom, this was an election about what kind of politician Americans prize. Walker won not despite his refusal to compromise but because of it. He cast himself as a politician of conviction, even when his convictions might not be popular. Voters may bemoan the absence of bipartisanship, but the truth is that most prefer their elected leaders to be ideologues. As a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed last week, a solid majority, including two-thirds of Republicans and 55% of independents, favors a President who fights rather than compromises. As Alexis de Tocqueville said, we get the government we deserve.In other words, Walker didn't cave to the media, like John McCain did. And he didn't compromise his principles (how's that Medicare prescription drug plan working out, George?).
In his mild-mannered way, Walker embodies the spirit of pugnacity that has overtaken his party. (Even its presidential nominee is embracing it, with stunts like heckling David Axelrod’s Boston press conference.) “I’ve never seen him compromise,” says Mordecai Lee, a former Democratic assemblyman and political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
When bedlam erupted in Madison last winter over Walker’s collective-bargaining restrictions, critics said the governor, gripped by this sort of ideological fervor, had picked a kamikaze mission in a state with a deep tradition of progressive politics. “I stood up and made a stand,” Walker told TIME in a May interview. But political courage and political opportunism can be the same thing. By starting a fight with public unions, which are long-standing Republican foes, Walker made some powerful friends — who went on to fund his recall defense and make him a national star.
And, let's get real: WINNING made him a national star.
Scott Walker made the tough choices. And didn't waiver when all hell was thrown at him.
My kinda politician.
Now, our attention turns to Mitt. Let's see what he's made of.