Scott Walker: My many changes in positions are not flip-flopping
Scott Walker has been accused of being a "flip-flopper" for changing positions on many major policy issues over a short period of time. I have such a deep, fundamental respect for Mr. Walker, to the effect that, for purposes of this article, I want to accept anything he says unquestioningly.
Walker conceded that he switched his position on immigration reform, after saying earlier this month that he no longer backs proposals that would allow those who live in the U.S. illegally a path to citizenship, after supporting those plans in 2013. “This is one where we listened to people all across the country, particularly border governors,” Walker said.
So two years ago he was for amnesty, and now he is against it, because he listened to border governors. Perhaps two years ago he didn't realize the danger posed by legalizing millions of unassimilated illegal aliens. But Scott Walker is the kind of open-minded guy who can have a conversation with a border governor, and be open to new facts, and suddenly realize, at the age of 47, "Hey, this amnesty thing for millions of illegals I thought was so good for years as governor and years before that as county executive? Maybe it's not as good as I thought!" That doesn't make him a flip-flopper; that makes him a deep thinker.
“I’ve always been a supporter of Right to Work, I was a sponsor of it,” Walker said. “I gave 300,000 union workers in my state the right to work four years ago, and I just signed it into law.” But for years, Walker had indicated he had no interest in pushing legislation that would prohibit agreements between businesses and unions that require employees to pay union dues. “My point is I’m not pushing for it,” Walker said during his re-election campaign last year. “I’m not supporting it in this session.”
There's no inconsistency here at all. Scott Walker only said in his re-election campaign that he didn't support right-to-work legislation in the next particular legislative session. But he supports it generally, as a concept, much as we do world peace, or free ice cream. Maybe he would have supported it three legislative sessions later, or four or five. The point is, if you accept his word that he philosophically supported right-to-work, you can't see any inconsistency there, either.
Walker has also come under scrutiny on his commitment to opposing abortion. Some social conservatives has highlighted his 2014 campaign ad which said he supports “legislation to increase safety and provide more information for a woman considering her options. The bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”
Scott Walker has said he is pro-life. I believe him. I believe he is personally pro-life, and I am 100% certain that he would never get an abortion. And he wants women to have the choice of abortion, but to choose life. That may technically be considered pro-choice, but that position is as close to being pro-life as you can be while still being pro-choice.
On education, Walker’s first budget funded the implementation of the Common Core standards, now anathema to the GOP base. Walker has since backed away from supporting the standards, calling for a commission to review it in his state.
So if he supported Common Core in his first year but opposed it in the next four years, that would mean he opposed Common Core 80% of the time. Eighty percent is pretty consistent.
Walker, who is on record opposing Ethanol mandates in Wisconsin, said last week in Iowa that he supports maintaining the Renewable Fuels Standard, before gradually phasing it out. Asked about the discrepancy, Walker said, “I didn’t enact it in Wisconsin.”
“My position was about Wisconsin and my position was clear,” he continued. “What we’ve done in terms of what we said in Iowa was pretty clear as for going forward. Eventually we want the standard phased out, but right now it needs to be in place for Iowa.”
This makes perfect sense. He didn't want ethanol in Wisconsin but wants it in Iowa. They are completely different places; check a map and see. I would be fascinated to know his views on ethanol for other states, or if he has a county-by-county breakdown, a map of his policy views by state, county, and municipality.
People think they see all these sharp, 180-degree changes in policy right before Walker ran for president, but I don't see that at all. I think he consistently believes in the same things but simply says different things. In that light, I can see supporting Scott Walker for president because he is at least very honest with himself. And what can be more important than that?
Pedro Gonzales is the editor of Newsmachete.com, the conservative news site.