Does Scott Walker love America?

Rudy Giuliani, speaking at a Scott Walker fundraiser, with Walker present:

I do not believe – and I know this is a horrible thing to say – but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

Now we get to see whether Scott Walker is a man or not.

The smart money is on “Not.”

Footnote This came the same day as the Tweeted comment of another right-wing heart-throb, Dinesh D’Souza, saying of the President “You can take the boy out of the ghetto … ”

No, it’s not reasonable to hold everyone in a political movement liable for the comments of everyone else in that movement. But there’s a pattern here. At some point, Republican office-holders and office-seekers have to either disown the racism that plays so well to the party base, or own it. 

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

15 thoughts on “Does Scott Walker love America?”

  1. Giuliani is expressing perceptions widely held on the right. The key sentence in the rest of his remarks quoted in Politico is this one: "What’s wrong with this man that he can’t stand up and say there’s a part of Islam that’s sick?” The logic is that if you don't express your hatred of bad guys, you don't love the US. George W. Bush's Manichaean views (good-vs.evil, and we're good; if you're not with us you're against us, etc.) are much to be preferred, and so, apparently, the policies derived from them. I also note that Giuliani has still not abandoned his penchant for calling those who he disagrees with "sick."

  2. Sometimes I get a sense that people who vote for modern republicans have already accepted that they're like the scorpion, evil by nature. That's the only explanation I can see for the shrugs with which Most People greet each now step beyond the pale (ahem).

  3. The Barack Obama that exists in the heads of Republicans is the one that Clint Eastwood was talking to at the RNC in Miami in 2012: a foul-mouthed, incompetent America hater. Imaginary reality is more real to them than actual reality. There is an empty chair in their brains, and into that chair they project their hatreds, look at what they have projected, and gird themselves to defend against it. That Eastwood moment was the perfect metaphor at the time and remains so today.

  4. Punahou and Columbia and Harvard are ghettos? Damn, I could not be more delighted that the standard of living in America has risen so much the past six years as to make that so!!

  5. I know some Romney voters, and not one of them would have a problem with either of those remarks. The over-the-top hatred and contempt for the President that's been modeled by conservative thought leaders has been thoroughly mainstreamed. Even the ones who aren't themselves consumed by hatred live in a world in which these views represent simply the conservative end of the respectable mainstream.

  6. So Rudy Giuliani is saying, in effect, that Obama’s a foreigner (from Kenya, I suppose), and slimy little worm and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza is calling him a nigger. Nice stuff.

  7. The answer to the question posed in the headline is no. Giulani and Scott profoundly dislike and fear America as it actually is, with the creative diversity of ethnicities, values and cultures that Barack and Michelle Obama exemplify. The part of Thomas Jefferson that they identify with is the slave-owning, sexually exploitative, imperialist hypocrite, not the impassioned deist advocate of the universal rights of man and the dream of a constitutional democracy.

    Is the converse true of progressives? That they dislike and fear the redneck culture of white heartland American men? In my experience of American progressives, including you and the other RBCers, the answer is no. American progressives have a quite long laundry list of things they object to in that culture – racism, misogyny, isolationism, gun fetishism, and so on – but it is a list, not an anathema. Tom Wolfe's sympathetic portrayals of Appalachian stock car racers and fans, and macho test pilots and astronauts, are typical not eccentric of Wolfe's liberal cohorts. Much of that culture has been woven by Hollywood into the general American self-image.

        1. Well, for a start, someone who hasn’t based his whole career on mocking liberals, and perhaps into the bargain someone who didn’t openly declare his support for George W. Bush. Fair enough?

  8. I just started a new job (yay! finally!) and the only problem I have is that all of my coworkers are right wing nut jobs. Their all very competent and very nice so long as we aren't talking politics, but yesterday I was treated to the ideas that the housing crisis was caused by Jimmy Carter letting black people have mortgages, the 14th Amendment didn't make federal law supreme over state law (technically true, since John Marshall had made that clear decades prior) and that "Obama is a traitor." It's frustrating but I'm keeping my mouth shut.

    Fortunately, after 2-3 weeks of training I'll only have to interact with any of them for 20 minutes or so a day and we can stay on topics where the conversation will be more pleasant.

    1. Yes, congratulations!!!

      I hope you find some areas of common ground to talk about. Perhaps baseball, or comic book heroes, or favorite candy from childhood. There must be something.

  9. Astronauts, Test pilots. Stock cars. Medals of Honour. Eastwood's Iwo Jima and Gran Torino – maybe not American Sniper. And my congratulations too.

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