At one time, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was flying high. He was leading the polls, and the unbending governor who destroyed his home state had garnered the hard right’s support. That was a time before the Teflon Don came roaring into the race, stealing both Walker’s support and poll numbers. It’s been a slow motion decline for the former king ever since.
The Modern Know Nothings
There existed a party in the United States that advocated an end to the influence of immigrants and sought to curb immigration and naturalization. This party, open only to white Protestants, was empowered by fears at the time that immigrants were overwhelming the country. They promised to “purify” America, because those immigrants were hostile to American values.
This party was founded in 1846, when it split from the Whigs and called itself the Know Nothing Party. The immigrants they were seeking to curb the power of were Irish immigrants, along with other Catholics from Eastern Europe, who weren’t considered “white” people at the time.
The talking point for the Republican Party now, courtesy of Donald Trump and “follow the leader” syndrome, is ending birthright citizenship. Trump wants to do it through an constitutional amendment or through aggressively challenging existing statutes supporting it. And because everyone is playing “keep up with Trump,” the others soon jumped in.
Jeb Bush, he of the Healthcare iPlan, made a remark about anchor babies, and then clarified that he was talking about Asian anchor babies, not Mexican anchor babies, because there’s no way Jeb Bush would talk about his people like that. Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson and the majority of the GOP 2016 field are all pandering to the modern incarnation of the Know Nothing Party and are calling for an end to “anchor babies” as well.
So where’s that leave Scott Walker? Sure he’s on board, right?
That’s a good question, because there’s a decent chance that even Scott Walker himself doesn’t know.
With that one word, candidate Scott Walker dodged one of the most pressing questions to members of the xenophobic right-wing.
Specifically, Walker dodged a question by NBC’s Kasie Hunt, when Hunt asked whether he supported ending birthright citizenship. The fact that a “yeah” was all he could muster in the face of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and Jeb Bush’s epic racial failures speaks volumes in and of itself.
Walker added that it’s “about enforcing the laws of this country,” apparently oblivious that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is law. When asked whether he would support deporting children of undocumented immigrants, however, Walker quickly backpedaled on his milquetoast answer:
HUNT: We should end birthright citizenship?
WALKER: Yeah, to me it’s about enforcing the laws in this country. And I’ve been very clear, I think you enforce the laws, and I think it’s important to send a message that we’re going to enforce the laws, no matter how people come here we’re going to enforce the laws in this country.
HUNT: And you should deport the children of people who are illegal immigrants?
WALKER: I didn’t say that — I said you have to enforce the law, which to me is focusing on E-Verify.
Imagine being the campaign aide stuck with trying to translate that word salad. Someone managed, though, and the “clarification” was similar to what others were saying:
We have to enforce the laws, keep people from coming here, enforce E-Verify to stop the jobs magnet, and by addressing the root problems we will end the birthright citizenship problem.
That’s totally what Walker said.
Walker, being the astute individual he is, labored tirelessly in researching the issue, reading unbiased sources like Western Journalism, Breibert, The Blaze, the Conservative Tribune, and others, so when he was asked the question again by CNBC’s John Harwood last week, he had an answer ready that would reflect his capabilities as a leader:
“I’m not taking a position on it one way or the other,” the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful said. Only after securing America’s borders, he explained, is it appropriate to address the issue of birthright citizenship.
And there you have it. He has no opinion. If this doesn’t kill him, this weird, passionless approach might be enough to make him the next Mitt Romney.
Feature image via Flickr