Scott Walker and the Fake David Koch

I assume you’ve heard plenty about this story by now, but have you listened to the whole tape or read the transcript for yourself? You should check it out if you haven’t.

There’s lots of juicy stuff in here, but forget all the talk about baseball bats and provocateurs. The caller tries to bait Walker with these suggestions, but he doesn’t bite. He’s sucking up to the boss, so he doesn’t contradict him, but he does  deflect the baseball bat line, and he explains his reasoning for not wanting to provoke the protesters.

It’s not a ringing defense of the right to assemble, but it’s a plain statement that he doesn’t agree with sending in the troublemakers. Good for the Madison police chief who’s speaking up about this, but it’s not the main story- it’s a distraction.

One more distraction is at the very end of the call, where the fake Koch invites Walker to California to show him a good time, and lets it be known that he has vested interests in the outcome. It would be an ethics violation if Walker took him up on the trip, but it’s purely hypothetical. People are quoting Walker’s first few words after the “vested interests” comment, but in the context of his full response, they’re pretty much filler.

Twice the fake Koch tries to bring it around to money or rewards, and twice Walker comes back by talking about doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Anyone who’s quoting the “Well, that’s just it” part out of context is lying to you.

So what’s worth paying attention to?

The good stuff is how he lays out the pressure tactics and trickery he’s got lined up. The discussion of national strategy will make a good opposition ad when he claims to have the state’s interests in mind.

Walker does solicit “Koch” to get “a message put out” for his supporters in swing areas, presumably in an election. Koch controls political funds that can’t legally be spent in coordination with candidates or parties. There could be a campaign finance violation here, but the language is probably too imprecise.

My favorite, however, is that Walker thinks the definitive moment of Reagan’s presidency was when he fired the air traffic controllers. This was apparently the first crack in the Berlin Wall. I kind of follow his logic, but no.

(Aside: Reagan didn’t defeat the Soviet Union. George Kennan did it in the embassy with a telegram.)

The whole thing is very interesting and very worth reading, both for the inside view of Walker’s strategy and for a demonstration of the poor quality of candidate the teabaggers can drum up. My sense is that Walker knows how to fight, but governing is completely beyond him. His administration will largely be a failure, but he could inflict a lot of damage on the way down if he’s not stopped.

The Rites of Dysnomia

As First Performed At The Housewarming Of Cabaret Brainwash
by pdx0 and friends

Note: check out this awesome band called Dysnomia!

Dysnomia is the daughter and moon of Eris. She represents the spirit of lawlessness. There’s no evidence that the Greeks worshipped her in any way; she was more of a philosophical or poetic conceit. Therefore, this may be the first rite ever held in her honor. How’s it feel to be a pioneer?

Step 1:
Announce a party. Promise everyone a lavish invocation of Dysnomia.

Step 2:
Blow off planning any rites until the last possible minute. Hastily scribble some notes on an envelope the day of the party.

Step 3:
Get stoned and forget.

Step 4:
When a drunken party-goer reminds you about the Rites, first say, “Oh shit!” Then hurriedly grab your silly hat, two or three dollars, a joint and whatever other ceremonial crap you require.

Step 5:
Stand on a milk crate and focus the attention of the party upon yourself. Depending on your condition, and that of your guests, this may be done by whistling, ringing a bell, or shouting “Heeey yooouuuu guuuyyyssss!!!!”

Step 6:
Loudly proclaim,

All hail Dysnomia!

Your guests will probably shout a bunch of meaningless drivel in return. This is good.

Step 7:
Light the joint, take a good deep hit, and pass it. While it’s going around, take a dollar bill from your pocket and light it on fire. Invite your guests to step up and burn their own money. Many will be too afraid or too greedy, so burn another bill or two to encourage them. If no one goes along, call them a bunch of wankers, cancel the rite and get really drunk instead. But not to worry- someone will probably join you.

Step 8:
Once you’ve broken the ice with a bit of lawlessness, you may intone,

Now we will confess our crimes.

Start it off yourself with a good strong confession. For example:

I blockaded a logging road by attaching myself to half a ton of cement.

Step 9:
Look meaningfully at the person to your right, or your left, or someone you know is likely to have a good story. Let everyone in the room take turns admitting their crimes. Everyone’s got ‘em. Maybe they smuggle cocaine or burn down suburban developments, or maybe they just steal office supplies or run stop signs. The point is not whether the action is moral or immoral, ethical or unethical. It’s not whether they’ve gotten caught (although arrests often make good stories, narrow escapes from the law are better.) It’s simply whether they’ve violated the law.

Step 10:
Keep it going. Don’t worry about going in order. Do try to keep people from interrupting and stepping on each other’s confessions- use a talking stick if you have to.

Step 11:
It’s OK for there to be pauses as people think of more stories or reflect on what they’ve heard, but don’t let the energy fade away. When it looks like things are winding down, use your bell (or whistle, or voice, or whatever) to focus the group back on you. Be sure to thank everyone and tell them how great they’ve been. People eat that shit up.

Step 12:
Proclaim again,

All hail Dysnomia!

When the responses die down, intone the mystic phrase:

Shiny! Let’s be bad guys!

Now you’re done.

Step 13:
Gather the roach and the ashes of the dollar bills and save them in a little jar. You can put them on your shrine or something. Also, you can smoke the roach if you ever run out.