Almost all candidates flip at one point, only a flop if you don’t trust the candidate.
Probable presidential candidate Scott Walker changed his mind on immigration, and it became major news.
This is ridiculous.
Via Fox News:
“My view has changed,” Walker said in a “Fox News Sunday” interview taped Friday. “I’m flat out saying it.”
Walker in 2013 said a plan in which illegal immigrants can become United States citizens by first paying penalties and enduring a waiting period “makes sense.”
However, he is now saying such a plan is tantamount to amnesty, amid criticism that he has flip-flopped on that issue and others — including right-to-work legislation in his home state.
“I don’t believe in amnesty,” said Walker, who finished second Saturday in the Conservative Political Action Conference’s straw poll for potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates. “We need to secure the border. We ultimately need to put in place a system that works — a legal immigration system that works.”
Here’s the video:
Obviously, the left piled on:
Hmm… Walker decided he was against amnesty only after Barack Obama, the first black president, did an executive order to allow it? Gee, do you think that Walker might just be blowing his dog whistle to appease his radical fringe base and pandering to his racist, big money donors? Just maybe?
Media Matters actually caught the change in Walker’s position a month ago when he said the same thing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos
Then again, Walker flip flopping on issues is nothing new. He’s built his career on telling people what he wants them to hear for decades. Another recent example of this is his double reversal on so called Right to Work legislation which he was for before he was against before he was for it again.
In Wisconsin, we joke that if you don’t like the weather, stick around ten minutes and it will change. The same can be said for Walker’s position on any given issue.
The problem, of course, isn’t how the left reacts. It’s how we react. From Sooper at the Right Scoop [Emphasis added]:
As Scott Walker grows in prominence and popularity, hes gonna have to take on some fairly acute criticisms of his past policies, and one of the more contentious one is immigration. Walker supported amnesty for Wisconsin that was similar to Reagan’s compromise (that he later regretted), but has since reverted to a more conservative view on immigration.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace pressed him on the issue this morning
I have to admit, if you’re gonna flip flop, that’s the way to do it – head on, admit that you’ve changed. At least the dude changed to the right position! But I have a feeling many aren’t willing to forgive his past compromised position.
Welcome to the crossroads.
Sooper is right, and not only as applied to Walker and immigration. Conservatives have a long memory—and for good reason. We’re used to being screwed over by politicians who “evolve” on policy points that morph into the issues many voters use as a make-or-break when considering which box to check on election day.
The problem is that there’s a difference between being a flip flopper, and a politician who makes a good faith change in policy direction. Flip floppers stick a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing; people who change their minds have stared down into the abyss that is the American legislative process and resurfaced changed.
Disallowing politicians from changing their minds is akin to staring out into the electorate and declaring that we’re not accepting any new voters—it doesn’t make sense, and it disqualifies a lot of people from contributing to an increasingly diverse and dynamic movement.
This doesn’t mean that we should let these things go. Politicians who change their minds should be watched like hawks, especially during election cycles. It’s not a matter of “calling them out” or “exposing hypocrisy”—it’s an opportunity to present these questions and challenge canned answers not because that’s how politics works, but because we deserve better than a candidate that just expects people to swallow talking points without a second thought.
What does this mean for Walker? It means that we should spend a lot of time asking him specific questions about how his policy plan on immigration has changed. Real solutions should be the red meat we’re looking for, instead of opportunities to toss zingers at each other.
Will we check ourselves, or wreck ourselves? Only time will tell.DONATE
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