The Conversation

Gov. Scott Walker on Death Threats and Paul Krugman's Hypocrisy

The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute has published an excerpt from Gov. Scott Walker's forthcoming book. It describes the threats to life and limb that he and his family received during the debate over Act 10.

In particular Walker notes how this occurred just weeks after Paul Krugman and others on the left had blamed Sarah Palin's political speech for the shooting in Tucson.

Here's a portion of the excerpt:

One afternoon, as I prepared to go out to the conference room for my daily press briefing, Dave came into my office and shut the door. “Sir, I don’t show you most of these, but I thought you ought to see this one.” He handed me a letter addressed to Tonette that had been picked up by a police officer at the executive residence in Maple Bluff. It read:

HI TONETTE,

Has Wisconsin ever had a governor assassinated? Scotts heading that way. Or maybe one of your sons getting killed would hurt him more. I want him to feel the pain. I already follow them when they went to school in Wauwatosa, so it won’t be too hard to find them in Mad. Town. Big change from that house by [BLANK] Ave. to what you got now. Just let him know that it’s not right to [EXPLETIVE] over all those people. Or maybe I could find one of the Tarantinos [Tonette’s parents] back here.

Lots of choices for me.

The letter had a Green Bay postmark, but there were no fingerprints or other indications of who had sent it. Dave explained that it raised red flags because, unlike most of the hate mail and death threats we received, it was very specific. The sender talked about following our kids to school, the street where we lived, and threatened not just me but my children and my in-laws.

[...]

One of the reasons for Dave’s increased vigilance was the fact that the protests in Madison came just a month after the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. In the wake of that tragedy, I was amazed to see how quickly so many on the left jumped at the opportunity to blame conservative political rhetoric for the shooting. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote, “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. … [V]iolent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.”

Well, just a few weeks later, when protesters screamed at elected officials, threatened them and created a “climate of hate” in Madison, their actions were met with silence from these same quarters. Protesters followed us around the state, assaulted police vehicles, harassed Republican legislators and vandalized their homes. One day, someone scattered dozens of .22-caliber bullets across the Capitol grounds.

At the Capitol, they carried signs comparing me to Adolf Hitler, Hosni Mubarak and Osama bin Laden. Those never seemed to make the evening news, so we took pictures to document them. One read “Death to tyrants.” Another had a picture of me in crosshairs with the words, “Don’t retreat, reload.” Another declared, “The only good Republican is a dead Republican.” Another said “Walker = Hitler” and “Repubs = Nazi Party.”

It wasn’t just the protesters who engaged in such shameful rhetoric. Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor also compared me to Hitler, declaring, “The history of Hitler, in 1933, he abolished unions, and that’s what our governor’s doing today.” Her colleague Sen. Spencer Coggs called our plan “legalized slavery.” Jesse Jackson came to Madison and compared me to the late segregationist governor of Alabama, George Wallace (who was paralyzed in an assassination attempt), declaring we had “the same position” and that I was practicing the politics of the “old
South.”

Later, when the Capitol was cleared of protesters, Time magazine reported, “The Wisconsin State Capitol had taken on an eerie quiet by late Friday. … The chalk outlines around fake dead bodies etched with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s name remained in dismembered parts, not yet completely washed away by hoses.”

Krugman and his cohorts never got around to taking “a stand against the hate-mongers” in Madison.

Krugman also never got around to mentioning the bullseye maps created by Democrats to target their political opponents. Krugman was also wrong about the shooter's motivation. He was mentally ill and his identifiable ideological commitments were on the left, specifically he was a fan of the Zeitgeist movement.


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