Is Scott Walker Less of an Extremist than Donald Trump?

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Is Scott Walker Less of an Extremist than Donald Trump?

'By what moral standard could we say that Donald Trump is an extremist, but Scott Walker is not?' (Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas/AP/Dennis Van Tine/Photo montage by Salon)

Count me among the Democrats who are totally delighted that Donald Trump is running for the Republican nomination for President, that he is a frontrunner in polls of Republican voters, that he cannot be prevented from participating in the Fox News debate, that he is sucking oxygen from other Republican candidates, that the Republican Party establishment cannot figure out what to do about him.

Donald Trump illustrates so much about the impact of big money in politics (including in media coverage) and about what is considered extreme and what is not considered extreme by the Republican Party establishment and big media.

Bernie Sanders rails against the political power of the billionaire class. Isn't Donald Trump a great poster child for this? If Donald Trump were not a billionaire, would he be a frontrunner in polls of Republican voters? Would big media care very much about his political opinions? Bernie Sanders' supporters were jazzed when they raised $15 million for his campaign. Donald Trump could beat that by selling one of his golf courses.

When the Republican establishment complains about Trump, is there not some taste of justice in seeing the engineers of unlimited political spending by billionaires hoist by their own petard?

When Donald Trump slandered immigrants from Mexico, the Republican Party establishment had nothing to say about it. But when Trump slandered John McCain? Outrage!

Why is John McCain an untouchable saint for the Republican Party establishment? Anyone who thinks it's because he's a war hero has a short memory: John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Max Cleland. It's because John McCain is a warmonger. And casual indifference to the victims of war, like casual indifference to the humanity of immigrants from Mexico, is the Republican Party establishment line.

Thousands of Americans and many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives in the unjustified Iraq war of choice. Many more Americans and Iraqis were permanently injured, physically and psychologically.

And now here comes Scott Walker, boasting that he could bomb Iran on his first day in office.

By what moral standard could we say that Donald Trump is an extremist, but Scott Walker is not?

An Illinois Democratic official heard Senator Dick Durbin recount a meeting with Illinois' Scott Walker-wannabe Republican governor, Bruce Rauner. Durbin told Rauner: I have a relationship with the unions. If you want to talk to them, I can help with that. Rauner told Durbin: you don't get it. The unions have to go.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

That's the Scott Walker ideology. The public line is: the unions have too much say. But in private, the Scott Walker ideology is: any say at all for the unions is too much say. These people want to do to workers in America what the IMF is doing to workers in Greece.

How is Scott Walker not an extremist, if Donald Trump is?

And this is how the Republican Party establishment and AIPAC are viewing the Iran nuclear deal. Their public line is that this is a bad deal. But when you ask these people why it's a bad deal, and what a better deal would have been, it becomes obvious that what they object to was that fact that Iran had any say at all in what the deal was; they object to the most basic idea of diplomacy, which is that the other guy has a say.

I'm not exaggerating. A top Republican-Netanyahu talking point is that the deal doesn't permit "anytime, anywhere" inspections in Iran. By which they must mean: the deal doesn't allow us to search the Supreme Leader's refrigerator anytime we want. Because the deal does allow "anytime, anywhere" inspections of Iran's nuclear sites.

In labor relations, when management adopts the policy that unions should have no say it is called unionbusting, because the only way you can impose "no say" on a union is to bust it. With respect to U.S. diplomacy, the policy that other countries should have no say is called warmongering. Because the only way you can impose "no say" on another country is military occupation. Scott Walker is turning his unionbusting theory of labor relations into a warmongering theory of U.S. foreign policy.

If you don't think that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East should be governed by the Scott Walker ideology, you can tell Democrats in Congress to support the Iran nuclear deal here.

Robert Naiman

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East. You can contact him here.

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