It would be nice if potential Scott Walker supporters at least KNEW that he lies compulsively to promote himself and his diseased ideology
Odds are that when you look up "pathological liar" in the dictionary, Scott Walker will be lying in the picture of him you find there.
The other day I mentioned in passing that I'm less concerned than I once was with whether a particular right-winger lies so much because the person really has some kind of fundamental brain dysfunction or because the person is simply a habitual liar. My point was that, practically speaking, does it matter?
Take a simple case of Fox Noisemakers. It's hard to believe that Bill O'Reilly doesn't know he's a master con artist, that most of the stuff that comes out of his mouth when he's on the job is bullshit. By contrast, it could hardly be easier to believe that Sean Hannity doesn't know, that his ability to take in and process information is so defective that he truly doesn't know. In both cases, does it matter? I used to think so. Now I'm more inclined to think that the House of Liars has many rec rooms, and in the end what matters is their mandate to Go Forth and Lie.
Same deal with pols. Some of the far-right-wingers know better and some don't. Take an extreme case like Arkansas state Rep. Justin Harris, whom we were looking at last night, who in the kindliest interpretation took into foster care three young girls whose emotional troubles he wasn't remotely equipped to deal with, and was able to "return" one but then felt obliged to "rehome" the others, one of whom was subsequently raped by the guy she was turned over to, who happened to be an employee of Representative Harris's Christian-values preschool. Now this guy, suddenly in this highly unwelcome media spotlight, has to know that he's telling a lot of lies in an attempt to deflect blame. But in his head he is, I think, so deeply deluded about reality that he has no idea how unfit he is to have any contact with children of any sort in any fashion.
As you can see, I still can't stifle that impulse to categorize the "authenticity" of right-wing lies. And I guess, deep down, it still matters to me. Maybe I can rationalize it by suggesting that maybe it makes a difference in how we might most effectively deal with a particular right-wing fabulist.
Take Wisconsin Gov. Scott "I Lie to Live" Walker. This is a man who has perhaps never in his life told the truth about anything unless he absolutely didn't have a more suitable lie to offer in its place. I don't think there's any question where he lies on the spectrum of habitual untruthfulness from mental defective to pathological liar. If you look up "pathological liar," chances are you'll find a picture of Scott, and he'll probably be in the act of prevaricating.
You can't lie as unceasingly, as flagrantly, and as unflappably as the Lie-Master does without being a plain old compulsive liar. I suppose he could be the victim of some sort of mental impairment, but his case sure has all the hallmarks of plain old cynical opportunism -- he tells lies all the time because he believes that a certain portion of those lies will stick well enough to get him something he wants.
So how hilarious is it to learn that one of his heart-tuggiest public blitherings is -- you guessed it -- a near-total fabrication? Just a coldly calculating scheme to get some PR mileage by manufacturing a photo op with an aging conservative icon (who despite her avanced age continues to do whatever she's asked by the" forum" that bears her and her late husband's name in support of rising right-wing flotsam) and making up a total bullshit story to go with it. Some people might be restrained a tiny bit by pangs of conscience; this is evidently an impediment our Scott doesn't suffer from.
Jud Lousbury tells us in his Twitter bio, "I live on a small farm south of Madison with my wife and four kids," meaning that has been subjected to way heavier dosages of Scott Walker lies than any human brain should be asked to withstand. He also tells us that he's a regular contributor to the blog Uppity Wisconsin ("Progressive News from Wisconsin") and to The Progressive, where he contributed this piece (links and pictures onsite):
I think Jud is right that it should concern us. It should concern anyone who considers the Lie-Master a potentially serious person in American public life -- a number that, unfortunately for them, includes all the citizens of Wisconsin. But then, enough of them have voted for the SOB three times now.
Did Walker's Nancy Reagan Anointment Story Really Happen? Nope.
By JUD LOUNSBURY on March 12, 2015
At the 2013 Milwaukee County Republican Party's annual Reagan Day dinner Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told a story that he said,"gives me a shiver just talking about it."
That would be the story about how Nancy Reagan was so amazed by Scott Walker's recall victory that she invited him to come speak at the Reagan Library. (Walker failed to mention that ninety-one-year old Nancy Reagan is more of a figurehead of the Reagan Foundations that signs dozens of invites to people every year to speak at Reagan Library as part of the Reagan Forum series. You know who else has scored these special invites? Dennis Miller, Mark Levin, and Dennis Prager. In fact, the person that spoke after Walker was -- drum roll, please -- Greg Gutfeldt!)
OK, sorry—back to Walker's story.
Before Walker gave his speech, he scored a special meeting with Nancy Reagan. (Reality check: It wasn't that special; it happens to many Reagan Forum participants.) So, they get to talking, and Walker tells her that his recall election happened on the anniversary of her husband's death: June 5.
After Walker makes this point, Mrs. Reagan doesn't push her panic button. And she doesn't dismiss what he is saying as the ramblings of a pathological narcissist with delusions of grandeur. Instead she is apparently awestruck. (You'll find out why we can assume that in a second.)
Then Walker leaves her home in Bel Air and goes to the Reagan Library to give his speech. As he is walking by some of the exhibits on display and, well, let's let Walker tell the rest:
"One of the other great privileges I had, that was unbeknownst to me, that they had set up, was, we came around the corner on the tour, before I gave a speech to about a thousand people at the library, and the curator there, had, I see him and he's got white gloves and he's got something in his hand.At this point the crowd makes a collective gasp. Several "awwwwhhh"s break out and then the they break into an applause as Walker slowly nods.
"And they brought over a pair of white gloves for me and he said, 'No one has touched this since President Reagan. It is his mother's Bible that he took the oath of office on. Mrs. Reagan would like you to hold and take a picture with it."
In other words, Nancy Reagan was so impressed with Walker that she arranged this quasi-anointment ceremony of letting Walker be the first to touch the Reagan Bible since Reagan. This is huge! In Republican politics, this is like the Pope arranging a swig from the Holy Grail!
In other news—wait, there's more to this story? Shut the front door!—I got in touch with Jennifer Torres, who is the artifacts curator at the Reagan Library. Torres said Walker did in fact, get his picture taken with the Reagan inauguration Bible, but that is the only part of the story that is true.
When asked specifically if Nancy Reagan had arranged for Walker to hold the Reagan Bible, Torres said in a email that it was Walker, not Nancy Reagan, that made the request to have his picture taken with the Bible—and that Walker made the request before he visited with Nancy Reagan or even flew out to California:
Gov. Walker requested to view the Bible while he was at the Library for a speaking engagement. The Bible is periodically removed from exhibit in order to rotate the pages on display. We decided to remove the Bible the day Gov. Walker was in town to comply with his request, took the Bible back to collections after the photo, and re-installed it on exhibit a few days later.What about the stuff about Reagan being the last person to touch it? Eh, not so much:
Since the President's passing, several staff members and conservators have handled the Bible, all while wearing gloves. It is unknown if President Reagan was the last to have to have touched the Bible without gloves, but it is doubtful. It may have been handled by family or staff before it was brought to the Library. Once the Bible was at the Library, it would only be handled with gloves per collections management practices. The Bible was brought to the Library in 1992, and was placed on exhibit at some point. It was removed from exhibit in 2010 during the renovation, and re-installed in 2011.When asked if Walker is the only visiting dignitary to have handled the Bible since the library opened, Torres said that he was, but he is also likely the only visiting dignitary to have ever made such a request.
There you have it folks: there was nothing special about Walker holding and getting his picture take with the Reagan Bible. Except, of course, in Walker's mind.
And that should concern you.
Might it matter to them, not to mention the Republicans who''ll be choosing a lucky winner out of the pool of 2016 presidential candidates, that the man habitually lies to create pretty packages for the ideological poison perpetually boiling up out of his head?
It might be nice, for starters, if they at least knew. I'm not saying they wouldn't still support him, but at least they'd know.