The bias in this story is as blatant as it is instructive. AP writer Scott Bauer appears baffled that a GOP candidate, "who actively courts, of all things, the tea party," to quote Bauer, is now making a strong bid for governor. Bauer also claims it's rare for someone as conservative as Walker to catch on and compares his strong bid for governor to the early '50's political surge of Senator Joe McCarthy. Bauer goes onto say that Walker and U.S Senate candidate Ron Johnson would have once been considered "fringe."
Oh where to begin dissecting this tripe...Bauer has bought into the notion that the tea party movement is extreme; ergo any candidate who courts, or has gained the favor the movement must be extreme. Bauer, of course, is wrong on the tea party and wrong on Walker. Given the extreme move to the left by a Democratic Congress and White House, mainstream conservatism can look foreign. He points to Walker's support of the AZ immigration law as an example of his extreme conservatism. 60 percent of America supports this law. What's rare is a Republican candiate who won't run from the law; Walker did at first but after getting slammed on his (and my) Facebook page, he embraced the law.
He is right in this regard; Wisconsin has been blue enough in the past to pull Republican candidates to the middle. In this year of discontent with a radical move to Euro-socialism, many Republicans are learning they can run as true conservatives. But if he's going to call Tommy Thompson and Lee Sherman Dreyfus moderates, wouldn't Walker and Johnson simply be conservatives? There's no space between Moderate Republicans and Extreme Conservatives?
What has Bauer confused is how a state that seemingly went from purple to solid blue in the last two election cycles is now showing it may hand victories to Walker, Johnson and very possibly Sean Duffy in the 7th Congressional District and to the eventual opponent to Congressman Steve Kagen in the 8th. The answer is this: Wisconsin went blue because the conservative voters that made it purple were disillusioned with the conservative movement, not because they had shifted to the left. They see candidates that are saying the right things and they hope those candidates will DO the right thing if elected. This has generated tremendous enthusiasm among conservative voters.
The conservatism Bauer considers "fringe" has always been there. It has been dormant but is now awakened by truly radically extreme liberalism. It apparently has been slumbering longer than Bauer has been covering politics; he doesn't recognize it.