Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Walker prank

There's a lot of great stuff within the call itself, but I also find the meta-issue that this happened at all fascinating and revealing.  We've become so used to the fact that the rich get special access to powerful elected politicians, but it really should be a scandal all on its own that in the midst of the political crisis that will almost certainly define his career, Governor Walker found time for an out-of-state billionaire who holds no office.  No journalist, in state or out of it could get ahold of the governor, nor any ordinary citizen of the state, but he drops everything to take Mr. Koch's phone call.

Take this part from Salon's interview with the prankster, who upon calling the governor's office and identifying himself as Koch was immediately put through to Walker's COS, and to pass that barrier:
I politely said hello, not knowing how friendly Gilkes and Koch may be. He was eager to help. “I was really hoping to talk directly to Scott,” I said. He said that could be arranged and that I should just leave my number. I explained to Gilkes, “My goddamn maid, Maria, put my phone in the washer. I’d have her deported, but she works for next to nothing.” Gilkes found this amusing. “I’m calling from the VOID—with the VOID, or whatever it’s called. You know, the Snype!”
The tactic of pretending to be Koch was singularly brilliant as it exposed and exploited a huge conservative weakness.  Their elected officials really are quite eager to ingratiate themselves to America's owners and despite the absurdity of a billionaire being unable to provide a call-back number, neither Walker nor his COS could stand to risk offending Koch by refusing the call.  Koch can funnel rivers of money and positive press toward a guy like Walker toward some future campaign.  If things go badly, Koch can ensure a safe landing at some no-work-required 6 figure sincecure "think tank."  He's the reigning wingnut welfare paymaster and the mid level help like Walker are thrilled to be noticed by the likes of him.

Also bleakly hilarious is that the line about deporting the maid was apparently believable enough.  We know these people are serious assholes, but shit, that's still a little incredible.

Just ask yourself what would happen if a right wing prankster got through to Obama by pretending to be Soros.  Even if Obama said nothing different from his public positions the right would make a stink about him taking Soros' calls.

This was a rare moment of using a conservative weakness against them.  I hope others can find ways to exploit their desire to suck up to the caviar class in order to trip them up. 

Fake edit:  Lawrence O'Donnell made note of the hilarity of their eagerness to take the call too.  Cool.

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