The Corner

Taking Aim at Scott Walker, Gail Collins, Panicking, Strikes, Misses

If, as National Journal’s Ron Fournier contends, the task of keeping Scott Walker “real” has fallen to the New York Times’s Gail Collins, one can only imagine that Walker will have a relatively easy run toward the White House. In her panic-stricken weekend piece, Collins made a number of elementary mistakes — of the sort, frankly, that could presumably have been avoided by the judicious use of Google. Walker, Collins charges, was responsible for education “layoffs” that “happened because Walker cut state aid to education.” This, she suggests, is indicative of the sort of “intellectual hiccup” to which Walker is worryingly prone.

In fact, as The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack noted immediately, the layoffs occurred a year before Walker was elected. Where once there stood a sneering piece, now there is an acidic correction, eating, lethally, at its foundations:

An earlier version of this column incorrectly stated that teacher layoffs in Milwaukee in 2010 happened because Gov. Scott Walker “cut state aid to education.” The layoffs were made by the city’s school system because of a budget shortfall, before Mr. Walker took office in 2011.

Elsewhere, Collins proposes sarcastically that Walker refused to criticize President Obama’s foreign policy while abroad, electing instead to “confine his remarks to the virtues of Wisconsin cheese.” Is she honestly unaware that, by declining to knock the United States, he was here following established “water’s edge” protocol? And can she tell us that she wouldn’t have slammed him bitterly for having broken that protocol had he answered the question honestly? One thinks not.

Walker’s “view of teaching,” Collins writes, “is apparently that anybody can do it.” Presumably he won’t make the same mistake with columnists at the New York Times.

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