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Editorial cartoon (4/15/2015)

I get accused of picking on Scott Walker too much.

My Republican friends chide me for never finding anything good to say about the Wisconsin governor and some of my Democratic ones fear that political columnists like me are making him a sympathetic figure.

Frankly, I'd like to address other topics more often, but darn it, this guy just keeps saying stuff that simply shouldn't be given a pass.

A little over a week ago, for example, he was back immitating Sgt. Schultz — the "I know nothing" character in the "Hogan's Heroes" sitcom of the late '60s — when the State Journal reported that his Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. had given a loan to a shaky company whose CEO was a big campaign contributor.

Even though the governor has been chair of the quasi-public agency that replaced the old Commerce Department and was supposed to create 250,000 jobs in four years, he once again declared he knew nothing about another scandal that erupted right beneath his nose.

This "I'm-above-the-fray" stance has become routine for the governor and he continually gets by with it. Whether it's close aides breaking campaign laws or his pet WEDC doling out loans and grants to political cronies, Walker supposedly never knows anything about it. Just how gullible does he think we are?

Then last week the Wisconsin governor came up with another whopper, this time when asked why he "flip-flops" so often on issues in his presidential "non-campaign."

While being interviewed by Fox News, which is often sympathetic to the Republican governor, he was asked: “If you’re willing to flip-flop, for lack of a better word, on such an important issue like (immigration), how can voters be sure you’re not going to change your position on some other big issues?"

That's when our governor came up with what has to be one of the most novel definitions in American political history of the age-old term "flip-flop."

You see, Walker said with a straight face, it isn't flip-flopping unless you actually vote on a matter.

"A flip would be someone who voted on something and did something different," the governor told Bret Baier. "These are not votes. I don't have any impact (on immigration) as a governor and I don't have any impact as a former county official. I would if I were to run and ultimately be elected as president."

In other words, according to Walker it's perfectly fine to take one position on immigration before the folks back in Wisconsin and a completely different position while speaking to folks in Iowa. That's not flip-flopping in his dictionary.

So forget about his different stands on abortion, the Common Core education standards and being both for and against paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants as he trudges down the campaign trail.

Maybe others can give him a pass on such nonsense, but I can't.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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