In his New York Times column this morning, Joe Nocera approvingly links to our feature on Scott Walker (as well as a new feature on Walker in the Times Magazine) and comes to the proper conclusion.

Both articles conclude by pondering what Walker would do if he became president. But to read the two articles is to know the answer: If union-busting gets him to the White House, why would he stop there?

The reason this conclusion is obvious is because, as both articles make quite clear, Scott Walker’s attacks on Wisconsin unions were rationalized as solutions to problems that were actually fictional. The state’s pension fund was in decent shape and the local business community wasn’t clamoring for right-to-work status. Walker attacked the unions for purely partisan reasons, in the reasonable hope that weakening unions would weaken the Democratic Party.

Having succeeded in his efforts, he’s gained heroic status in some conservative circles, and this could drive him right into the Oval Office.

Based on his predilections, the factors that led to his political rise, and the preferences of his strongest financial backers, there’s every reason to expect that Walker would see union bashing as one of the most vital political weapons in his toolbox. What worked in Madison could be expected to work in DC.

At least, I think it’s pretty obvious that Walker will be inclined to believe this and act on his belief.

[Cross-posted at Progress Pond]

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at