Blogging involves the ability to observe and record, to research and analyze, and to define and articulate a stream of coherent thought using a uniquely powerful medium unknown to antecedent generations. And although the format is historically different, blogging is just another human attempt to share perspectives with others to convince them they are worth viewing.
Some bloggers, however, know their views are not worth reading, so they invent problems, lie about events, and malign officials to increase unique visitations to their sites. Others believe that spreading their political paradigm is so important that a classic "ends justifying the means" philosophy is not only justifiable, but a moral obligation to the world community. Lately, I've been finding blogs that fit both descriptions.
EyeOneWisconsin, for instance, has been recycling false accusations about Scott Walker for quite some time now. Granted, they are not as bad as Liebenthal's Cognitive Dissidence, but they still know that if enough crap is thrown up against the wall, perhaps some of it will stick. If they can convince some viewers that the person they mischaracterize and malign is half as bad as they say he is, then it is worth their time. Just recently, Cory Liebmann did just that. So I have taken the liberty to underline his false information. He posted this an article on his site entitled, "Walker was Against _________ Before He was for it".
"I hate to tell you this Scott but you already did say that with both your words and your actions.
1. Walker's plan relies almost entirely on the same federal stimulus that he and his groupies have attacked from the beginning.
2. What happened to the arguments by Walker and those of his ilk that government spending can't help create jobs? His plan would force three years of borrowing and spending into one year (an election year by the way). What changed besides their positions?
3. What about his argument that the stimulus was good for government but not for "real people"?"
As one can see, only one sentence managed to stay intact without a falsehood. I will examine each falsehood one at a time to better illustrate my point.
First, Walker's 2010 budget proposal does not "almost entirely" rely on federal stimulus. In order for this to be true, Milwaukee County would need to receive more than $40 million in stimulus dollars. And since federal support is substantially less than that, Cory Liebmann has told his first lie.
No doubt stimulus dollars will account for most of the "budget growth" from the last cycle to this one, but to say that Walker's budget relies almost entirely on federal stimulus is meant to accentuate Walker's supposed hypocrisy in using stimulus funds to begin with. It is more accurate to say that Walker's 2010 budget proposal "almost entirely" relies on the wage and benefit cuts of Milwaukee County Employees, which will account for $41 million in savings. However, Liebmann didn't say this.
Second, the stimulus funds used in Walker's budget proposal is not "the same federal stimulus" he refused earlier this year. The funds Walker had refused earlier this year involved additional taxpayer contributions or commitments. The stimulus that Walker intends to use in the imminent budget requires no burden to the local taxpayer. This is a substantial difference that Liebmann willfully ignores even after being corrected multiple times on his own blog. Therefore, this is Liebmann's second lie.
And Third, Walker never "attacked" stimulus funding. Instead, he refused to pursue any funding that required local matching, long term financial commitments, and continuing operational overhead. The idea, as it were, is that Wisconsin was already facing a record busting budget deficit and reliable reports that the state legislature would pass significant tax increases in an attempt to raise more government revenue. Walker did not want to impose more government spending in a financially hostile business environment.
First, as the heading says, Walker never claimed that government spending couldn't create jobs. He said that government spending shouldn't be confused with economic recovery. Specifically, Walker said that "excessive" spending will lead to higher taxes, which tends to choke out a good business climate and drive jobs elsewhere. And when taxes are increased to support excessive spending, those temporary jobs created by a stimulus influx aren't sufficient to offset the increased burden felt by taxpayers.
With Walker's current budget proposal, the surge in county borrowing and spending will not add one dime to a taxpayer's current burden because there is no spending allocated in 2011 and 2012. Therefore, the average Milwaukee County borrowing will still meet the annual amount of about $30 million. This accounts for Liebmann's third lie.
And Second, Walker has not switched positions on the stimulus. From the beginning, Walker has maintained that he will not pursue stimulus that requires the taxpayer to pitch in. However, if a federal stimulus package were offered that did not require a local match, long-term commitments, or additional operational costs, then Walker would accept the terms of agreement as he was willing to do for county transit. It is much easier for individuals like Liebmann and Liebenthal to explain that Walker refused stimulus one time, but pursued "the same" stimulus another time as a flip-flop. However, by doing this, they ignore the reality that not all stimulus funding comes with red tape. So, this makes lie number four for Liebmann.
Liebmann says this about Walker's comments on Twitter,
"What about his argument that the stimulus was good for government but not for "real people"?
And here is what Scott Walker tweated,
"Just as I said in Jan: The "stimulus" is a big deal 4 govt + not 4 real people"
Clearly, Walker didn't say that "stimulus wasn't good for real people", but rather it wasn't a "big deal for real people". What Liebmann neglected to add is that Walker left a link to a "Business Journal" poll demonstrating that people felt the stimulus wasn't helping them. It was an obvious logical induction, for Walker, that if people felt the stimulus wasn't helping them, then therefore it wasn't a big deal for them. Liebmann ripped Walker's tweet out of context and actually added different verbiage to it in order to change its meaning. This folks, is what we call lying - Liebmann's fifth by the way.
Currently, there are three websites that lie about conservatives on a fairly regular basis - Cognitive Dissidence, One Wisconsin Now, and Eye on Wisconsin. Cognitive Dissidence is pretty much just a Walker hate-site run by an obsessed Milwaukee County Employee. Although not limited to Scott Walker, One Wisconsin Now goes after any local republican and has a personal affinity with Congressman Paul Ryan. And Eye of Wisconsin, while not as bad as the other two, has a particular problem Scott Walker and telling the truth in general. We saw this when they blatantly lied about the financial backing of Rose Fernandez by supposed corporate interest groups. (Footnote Comment: they never retracted their false accusations, but only admitted they over-estimated the extent of campaign contributions after campaign contribution reports came out.)
This is what liberal bloggers do, folks. They hate conservatives with such a bleeding heart-like passion, they don't mind telling a few lies to promote their ideology. Some of us bloggers, however, care about our reputation for accuracy and won't exaggerate facts on the basis of emotional leanings. We don't lie and wait for a liberal politician to release an official statement, then add a different meaning to it while recycling it over and over again until people actually believe it's true. No, this is the expertise of liberals. Perhaps it's a matter of values, or the moral relativism they've adopted that serves them with political expediency? Who really knows, but it would make an excellent research paper.