Walker, to be sure, has every intention of pursuing all elements of his muscular budget proposal in coming weeks. Yet the key for him, he says, is making Democrats realize that he is not looking to make enemies with them, regardless of how angry they are about the budget-repair bill. “[The budget-repair bill] was not about getting a political victory,” he says. “It was about getting our economy on track. It’s time to move forward.”
This is exactly the wrong way to react to what’s transpired – the lies, the venom, the shameless attempt to grind the democratic process to a halt – over the past month. Above all, any Republican leader who wants to get meaningful results has to recognize one critical truth: regardless of whether or not you’re “looking to make enemies with them,” the Democrats are always looking to make enemies with you. No matter what you do, the Democratic Party is your enemy, because that’s what they’ve chosen to be. They’re operating on a fundamentally incompatible set of first principles and partisan interests. No amount of olive branches or appeasement will soften their ideology or their treachery, but will just result in needless concessions from us and leave our opponents convinced that their tactics work. Failure to recognize this fact always kills Republicans.