Scott Walker & the Bait Question

facebook_share_wporgProbably the most famous bait question of all time is: Are you still beating your wife? It’s the perfect template: any answer you give is going to damn you. But the “bait” in this question is obvious enough that most people chortle immediately the first time they hear it.

Left-lackey media hacks love their bait questions, but they’re much more cunning and duplicitous in how they formulate them. Currently the favorite leftist bait question, at least in regard to immigration, seems to be: What would you do about the 11 million undocumented who are still here?

That very question was asked of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a Feb-1-15 ABC This Week interview with Martha Raddatz. Walker—for whom (I am compelled to add) I have the highest regard for his courage and steadfastness—does indeed appear to have done some stumbling in the course of this interview, but he absolutely blew a golden opportunity to make Raddatz look very foolish and, in the process, to possibly torpedo this bait question for all time.

Here’s how the segment began—

RADDATZ: Let me turn to domestic issues and immigration. We know you want to fix the border and fix the immigration system, but what would you do about the 11 million undocumented who are still here?

WALKER: I think for sure, we need to secure the border. I think we need to enforce the legal system. I’m not for amnesty, I’m not an advocate of the plans that have been pushed here in Washington, and I think should I become a candidate, because I’m not yet, it’s part of the exploratory process here, that is something we’re going to lay out, plans for the future. But we’ve got to have a healthy balance. We’re a country both of immigrants and of laws. We can’t ignore the laws in this country, can’t ignore the people who come in, whether it’s from Mexico or Central America.

RADDATZ: But is deporting them possible?

Here’s where Walker started to bumble and fumble and dissolve into stupid Republican—


WALKER: That’s not what I’m advocating as well, but I do –

RADDATZ: You’re not advocating?

WALKER: I am saying in the end, we need to enforce the laws in the United States, and we need to find a way for people to have a legitimate legal immigration system in this country, and that does not mean amnesty.

With that, the cunning, duplicitous Raddatz delivered the punch in the nose and, at a time of her choosing, moved on.

Oh, how I wish the segment had gone something like this—

  • RADDATZ: But is deporting them possible?
  • WALKER: C’mon, Martha, those are bait questions, both of them, and you know it. You media folks, you love your bait questions, especially when you’re interviewing conservatives. What am I supposed so say? Yeah, I’ll round them up, all eleven million of them in one fell swoop, and throw them all across the Mexican border. You might as well ask me, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

In my contrarian, conservatarian imagination, the interview doesn’t move on here, like the real-world version, but continues—

  • RADDATZ: So, you’d deport them? You’d actually deport eleven million people?!
  • WALKER (smiling, with a hint of condescension, and shaking his head): I’m not going to respond to that, Martha. Your questions are foolish and preposterous. They’re bait questions.
  • RADDATZ: But Governor Walker, we’re talking about eleven million people living in the shadows. What do you propose to do with them?
  • WALKER: Let’s move on, Martha. What’s your next question?

I’m giving Ms. Raddatz lots of credit for self control, because I know full well how being exposed boldly by a conservative for what they are, as rare as such a shocking event is, can catapult undisciplined leftists into a white-hot fury. But that Martha, she’s a professional.

OK, I’ll admit it.  Given Raddatz’s high-level media sophistication, my imaginary denouement probably would have been stopped dead in reality’s tracks after Walker’s first bait-question riposte with a microphone shut-down, followed by a scolding of Walker by Raddatz.  But it’s fun to imagine a conservative actually standing up to the Media Establishment…like Rand Paul actually did.

In any case, if Republicans, even conservatives, are going to walk into the wicked weeds of the establishment media, they’d better start learning to prepare. I’d suggest for starters that they pay some serious attention to Rules for Republicans #2: “It is impossible to be too cynical about the intentions, motives, and truthfulness of radical leftists. They will always exceed our most horrifying expectations.”

Then do the research and find out what all the bait questions in the current leftist litany are. And finally, be prepared to turn the tables on left-lackey media interviewers, at the moment when they least expect it, and take control of the interview. Oh, and smile, and address them cordially, by name. That’s how Ronald Reagan would have done it.

Either that or stay away from those weeds.

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