The Amazingly Bogus Scott Walker 'Divide and Conquer' Video

If the complete clip is so damning, why won't Walker's opponents release it?

Much has been said of the highly edited 38-second YouTube video in which Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is caught saying he would “divide and conquer” the state. Listening to critics of the governor, you’d think it was almost like finding the smoking gun still at the scene of the crime.

Democrats say it is irrefutable evidence that Walker is a power-hungry pol. They argue it proves the governor says one thing in public and another in private to some of his biggest campaign donors. They point to the video as proof that Walker is set to enact “right-to-work” legislation, and that Act 10, the law reducing government employee's collective bargaining power, was just the beginning.

What’s amazing about the entire video is that documentary filmmaker Brad Liechtenstein refuses to post the entire video. All he’s given the media is a transcript of the conversation. Yet releasing the full video would provide true context of the conversation between Walker and ABC Supply President Diane Hendricks.

Otherwise, given the current video’s make-up, its reliance on out-of-context editing, and the rapid-response from recall backers to fully exploit it, it’s easy to pinpoint its purpose: Re-energize liberal turnout ahead of the recall. 

Liechtenstein has been around the politico-cinematic block going as far back as documentary work for PBS in 1996 on the Clinton-Dole presidential race. He probably has been around long enough to know when he has video which will help promote his project. He'd also know if he has video on his hands that can help promote a cause.

The "ConquerGate" video is pure political catnip for the liberal base—meant to re-energize voters who may have been deflated by the recent Democratic primary and a new wave of polling numbers indicating Walker is likely to win.

The reasoning for the video is simple: to broaden the Democratic conversation from the real purpose of the recall—collective bargaining for public employees—to the more universal theme of Walker's alleged untrustworthiness and hunger for power. Collective bargaining doesn’t move votes. Those aren’t my words, they’re the words of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Communication Director Graeme Zielisnki in the left-leaning magazine Mother Jones.

So would it be safe to say that while collective bargaining might not be moving votes, it might move people to the polls? Given the response and faux outrage over Walker’s remarks, that appears to be the only reason that a video like this is even released three weeks prior to election day.

Add in news reports that the filmmaker will not allow the full, unedited video to be made available so the public may  draw its own conclusions, and it’s hard to argue the video wasn’t built to boost Democratic turnout above all else.

Kevin Binversie is a Wisconsin native who has been blogging on the state’s political culture for more than eight years. This article originally appeared at WisconsinReporter.com

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  • John||

    Full unedited videos are something only Andrew Breitbart has to release silly.

  • o3||

    u mean brightfart's edited version where sherrod said "fukoff cracker"?...but she was really offering to help the white farmers?

    that unedited version?

  • John||

    No I mean the video where she said "fuck off cracker" and got a big applause for saying she did. That video. You know the one that caused Obama to fire her.

  • Ron||

    which he finally released in full after multiple request. Thats the point of John's comment, only those on the right have to release full information. Much like Bush revealed his taxes, his college grades and his health, where is Obama's grades from college

  • JoshSN||

    Breitbart never released the full ACORN videos.

    He was forced to, by law, release the ones in California, that's it.

  • John||

    So what? It is not like ACORN wasn't actually prepared to bankroll a pimp.

    Forget dude, no amount and whining and crying is going to rewrite that history. He punked you and punked you hard.

  • JoshSN||

    The full videos would have shown a lot, O'Keefe, to this day, has never released them. Pretending it is dishonest that Liechtenstein(sp?) hasn't released the full video when O'Keefe never did is disingenuous.

    Lichtenstein(sp?) did release the full transcripts, with O'Keefe never did.

  • ||

    They point to the video as proof that Walker is set to enact “right-to-work” legislation, and that Act 10, the law reducing government employee's collective bargaining power, was just the beginning.

    ----------

    Let's hope to God that it was. "Walker destroying working Wisconsin families"? Aren't card-carrying pinkos the most viscerally delusional assholes in the whole fucking universe?

  • John||

    And even if it is true so what? Aren't politicians supposed to want to win? I am sure they would be real upset if someone on their side decided to use bare knuckle politics to get things done.

  • ||

    When a politician decides to do something halfway decent, well, we just can't allow that, John. We have to make elephants out of flies and pull out the "WalKKKer = Hitler, 9/11 INSIDE JOB BY JEW ZION CAPITALIST" signs in order that our degenerate socialism prevail over what little justice remains in the game of politics.

    All hail Saul fucking Alinsky and Red China, where the trains run on time!!!1111

  • Randian||

    Scott Walker said he wants to divide and conquer his political enemies. Big freakin' deal. The dishonesty part comes from Barrett, who knows from the context of the video that Walker is talking about defeating the labor unions over right to work, and then says that "Walker says he wants to conquer Wisconsin". Barrett's a lying tool.

  • FRACK Quiznos||

    Where do you think someone who wants to conquer Wisconsin would start? Union repression, economy depression, worker oppression, that's my impression.

  • ||

    My impression is your dad should have had a vasectomy before he met your mother. It would have been better for universe at large.

  • Ron||

    Unions are worker oppression. Unions are now worse then the companies they are supposed to protect the workers from.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    I would start by invading Poland.
    But that's just me.

  • tarran||

  • Tulpa the White||

    I thought you start in Western Australia.

  • Randian||

    Kamchatka province! For the vodka!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Nah,

    Just triple their sugar imports and so that they lay around on welfare while their teeth rot out.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Yeah, I was just joking.
    I'd actually start by taking Kenosha - to grab the critical Milwaukee/ Sheboygan/Green Bay corridor. Of course nuclear stikes on Madison just to be sure.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He could legalize meth. That would win him a lot of WI votes.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Lambeau Field, dude.

    Take Aaron Rogers hostage and Wisconsin will kneel at your feet.

    If not that, remember that he who controls the supply of paint thinner, conrols the Packer Backers.

  • FRACK Quiznos||

    The transcript is all you need to get so-called "context". It's right there in black and white. Obfuscation, prevarication, and intimidation fuel the right's predation on our nation.

  • ||

    Does anything serve to refresh the tree of liberty quite so effectively as the putrid blood of a progressive slavemaker?

  • Randian||

    It was getting kind of boring around here. I am glad that there's a new House Retard to liven things up.

  • ||

    An unremarkable centrist pushes for a slight improvement in his state's civil service on practical grounds = right-wing "predation on our nation."

    Does Sean Penn Junior here have any sense of proportion?

  • jacob the barbarian||

    Sense of proportion?!!? Lets see ... the TEAM Red wants to cuts the budget by 1.5% -- Team Blue asserts this is throwing Grandma off a cliff. To make sure their mouth breathing trolls like FQ understand this, they actually have a Ryan stand in throw a grandmother off a cliff. Jerks.

    Oh wait. You were waxing rhetorical. Never mind.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    You are intimidated by asking for the whole video?

  • FRACK Quiznos||

    If he releases the whole video Breitbart will deceptively selectively invectively edit it and put it on every TV screen at every tractor pull in conservative hell. Which is all there is.

  • Randian||

    Oh hey MNG's back.

    TRAKTOR PULLZ! Needs moar Wal*Mart.

  • tarran||

    Bastard!

    That was going to be *my* line! :)

  • Randian||

    I think its Quizno's obsession is a new genius twist. Everyone needs a hobby horse, I guess. Mine's the Amish.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Sounds like the creepy toaster from the TV ads is talking to him.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I thought conservatives liked tractor pulls...why would they be in conservative hell?

  • o3||

    because the science of fire is deniable...when tracktor pulls is happenin

  • Mainer2||

    A real high point in my life, something I will cherish forever, is that I triggered the tractor pull meme when I told MNG that Walmart isn't so bad. When I see it crop up from time to time, even though no one else remembers its genesis, I feel a little pride that Reasonoids still laugh about tractor pulls.

  • Randian||

    I'll be glad to credit you, and thank you for your contribution. It's one of my faves.

  • tarran||

    I have yet to meet any 'disinterested/principled' collectivists who doesn't turn out to be an elitist snob under the paint.

  • juris imprudent||

    Under the paint? It is a shiny thing they wear proudly on their chests. They polish it with all the relish that we apply to our monocles.

  • Corporate Drone||

    You sure did use a lot of adverbs there, partner.

  • Ice Nine||

    Very ineffectively, I might add.

  • ||

    You have a rendezvous with death at some disputed barricade. It may be he shall take your hand, and lead you into his dark land, and close your eyes, and quench your breath. You have a rendezvous with death. And you to your pledged word are true. You shall not fail that rendezvous.

  • Michael||

    ...deceptively selectively invectively...

    GOD FUCKING DAMN your phony little street corner preacher schtick is tortured. Please tell me you don't have a blog.

  • Randian||

    Please tell me he does!

  • Lord Humungus||

    and all those other -ively things!

  • mr simple||

    Wait, is this Al Sharpton or Don King?

  • Tulpa the White||

    I'm thinking Jackie Chiles? But it's hard to tell the difference.

  • Killazontherun||

    Jackie has a law degree. what the Quiznos guy is doing is a bare imitation of literacy.

  • Killazontherun||

    Parasite sez what?

  • TheAtomicOption||

    Collective Bargaining doesn't drive votes because not that many people are in unions anymore. As of 2011 the highest unionization rate is among education workers at 36.8%--still a minority. Other industries have significantly lower union rates.

    No one cares about collective bargaining because in most places and occupations it's obsolete.

  • Gadianton||

    My reaction to the video can be summed up in the last word flashed on the screen:

    Seriously?

    I'm seriously supposed to believe this tripe?

  • JoshSN||

    For anyone who is interested, here is the complete transcript.

    http://m.jsonline.com/news/sta.....52965.html

    Personally, I don't see anything in the full transcript that undermines the message of the posted video.

  • tarran||

    OK. SO he wants to enact his legislative package piecemeal...

    What are we supposed to be outraged about?

  • John||

    But you have to understand. To people like Joseph only his side is allowed to engage in politics. Everyone else is evil and therefore it is okay for his side to run all over them.

  • JoshSN||

    His public statements about not going after "state workers" doesn't comport with his private statements, to his biggest donor, on what he plans to do to "public employee unions."

  • John||

    So what? Considering that the public employee unions were bankrupting the state, I would say someone needed to do something to them. And what he did to them seems pretty popular.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I seem to remember it being OK when BO told a closed-doors fundraiser in San Fran about how bitter and xenophobic those W.Pa. yinzers were, clinging to religion and guns, a couple days after he was kissing their asses leading up to the PA primary.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    +10

  • JoshSN||

    "You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

    He didn't say what you said he said. He said that it isn't surprising that people who have been repeatedly let down fall back on what's left to them.

    Don't let the facts kick your *ss so much, it will be more comfortable sitting.

  • Randian||

    Alright, genius, what did he actually say? Because plain English tells me that he did call them bitter-clingers. But then I don't speak dipshit Doublespeak.

  • mr simple||

    He didn't say what you said he said.

    Hahahahaha.

    Read it again.

    about how bitter and xenophobic those W.Pa. yinzers were, clinging to religion and guns,

    So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

    He is saying they're too stupid to know what's good for them, i.e. government support, so they get stuck on stupid issues.

  • JoshSN||

    He never said it was government support. He said they'd been promised a lot, by a lot of politicians, he mentions Clinton and Bush by name, and that they haven't gotten jack.

    Surely you'd agree with that.

  • Randian||

    Again, if he didn't call them bitter-clingers, what did he say?

  • ||

    Intellectual honesty is hard, let's go shopping!

  • Tulpa the White||

    Even ascribing the most charitable possible interpretation to BO's remarks, they sure as hell don't match what he was saying on the campaign in PA a few days prior.

    If I say "it's not your fault that you suck" that's an insult, not a statement of sympathy. No?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    He didn't say what you said he said. He said that it isn't surprising that people who have been repeatedly let down fall back on what's left to them.

    Oh nonsense--he used the same condescending "What's the Matter With Kansas?" crapola line of reasoning that's been a meme amongst leftists going back as far as Sinclair Lewis. It's no different than urban sophisticates claiming that the rubes are voting "against their own interests," while projecting their own self-interest onto a socio-economic segment of the population whose cultural values they deplore.

  • JoshSN||

    Is there any scientific study that says people become more religious when they've been repeatedly let down by life?

    Probably not.

    If there was, Obama would be perfectly correct.

    There is no scientific data to the contrary.

    The thesis makes some logical sense.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Is there any scientific study that says people become more religious when they've been repeatedly let down by life?

    Probably not.

    If there was, Obama would be perfectly correct.

    There is no scientific data to the contrary.

    The thesis makes some logical sense.

    Well, no, not if isn't backed with actual knowledge.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Workers aren't unions.

  • mr simple||

    The message in the video was that Walker lied and he wants to divide and conquer Wisconsin. In no way are either of these points supported by the transcript. He clearly wants to balance budgets to help the state and sees public unions as a large obstacle to this. Sounds reasonable to me.

  • JoshSN||

    In one clip he says the bill isn't aimed at "state workers."

    In the next he says "we're going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer."

    The videos use of repetition was excessive, but that's just bad direction, not deceit.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Unions aren't workers.

  • Randian||

    And also what Tulpa said.

    Josh, I suggest you stop now, because you have been entirely wrong on this subject since you got here.

  • JoshSN||

    Seeing as I'm the only person who actually provided a link to the transcript, but the post in question was hyper-ventilating about how unfair the quote was, out of context, I think I did you lot a service.

  • Randian||

    You provided a link and proceeded to get all of your editorializing factually wrong. You were told that "workers aren't the unions", and you ignored it. You were told that "aiming the bill at the biggest budget item =/= 'aiming at state workers", you ignored that. You were shown that it was a donor who brought up RtW and a plausible interpretation (likely the correct one) of the 'divide and conquer' quote, and you didn't address it.

  • JoshSN||

    Do you actually think there are non-union government employees whose rights were affected by the bill Walker championed?

    If so, you are wrong.

  • Randian||

    Unions aren't workers.

    How many times does that need to be said?

  • tarran||

    Unions aren't workers.

    I remember the LTV steel bankrupcy, and the rank and file getting increasingly pissed off at the USWA's brinksmanship, specifically the USWA's unwillingness to do anything to return the company to the black.

    Most of those guys ended up bagging groceries when the company when tits up, and the six-figure salaries all went poof!

    The USWA fat cats didn't even take a pay cut, and cheerfully threw away the broken club with which they had been beating up the pro-business wing of the Democratic party.

  • The Derider||

    Repeating nonsense does not make it more true.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Repeating nonsense does not make it more true.

    After all, we have a whole archive of your posts as evidence of this.

  • Knutsack||

    As the husband of a state HR employee that has to deal with these issues each day, I can tell you that there are union employees whose rights were NOT affected.

  • tarran||

    So the state workers are better off when a bankrupt Wisconsin transfers their pensions to the federal government for pennies on the dollar?

    Again, I don't see what I'm supposed to be outraged about.

  • Randian||

    So you think the presentation of the remarks as "dividing and conquering Wisconsin" by Barrett is honest? Because I do not.

    And if he said the bill isn't "aimed" at state workers, that is entirely correct - it's aimed at the budget.

  • JoshSN||

    I do think it is honest. I don't see anything in the transcript which suggests otherwise. Feel free to point it out to me.

  • Randian||

    I don't need to go to the transcript because I can read basic English. Let's assume that Gov. Walker is talking about "dividing and conquering" the unions. Barrett saying that Walker said he wants to "divide and conquer Wisconsin" is flat wrong and lie.

  • tarran||

    What the hell would divide and conquer Wisconsin even mean?

    Does he have a horde of bow-wielding horsemen massing in Canada?

  • JoshSN||

    He's talking about dividing and conquering the unions. It's crystal clear, based on the question he was just asked.

  • coldguy||

    Hendricks, an employer, brought up right-to-work, not Walker - he never mentioned it. It's clear from the full transcript that divide and conquer referred to elected officials being bought by the unions through campaign support and burdening the budget with unsubstainable benefits far above private sector equivalents.

  • KPres||

    Yep. Sounded to me like he was sidestepping the whole right-to-work issue. Probably because he has no intention of going there, but still wants her campaign contribution.

  • JoshSN||

    As long as you ignore this, from both the video and transcript, you can keep believing you are right.

    Hendricks: So we'll just take five minutes. You know, they don't know. Any chance we'll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions -

    Walker: Oh, yeah.

  • Randian||

    He said "Oh yeah" to the sentiment that they would be a "completely red state". Jesus Christ, just stop already.

  • JoshSN||

    Watch the video, that's not what he responded to. He doesn't start speaking until after the union sentiment is completely expressed by Hendricks.

    You f*cking stop, you are the one trying to deceive.

  • Randian||

    What union sentiment? She said "work on unions"...to do what? That's an incomplete statement. I watched the video and it's very, very obvious. He sat there, processed the 'red state' comment, and starts shaking his head before she says the word 'union'.

    See, this is where you lie: "He doesn't start speaking until after the union sentiment is completely expressed by Hendricks." Well, no, because the phrase "work on these unions" is an incomplete sentiment.

    Just. Fucking. Stop.

  • JoshSN||

    RIGHT TO WORK

    If you can't even be bothered to understand the question, how can you possibly be relied upon to parse the answer?

  • KPres||

    Walker: The first step is, we're going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer. So for us the base we've got for that is the fact that we've got - budgetarily we can't afford not to. If we have collective bargaining agreements in place, there's no way not only the state but local governments can balance things out."

    Boy, that is so evil it sends shivers down my spine!

    Sarcasm aside, it sure seems to me like his interests are focused on balancing budgets, not "going after state workers."

  • Lester Hunt||

    So now the unionistas want this election to be about what somebody said? I think that means that they know they can't win on the issues.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Well, duh. If there was a way to make their case using basic math, they would have done it a long time ago.

  • johnl||

    Brad Liechtenstein. Don't use spellcheckers for names.

  • Lyle||

    Progressive chicanery. Awe.

  • The Derider||

    Kevin Binversie is a Wisconsin native who has been blogging on the state’s political culture for more than eight years. This article originally appeared at WisconsinReporter.com.

    And at WisconsinReporter.com, his bio reads:

    Kevin Binversie is a Wisconsin native who has been blogging on the state’s political culture for more than eight years. He has served in the George W. Bush administration from 2007-2009, worked at the Heritage Foundation and has worked on numerous Wisconsin Republican campaigns in various capacities, most recently as research director for Ron Johnson for Senate.

    Hahahaha, what epic hackery. I salute you, Reason.

  • Registration At Last!||

    If this so-called "Libertarian" magazine is going to keep hauling tanker-trucks of water for a theocratic uber-statist like Scott Walker, it might as well write up some editorial endorsements for Putin and Chavez and Mugabe while it's at it. It would make about as much sense intellectually.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Sure, because there's plenty of commonalities between a state governor who's getting recalled and a trio of totalitarian dictators who brook no opposition whatsoever.

    Your post is so epically stupid that it should go in the Hall of Fame for retarded internet memes.

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