Tommy or Tammy?
Seldom has a Wisconsin voter faced starker choices than in this year’s November election. In both presidential and governor’s races we are choosing between pairs of candidates with nearly opposite political views and voting records.
Some of us may have backed other candidates in the primaries. But make no mistake, if voters who align with the Tea Party wish to see major changes accomplished that we have fought so hard for, such as eliminating federal deficits and returning to constitutional government, we cannot let differences in specific objectives and governance styles stand between us and our ultimate goals.
Social conservatives need to remind themselves that a minimum of two US Supreme Court appointments will be made by whichever candidate wins the presidency. Do we really think a second-term Barack Obama will appoint justices who agree with our positions?
Libertarians, including the many loyal backers of Ron Paul: are you willing to abandon good, but (in your opinion) not perfect, efforts to re-establish market-based economic policies just to teach wayward Republicans a lesson in purity? God forbid. If Obamacare and other onerous legislation enacted during the past four years--and already being implemented--are not quickly overturned by a new President and Congress, you and I will not recognize the United States in 2016.
We must secure the White House and both houses of Congress to re-chart our course under the direction of the Republican Party. Electing more conservative representatives will be part of the ongoing plan.
Let’s consider specifics. By now we are familiar with the differences in style and substance between our current President and Vice President and the Romney/Ryan ticket. Most of us who have lived and voted a while in Wisconsin are well acquainted with our former governor Tommy Thompson. Thompson served as governor for fourteen years before leaving for Washington to head the Department of Health and Human Services as secretary. He returned to Wisconsin following his tenure at HHS.
His record as a reformer stands above those of other modern-day state governors. He reformed welfare by modifying eligibility and instituting reasonable work requirements, and established school choice for under-served minorities in our major cities. His ground-breaking school voucher initiatives served as an example for Governor Walker’s courageous stand in opposing the powerful public sector unions, who sought to preserve the status quo and continue to burden Wisconsin taxpayers with unworkable budgets.
Tommy faces opponent U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the senate race. Baldwin, a product of Madison progressive politics, was unfamiliar to most voters around the state before she began her senate campaign late in 2011. Because she had little early opposition, she gained a head-start against the eventual GOP winner, who had to spend time and resources to win the nomination in the August primary.
From the beginning, her plan was to convince out-state voters that she was a moderate who had their best interests at heart and that she held the same conservative values such as owning a gun. As a Dane county board member she repeatedly introduced legislation that would have restricted gun ownership for Madison residents.
What she appears to be in town-hall meetings, out of earshot of her 2nd Congressional district constituents, and who she is and what she actually represents are very different things. Various organizations like the NRA and the American Conservative Union have ranked her congressional voting record (earning an "F" and a zero on a scale of zero to 100, respectively for each organizatioin) as even more liberal than Nancy Pelosi’s or Harry Reid’s, as incredible as that may seem. Her record as a House member may be acceptable to most voters in Madison and Dane county, but it will not be acceptable to a majority of Wisconsin voters if they elect her to the U.S. Senate once they see her performance.
Voters would do well to remember the saying "caveat emptor", or buyers beware, before entering the voting booth. And by all means don’t stay home on November 6.