Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Desperate Tommy Politicizes September 11th

As the campaign for U.S. Senate continues, it is increasingly clear that Tommy Thompson has become desperate. The over $10 million in dishonest special interest ads have only helped marginally and Tommy is still behind in most polls. His campaign tried to launch a major foreign policy attack on Iran last week only to have their candidate totally bomb both the debate and their entire strategy. All of those things are bad enough but Thompson has taken his campaign to a new low today.

Yesterday it was reported that Tommy Thompson launched a new misleading attack ad. This isn't just another Tommy attack ad, now he has desperately taken to politicizing September 11th. It is disgusting that Tommy would cynically try to politicize a historic and national tragedy that still directly impacts so many people. The mere existence of this ad is bad enough but it is made much worse by the fact that it attempts to mislead the public into questioning Tammy Baldwin's patriotism.

The Thompson ad attacks Tammy Baldwin for voting against a 9/11 resolution that Congressional Republicans decided to politicize in 2006. Republicans substantively changed that resolution from being the usual kind of 9/11 anniversary resolution into something that endorsed the Patriot Act, punitive immigration policies and other highly controversial measures. I suppose if Congressional Republicans would have the gall to misuse the memory of 9/11 in this political way in 2006, we shouldn't be too surprised that desperate Tommy would try to misuse and politicize the issue today.

Members of the media noticed that the 2006 resolution had been needlessly politicized by Congressional Republicans.

  • The Capital Times noted that "the resolution included much more than an expression of support for 9/11 victims, U.S. troops and the police officers, firefighters and paramedics who responded to the attacks. For instance, among the accomplishments it celebrates is the 2001 passage of the Patriot Act...it also paid homage to the House's then-recent approval of a bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration..." [Capital Times Politiscope blog, 9/11/12]
  • CQ Weekly noted that this 2006 resolution was very different from past 9/11 resolutions in that "Republicans stuffed the bill with references to GOP-crafted measures." [CQ Weekly, 9/18/06]
Another way that you can tell this 2006 resolution was different is that Tammy Baldwin voted for all other resolutions honoring the victims of 9/11. The different thing about this 2006 resolution is that Congressional Republicans were shamelessly trying to play politics with it.  Now their candidates like desperate Tommy is shamelessly trying to politicize the issue once again.

The idea that Tammy Baldwin somehow isn't patriotic enough because she didn't vote for the politicized version of a 9/11 resolution is twisted and the Thompson campaign should be ashamed of themselves. I've already pointed to the fact that Tammy Baldwin voted for all of the other (non-politicized) 9/11 resolutions. But Baldwin also has voted in many ways to honor the 9/11 victims and first responders.  In fact many of her supportive votes were less about words and much more about substance.
To make matters worse, the Thompson campaign uses veterans in this disgusting new ad.  I've written about this extensively before but Tammy Baldwin has constantly voted to support our men and women in uniform. Here is only a small sample of Tammy's votes in this area:

  • In 2002, Tammy introduced the Dr. James Allen Disabled Veterans Equity Act. After years of fighting Washington gridlock, it was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007.  
  •  Tammy was also a strong supporter of President Obama’s Returning Heroes Tax Credit, which gives businesses that hire unemployed veterans a credit of up to $5,600 per veteran. 
  • She also supported the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, which gives businesses that hire veterans with service-related disabilities a credit of up to $9,600 per veteran. 
  •  Baldwin supported the Post 9/11 GI Bill Of Rights for the 21st Century, the largest expansion of veterans’ education benefits since the enactment of the original GI Bill in 1944. Conclude
The Thompson campaign should be ashamed for misleading so badly on Tammy Baldwin's actual record. They should also be rejected by voters and the media for questioning Baldwin's patriotism in the face of such a long and distinguished record on these issues. In the end I think that we are learning that there is no shame in the Thompson campaign and they will desperately try anything including the politicization of September 11, 2001.

UPDATE: The Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin reacted today to Tommy Thompson's dishonorable 9/11 ad.

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