The problem for Thompson is of course that he is no moderate. Even as Thompson called on Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri race after insisting women can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape” when explaining how the GOP could support a no abortions under any circumstances plank Thompson was hoping Wisconsin voters have a short memory.
That’s because in 2000 Thompson helped author the Republican Party Platform, including a constitutional amendment banning abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk. At the time Thompson had a more moderate position on abortion, but that all changed when he was tapped to be in then-president George W. Bush’s cabinet.
It’s a familiar trend among the Republican establishment. As the fringe of the party has pulled the leadership further to the right, their stances on once settled issues of law–such as whether women have a fundamental right to control their bodies–shifted with the base. Thompson is not the exception in that regard, he is part of the rule.
Of course, those who have shifted hard to the right like Thompson will need to reconcile with the independent-minded and far more moderate voters he will need if he has any hope to defeat rival Rep. Tammy Baldwin in November.
Photo from IowaPolitics via flickr.