All eyes continue on Wisconsin as former Congressman Mark Neumann announced his plan to run for U.S. Senate, bringing yet another far-right candidate into the mix and setting up a battle within the party between Neumann and likely candidate Tommy Thompson.
Neumann, a hard-right conservative, has picked up the tentative support of Tea Party king-maker Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C) who sees a Thompson candidacy as unacceptably moderate and mainstream. After all, Neumann is on record as endorsing the “eradication” of a gay and lesbian lifestyle because it is “unacceptable.” Neumann also believes in coerced pregnancy and forced-birth, refusing to accept anything short of a complete abortion ban, even in cases of rape and incest. Neumann also opposes all forms of birth control access for women, which, at this point, places him about in the center of the Republican party.
Thompson, on the other hand, may be a Republican of bygone days. He’s seen now as a moderate, not so much for his stance on policy but because of how far to the right his party has lurched.
Should Neumann get the nomination, those extreme views will place him in stark contrast with Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) who has indicated her interest in running for the seat. Baldwin is openly gay and a strong advocate for women and children. She is wildly popular and many see her as the natural standard-bearer for Wisconsin progressives.
Frankly, a Neumann-Baldwin match-up would perfectly encapsulate the division between the right and the left, both in Wisconsin and nationwide. For those of us hoping to moderate the direction of policy coming from the right, a Neumann candidacy is the last thing this country needs.
Photo from WisPolitics.com via flickr.