Wineke: Thompson chumming around with Nugent is a sad spectacle

C3K columnist says Tommy Thompson is most qualified for Republican nomination
Wineke: Thompson chumming around with Nugent is a sad spectacle

Oh, Tommy, has it really come to this?

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, once the most popular politician in Wisconsin and current candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, said he is proud to have “musician” Ted Nugent as part of his team.

Nugent appeared with Thompson last week at a campaign event in Sturtevant. During the event, the classy rocker referred to the President of the United States as a “Chicago gangster.”

Nugent added, “We are on the fast track toward the end of the American dream with this corrupt, power-abusing criminal gang in the White House right now. These are bad people.”

Oh, come on, Tommy! Do you really want to be associated with this kind of venom?

I know it is difficult. By any reasonable standard, Thompson should just be handed the Republican nomination. Instead, he is challenged by a right-wing multi-millionaire who hasn’t lived in the state for decades. His record of progress in Wisconsin is being challenged by a front organization for the Koch brothers.

But, Tommy, show some dignity.

You were a great governor. You were a great secretary of Health and Human Services. I never agreed with your politics, but even I, partisan though I am, could not deny that you were doing what you could to make Wisconsin a great state.

Now you’re chumming around with Ted Nugent? A thimble-brain who accuses President Obama of conspiring with the United Nations to end gun rights in America?

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.

I do understand. You and I are approximately the same age and men our age are not ready to concede that our best days are now behind us. We think we still have something to offer.

If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be writing this column in the hope that someone, somewhere, might read it. If I was a politician and had the ability to run for high office, I am sure I would run. I have sympathy, Tommy.

Are you more qualified to be senator than is Eric Hovde? Yes. More qualified than Mark Neumann? Yes. More qualified than Jeff Fitzgerald? Yes.

More qualified than Tammy Baldwin? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

This could have been a decent election, one featuring a long-time principled liberal, Tammy Baldwin, and a long-time principled conservative, Tommy Thompson. It might have been a campaign that actually dealt with real issues and real solutions.

Alas, the Republican Party has been seized by vultures who worship success and disdain experience. I understand why you are fighting for your life.

But Ted Nugent? Honest to God, Tommy, if this is what you’ve got to do, it isn’t worth doing.