Wisconsin, this is what Tammy Baldwin looks like

I was confabbing with Republicans, tea partiers, and assorted conservative wizards in the post-recall glow of victory when the name Tammy Baldwin was spoken aloud.

You would have thought that the host had just announced that there would be seconds on key lime pie for everyone and ice cream, too – so joyous was the sense of anticipation at a second great victory a mere five months after the hard slog of 15 months of recall and recrimination.

For there is no one on the conservative side of the ledger who thinks that Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, can get elected U.S. senator from Wisconsin. Of the four Republican candidates, Tommy Thompson is the clear front-runner, according to the Marquette Law School poll, which was spot-on in predicting Walker to win by 7 points. Marquette has Tommy over Tammy by 8 points.

That margin will only widen. Here is why: the rest of Wisconsin doesn’t know Tammy like we know Tammy. They will very soon. And when they’re done, they’ll think Tammy Baldwin is the twin sister of Ms. Hippie Bongstocking (her star turn, here).

Now, I like Tammy personally. But she never calls our advice counselors at the Blaska Policy Research Center and Herpetarium.

Two weeks ago, I blogged, “Something tells me the Wisconsin airwaves and coaxial cables will thrum with images of Tammy Baldwin at the Siege of the Capitol …” Well, that didn’t take long.

This video is now beaming throughout cyberspace, courtesy of the National Republican Senate Committee.

The video, at 1:43 minutes, opens with a shaky camera jostled by the chaotic storming of the Capitol entrances during the worst days of the Siege.

The congresswoman appears on the screen. Her jaw is clenched as she declares, “You’re damn right we’re making a difference …”

But probably not for the better, as far as Democrats are concerned. Wisconsin was turned off by the Capitol protests, as I warned it would be. That verdict will only harden with time.

The Democratic candidate chants “Solidarity.” That is intercut with a snippet of police jostling with unruly protesters, before Tammy returns to the screen to announce that “this IS what democracy looks like.”

Footage of election results the night of June 5 follows, showing Gov. Walker with a commanding victory.

An on-screen message concludes: “Tammy Baldwin, THIS is what democracy looks like … and you’ll see it in November.”

It is difficult to envision a Wisconsin that: 

• just gave a mid-term vote of confidence to one of the most conservative governors in the nation

• less than two years ago flipped both houses of the Legislature from Democrat to Republican

• turned out Russ Feingold in favor of Ron Johnson

• whose Democrat(ic) Party is dispirited and discredited, whose union supporters are financially drained – it is difficult to see how that Wisconsin elects one of the most liberal Democrats in the nation, someone even more liberal than Barack Obama!

Call it buyer’s remorse. Even Greg Humphrey, a former Dem legislative staffer who is a native of Wisconsin’s central sands area, is forlornly blogging, How Is It That No One Challenged Tammy Baldwin For Democratic Senate Nomination?

“While Baldwin is well suited for the Second Congressional District, and is very much sympatico with the voters, that is not how she will be viewed in places like Mosinee or Algoma when seeking votes as a senate candidate. Her liberal qualities we adore on the isthmus will not be what makes her electable in Wautoma.”

For the first time in 55 years, Wisconsin will have two Republican U.S. senators. We could not have done it without a lot of help from our liberal friends.

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