Just last week Jeffrey Kuhner, a columnist for The Washington Times, penned a screed headlined, "Radical Lesbian Knocking on Senate Door." The conservative pundit warned that if Tammy Baldwin — who in 1998 became the first woman in Wisconsin’s history to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first openly gay nonincumbent elected to Congress in American history — won her bid for the Senate (as she did today) that it “would mark a watershed for the homosexual movement” and a “major blow against traditional America.”
Kuhner warned about Baldwin’s “lesbian lifestyle,” predicting “increased child abuse, higher rates of drug addiction and alcoholism, soaring violence and rampant teenage promiscuity” as a result of her election. Well, Kuhner better prepare for the apocalypse because Tammy Baldwin has just declared victory in her race, with Victory Fund and Fox News both calling the race in her favor.
Baldwin's Republican opponent Tommy Thompson has a favorite talking point: “Tammy Baldwin is so liberal that even Nancy Pelosi has to turn left to talk to her.” Although Baldwin isn't the most liberal member of the House, the most recent of National Journal’s annual vote ratings concur that Baldwin is the more liberal of the two, ranking Baldwin at number 21 on the list of most liberal members of the House, with bogeyman Pelosi at number 79.
Since this isn’t the first time Baldwin has been called a “radical lesbian” (though one assumes Kuhner and his ilk aren’t familiar with actual “radical lesbians” from the 1960s like Rita Mae Brown) and according to the Washington Post, exit polls showed that Wisconsin voters didn't care that the soon-to-be Senator is gay, we still decided to examine what the political platform and voting record of a “radical lesbian” such as Baldwin really looks like.
Economic Security and Fiscal Responsibility
Baldwin says she stands up against "powerful, corporate special interests" and says that "fighting for Wisconsin’s middle class" is her top priority, noting jobs shipped overseas, stagnant wages, dwindling retirement accounts, rising health care costs, and the rising cost of college tuition.
- She voted against extending the Bush-era tax cuts.
- She is the lead sponsor in the House of Representatives of the Buffett Rule (which would make millionaires and billionaires pay more in taxes).
- She voted against repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, which divided investment and commercial banking. The repeal won, a move that many experts say helped cause the 2008 economic collapse.
- She fought for stronger tariffs on China and against what she says are unfair trade deals with China and Central and South America, saying they encourage outsourcing and lead to job losses in Wisconsin.
- In 2001 she opposed tax breaks for overseas corporations; in 2004, she voted against a corporate tax bill that included $42 billion in tax cuts for overseas operations of U.S. companies. She opposes “taxpayer hand-outs for big oil.”
- As part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Baldwin offered a budget plan that would raise taxes by $3.9 trillion over 10 years and reduce the deficit by $5.6 trillion over the same time.