I'm starting to feel sorry for the common-sense Republicans in Wisconsin who have to choose who to nominate for the U.S. Senate in a couple of weeks — both of their major candidates are screwballs.
State Sen. Leah Vukmir, who more than a few claim is the meanest legislator in the state Capitol, has this habit of making things up nearly as often as one of her heroes, Donald Trump.
After a string of wacko incidents, including producing an ad that claimed an incumbent Democratic senator is in cahoots with terrorists, she was at it again a few days ago claiming that Rep. Mark Pocan's bill to eliminate ICE would mean that there would be no more enforcement of the U.S. borders.
No, responded the fact-checking site PolitFact Wisconsin, giving her another "Pants on Fire" rating for her blatantly false contention.
PolitiFact pointed out that ICE isn't in charge of border security, the federal Border Patrol is, and has been for nearly 100 years. ICE was created several months after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and is responsible for arresting, detaining and deporting unauthorized immigrants who are already in the United States.
As witnessed by the way ICE separated young children from their parents, Pocan believes the agency is out of control and needs to be replaced with a more common-sense organization. But in no way was he suggesting border security should be ended.
But as Vukmir has demonstrated time after time, facts can't get in the way of a political campaign, no matter who needs to be smeared. She was a key figure in vilifying Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, demanding the firing of staff members and accusing the GAB of going after her because she had authored a bill to eliminate the board.
Problem was, the GAB had turned over Vukmir's improper emails to John Doe prosecutors in 2013, two years before she had introduced the bill. As One Wisconsin Now's Scot Ross said, she must have one of those machines that takes you back to the future.
But then, some might say that Vukmir is normal compared to her opponent, the off-the-charts Kevin Nicholson who keeps trying to explain why he was once a Democrat, including serving as national chair of the College Democrats of America back in 1999.
He raised some eyebrows earlier this year when he proclaimed that his military service in the Iraq and Afghan wars opened his eyes. He claimed that joining the military is a conservative thing to do because you agree to defend the Constitution, which is something Democrats drag through the mud.
And then the zinger: "Those veterans that are out there in the Democrat Party, I question their cognitive thought process." More than a few vets questioned whether Nicholson has any cognitive thought processes at all.
But he was at it again last week, insinuating that only dumb people are Democrats and, remarkably, blaming his early Democratic life on his grandfather, a big FDR partisan, and his parents, who he claims forced the Democratic Party on him.
That his parents "turned their back on me" when he decided to become a Republican is proof, he claims, that the Democrats aren't a party of tolerance or acceptance.
"Adding to this, they decided to make the maximum contribution to my Democrat opponent in my campaign for U.S. Senate, an intentional personal blow that made headlines across the country," he wrote. "It was deliberate — and a true representation of the intolerance of a political philosophy that stands on the false platform of tolerance."
It was his marriage, the birth of his three children, his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his savior, his time fighting in two wars, and his experience in business since leaving the Marine Corps that made his choice clear, he says.
He concludes by praising the late Ronald Reagan, President Donald Trump, VP Mike Pence and former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, the Texas fixer who was instrumental in bringing about the nation's fiscal collapse in 2008.
Now, I ask you, which of these two screwballs would you vote for?
Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.
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