Tammy Baldwin was my representative when I lived in Madison, and she truly represented me. Not only did Congresswoman Baldwin share my progressive values, she, along with Sens. Feingold and Kohl, actively worked to bring a dear friend of mine and her company home after they had been involuntarily extended in Iraq. I know exactly who Tammy Baldwin is and what she stands for, and I’m excited and proud that she’ll be speaking in the lead up to the President on Thursday evening.
I’ll never forget how helpless I felt when I learned that my friend and her National Guard unit would be involuntarily extended, for the second time. Her unit had just spent over a year and a half in Baghdad fighting on the front lines in Operation Iraqi Freedom and were ready to return home. Their belongings had already arrived home in boxes, and the soldiers were out on the tarmac waiting to be picked up when they got word that they would not be going anywhere.
At the time, the general public was just starting to figure out that we had no business invading Iraq, but the military had no plans to withdraw troops.
Tammy Baldwin’s staff was very kind to me when I went to her office seeking help, but I still thought they were just placating me like everyone else had.
I soon learned that Tammy Baldwin does not placate her constituents, she takes action. She, along with Sens. Feingold and Kohl, worked hard to get my friend (also Baldwin’s constituent) and her company home to Wisconsin, with success.
Her opposition to the Iraq war and her willingness to personally fight for her constituents is not the only reason I support Tammy Baldwin.
I like her stance on health care. As someone who had to deal with the whole pre-existing condition nonsense as a child, Tammy Baldwin understands the importance of affordable access, and she authored the amendment to Obama’s health care reform plan that lets those under the age of 26 stay on their parents’ health insurance.
I also like that she voted against the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act at a time when it was not politically safe to do so (Glass-Steagall prohibited commercial banks from engaging in the investment business; deregulation contributed to the financial crisis of 2008, according to economists such as Paul Krugman).
I like that Tammy Baldwin has worked and continues to work toward a fair economy for middle-class Americans like myself.
I like that she trusts women to make decisions with their own bodies, that she supports equal pay for equal work, that she supports same-sex marriage, and that she owns and is proud of her values and her votes.
Right-wing radio show hosts and bloggers have tried to paint Tammy Baldwin as a “Madison liberal” (is “Madison” the harshest adjective they could come up with to use against her?!).
As a former Madison liberal and a current Waukesha liberal, I can tell you that there is no difference between a Madison liberal and a Waukesha liberal. Liberal values are liberal values. We should not hide them, we should embrace them.
I’m proud of my liberal values. And I’m proud of Tammy Baldwin.
I’m not the only one…
Go, Tammy Baldwin, go!