Dave Westlake’s comprehension problem

Either Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave Westlake has a serious comprehension problem or he’s just not the sharpest tool in the shed. In his latest “Week in Review,” Westlake asserts Sen. Russ Feingold is talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to his position on health care reform (emphasis mine):

“Career” politicians have long been guilty of saying one thing while they’re in office, then espousing something completely different to get re-elected…but this is getting ridiculous. Developments over the last seven days have even the most left-leaning pols trying to sound more [gasp!] conservative. Clearly, the long-term Washingtonians who temporarily relocate back to their “home” states during their August recess are suffering from an identity crisis…

Take for example Sen. Feingold. Since 1992 he’s been the U.S. Senate’s primary advocate for government-run, single-payer health care—yet this week in Mercer, WI, he seemingly abandoned his “I won’t stop until this is done” attitude by placating the crowd with “Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas…if this ever happens.” But wait…stop the press…later the same day, Sen. Feingold updated his position by saying “I will continue working to make sure we do it and it is one with a strong public option.” Hmmm.

Here’s what I find interesting: in the article Westlake linked to – an article written by Richard Moore of the Lakeland Times – Westlake quoted Sen. Feingold as saying, ““Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas…if this ever happens.” Westlake uses that quote as “proof” that Sen. Feingold is suddenly opposed to health care reform, but curiously (or conveniently, depending on your perspective), Dave Westlake left out some important context from the article he cited (emphasis mine):

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold told a large crowd gathered for a listening session in Iron County last week there would likely be no health care bill before the end of the year – and perhaps not at all.

It was an assessment Feingold said he didn’t like, but the prospect of no health care legislation brought a burst of applause from a packed house of nearly 150 citizens at the Mercer Community Center.

“Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas, and maybe not even then, if this ever happens,” Feingold said. “The divisions are so deep. I never seen anything like that.”

It seems pretty clear from Sen. Feingold’s whole statement that his position in support of health care reform hasn’t changed, despite what Dave Westlake wants folks to believe, and it also seems pretty clear Dave Westlake just isn’t ready to serve as Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator.


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