Republicans Wall and Westlake should split with Limbaugh

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Posted by on February 20, 2010 at 09:57:40:

Capital Times editorial | Posted: Monday, February 8, 2010 5:15 am

The state Democratic Party is asking the two candidates for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate to address the question of whether they agree or disagree agree with talk radio host Rush Limbaugh�s comparison of the man they hope to challenge next fall, Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, with Osama bin Laden.

That�s a reasonable request.

Watertown businessman David Westlake and Madison developer Terrence Wall may really want to take on Feingold. But they owe it to themselves and to the voters of Wisconsin to do so in a manner that is at least minimally serious and sincere.

To suggest that a statement by bin Laden on climate change �sounds like this could easily be Russ Feingold, the senator from Wisconsin� -- as Limbaugh did -- is neither serious nor sincere.

It is absurd.

And it is the sort of win-at-any-cost politics that Wisconsinites have always rejected.

Westlake and Wall should recognize that fact and put themselves on the right side of Wisconsin -- even if it puts them on the wrong side of Limbaugh.

They should do so because it�s the right approach. They should also do so because they know that, were a liberal talk radio host to suggest that Westlake and Wall sounded like terrorists, Feingold would go out of his way to distance himself from the remarks.

Feingold has always been meticulous about working with and defending the sincerity of Republicans, even Republicans with whom he disagrees. That�s why the Wisconsin senator is so frequently a co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation, like the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act and a recent initiative Feingold launched with Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the Senate, to defend human rights in Africa.

Westlake and Wall may disagree with Feingold. They may want to defeat him. But the two Republican contenders should recognize that Feingold is a worthy opponent. And they should endeavor to be equally as worthy.

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