Tammy Baldwin speech at DNC 9/6/12

Wisconsin candidate for U.S. Senate Tammy Baldwin addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday.

J. Scott Applewhite - Associated Press

If the political director of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin’s U.S. Senate campaign circulated an old video of former Gov. Tommy Thompson that was meant to mock Thompson’s appearance, no one would accept the argument that the act was not part of the Baldwin campaign.

Yet, when the political director of Thompson’s campaign circulated a video mocking Baldwin for dancing at a LGBT event — and peddling the nonsense that lesbians and gays are somehow unrepresentative of “heartland values” — the top Thompson aide tried to claim he wasn’t representing the Thompson campaign when he did it.

That’s ridiculous. The video was circulated on the eve of Baldwin’s speech to the Democratic National Convention. The Thompson camp could not have engaged in a more expressly political act if it had wanted to.

To suggest otherwise is insulting to Baldwin, the LGBT community and the voters of Wisconsin.

The Thompson campaign owes Baldwin an apology. It also owes Wisconsin’s lesbian and gay community — a community that includes Republicans associated with the Log Cabin Republican clubs — a commitment to try not to exploit stereotypes and bigotries.

While they’re at it, the Thompson campaign should make another commitment: to set a higher standard for itself during the remainder of the Senate race.