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Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 5, 2007

* Have two of central Illinois’ congressmen gone a bit batty? Check out this Ray LaHood story

Sources familiar with Bradley University’s presidential search said committee members will be interviewing finalists very soon, and U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood is not one of them.

LaHood, meanwhile, said Tuesday he still hasn’t decided whether to apply for the position, even though he said a month ago that he was interested and suspended his congressional fundraising while he weighed his options.

“I’m still considering the decision,” said LaHood, a Peoria Republican.

Asked how that could be, given that the search committee has selected its finalists to be interviewed shortly at an out-of-town location, LaHood responded, “I just told you where I’m at with it.”

The congressman also declined to confirm that he was not one of the people being interviewed.

* And now, John Shimkus

“When I taught government and history,” Shimkus added, “by definition, what is the best form of government, the most simple, is a compassionate monarchy - a monarchy that loves and respects its citizens and … is able to make easy decisions without the weight of a bureaucracy we’d have to fund.”

One applies for a job telepathically, and the other believes that relying on the good graces of a single monarch is the “best form of government.” What’s up with these two? Has being in the minority caused them to flip their lids? Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - fedup dem - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:46 am:

    LaHood (and possibly Shimkus) probably realize that after Bush, the Republicans will likely be in the minority and out of power for decades, if not forever. Golden parachutes are a bit hard to come by under those conditions.

  2. - Blah blah blah - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:51 am:

    LaHood has been unhappy since before being in the Minority. He was fueding within the party for years. Personally, I think Shimkus has been nuts from the get-go …

  3. - Squideshi - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:58 am:

    Maybe Congressman Shimkus would be interested in introducing a bill to allow the United States to apply for membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. I would also be interested in knowing if Congressman Shimkus thinks that Canada has a better form of government than the United States, as they are, after all, a constitutional monarchy.

  4. - 105th Blues - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:58 am:

    I think nobody has really paid that much attention to them and once the press does start to look at them it becomes abundantly clear that they are not the most stellar congressmen or the brightest in the bunch. Something about downstate IL congressmen in general leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to objectively looking at their performance (i.e. Weller, Johnson, these 2 clowns) etc..

  5. - Madison County Watcher - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:59 am:

    Isn’t a compassionate monarchy the form of government that what we currently have in Cook County and Chicago?

  6. - Reality - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:00 am:

    No, it does not come from being in the minority. Remember, Milorad was Governor (with a legislature dominated by his party) when he said it was unfortunate that we live in a democracy.

    There is something that happens to many people in positions of power. Maybe it is because they had those characteristics prior to taking office. Or maybe it is because they have been there so long regardless of minority status or assignments.

    This is why term limits are often speciously espoused as a way to combat such attitudes. However, unless offices with term limitations attract a completely different type of personality, nothing will change.

  7. - Napoleon has left the building - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:10 am:

    Any supporter of the Cheney-Bush presidency, such as Cong. Shimkus probably believes that democracy is not good since Bush believes he does not need to be accountable to the Congress nor the people.

    LaHood is probably trying to find a way to save face. He clearly was not academically qualified for the job, I just think it’s a shame that Bradley won’t get any earmarks for a while . . .

  8. - Captain America - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:15 am:

    Compassionate Conservatism = Compassionate Monarchy = The Unitary Exceutive = The Cheney-Bush Administration

    Several years ago, I recall reading an undocumented source in Capitol Hill Blue attributing a remark to Dubya: ” The Constitution is just a “darned” piece of paper.”

    Kudos to Shimkus for explaining why there was no Congressional oversight over the Cheney-Bush monarchy between 2001 and 2007. Habeas corpus be”darned”

  9. - Fan of the Game - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:23 am:

    The comappsionate dictatorship is the most efficient system of government for the very reasons Rep. Shimkus gives. It is not, however, the best form of government because it does not allow for the transition of power. The next dictator may be the most horrible ruler the world has seen.

    The best form is the democratic republic as we have in the United States. Though often ponderous, it does allow for the machinationas and processes of government to continue almost uninterrupted through the transition of power because Iis ponderousness makes it difficult to make changes.

  10. - Shelbyville - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:26 am:

    Uh, you normally need to apply for a job to be considered for it.

    How many of LaHood’s colleagues have only a BS or no degree at all?

  11. - Kid Vegas - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:29 am:

    I am guessing that during his history lessons on the Revolutionary war he was really rooting for the British and hoping they would just lighten up a bit and things would be fine in America. Genius!

  12. - Philosopher king - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    Somebody’s been reading too much Plato. Let’s hope Shimkus doesn’t start talking about the allegory of the shadows or dividing society into gold, silver or bronze classes…

  13. - capitol view - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:31 am:

    LaHood is pulling a “Fred Thompson” or a Bloomberg” — waiting for the obvious choices to be examined and found wanting. He then will step forward as the best non-traditional alternative.

    The major role of a university president is to be the ambassador to the rest of the community and area, and be heavily involved in fund raising. LaHood knows who the wealthy members of his Peoria area community are, and he can get some money for the university from the federal executive branch if not the legislative for a while (remember the Newt Gingrich principle: to the winners belong all spoils. No earmarks or discretionary programs for the minority side. This ugly trend has spread to many state governments, including Illinois, and now is making budget deals after May 30th that much more difficult.)

    LaHod is still a possibility - depending on the bona fidas of the other traditional candidates.

  14. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:43 am:

    How many jobs has LaHood applied for in life?

    Maybe he’s just unfamiliar with how the job application process works for people in the real world.

  15. - ZC - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:43 am:

    I don’t think it’s Plato. I think it is a reference to Aristotle’s _Politics_. Aristotle considers the six regimes government can take: monarchy, aristocracy, polity (the three best, with monarchy the tops), and democracy, oligarchy and tyranny (the three worst, with tyranny the worst.)

    So yes, an enlightened monarch is the best regime, according to Aristotle. Problems: 1. Aristotle himself admitted that finding such a monarch was well-nigh impossible; 2. Bad monarchy was most likely to devolve into the absolute worst regime, tyranny; 3. Aristotle could be an elitist, arrogant snob. Anyone who seriously _taught_ this part of Aristotle as worthy of respect may deserve similar kudos.

  16. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    Shimkus is merely betraying the authoritarian impulses of the Republican Party.

    When the Republican controlled Congress and the executive branch, the party let Bush do whatever he wanted. The GOP didn’t exercise oversight so Bush was basically like a dictator. And the GOP thought it was good.

    Shimkus is merely omitting the self-censorship most Republicans do to hide their true beliefs.

  17. - Fed up - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:46 am:

    Hey Rich have you ever looked at the Mopes named danny davis, Booby Rush, Jan schakowsky. I know your a tried and true dem. but repeatedly bashing goofy GOPers while ignoring even goofier dems really shows a bias.

  18. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    Oh, please “Fed Up.” You haven’t seen those posts? Really? Try searching for Danny Davis’ name. Ask Bobby Rush if I’ve ignored him.

  19. - Captain America - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    I agreee completely with the Madison County Watcher that Mayor Daley is a benovolent despot. But at least he’s s comptetent despot, which is more than you can say about our Governor, our Senate Godfather, and the political stripling in charge of Cook County.

    Madigan is competent, but his personal power agenda has precluded him from legislating in the best collective interests of the people of Illinois.

    Unfortunately. the concept of “good governmnet’ is an oxymoron in our “Land of Lincoln.”

  20. - Larry - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:57 am:

    Feedup You hit the nail on the head. One or two comments taken out of context by a Republican. Democrats say wacky stuff all the time an no reporting by this blog. Must be a reallly slow news day.

  21. - Philosopher king - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:07 am:

    ZC: It’s been a long time since philosophy class. Maybe Aristotle was just riffing off of Plato. Not to use Wikipedia as a crutch, but …

    In any event, there seems to be a huge gap in the sequence of Plato, Aristotle, Shimkus.

  22. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:08 am:

    Danny Davis is the only Illinois Rep I’ve known to actually receive a crown. Shimkus deserves a break although here although he’s a good example of why Pols should avoid talking Ply Sci Theory.

  23. - ZC - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:13 am:


    Take it to another blog, please. You obviously don’t spend much time reading this one.

  24. - Whackjob in Carpentersville - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:15 am:

    Obviously, this is more evidence of Andy McKenna’s incompetence.

    Why hasn’t McKenna screened these congressman? Why hasn’t he called for their resignations at meetings around the state?

    We all know SB 600 would take care of Congressmen like this.

    We also know that this is what Denny Hastert says in secret meetings but is too fearful to say in public.

    Where is Senator Lauzen when we need him?

  25. - loyal subject - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    We believe in monarchy in Chicago. And generally believe in dynastic oligarchies in Illinois.

    I just wish the monarchs and inheritance oligarchs would be more benevolent and compassionate. I am not arguing with Congressman that it is the best form of government.

  26. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:29 am:

    Whackjob, LaHood and Shimkus were in office long before McKenna broke onto the scene. I would even attest that either Congressman would be a better party chairman than McKenna. He is a dullard and has disappointed myself and many other younger Republicans.

    Both of these gentleman represent their districts well and have good staff members in place. A slip up every now and then is to be expected.

  27. Pingback Today’s incoming linkage | Peoria Pundits - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:39 am:

    […] Rich Miller links to this post about telepathy. […]

  28. - Fed up - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:43 am:

    Rich nohing to say about Jan schakowsy and her wacky life

  29. - Randa - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    Is everyone missing a key phrase in Shimkus’ remarks? He says that BY DEFINITION it is the best form of government. He doesn’t say that it is the best in terms of practice or that he favors it. Plus, I would listen to him talk about poly sci theory, being that he is a gov. teacher and all. Seriously, all the crap going on in our state gov right now, and this is all we can find to talk about? John is a good guy. Leave him alone!

  30. - (618) Democrat - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:56 am:

    First Shimkus goes out of his way to help enable a sex predator and now he says that a monarchy is a better form of Government than the USA’s democracy. This guy has lost it.

  31. - Judgement Day Is On The Way - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 11:06 am:

    Looks to me like 2 R’s trying to get a little air time, following the old adage that “Any Press Is Good Press”. I mean, the D’s have kind of had a monopoly on political press here the last few weeks, with all the budget craziness, and “Hair Force One”, etc., etc.

    They’re just proving that given a chance, they can be as crazy as the D’s are these days.

    Good Times for political junkies here in IL.

  32. - paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    Burns: This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.

    Smithers: You are noble and poetic in defeat, sir.

    The Simpsons

  33. - Sango Dem - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 11:16 am:

    Shimkus is a joke. He would be out of office if we had a statewide Democratic Party that didn’t fight against downstate Democrats.

    I hope party leaders are still happy with themselves for throwing out Phelps in favor of Shimkus. There’s no reason Shimkus couldn’t have been drawn into a Democratic district with Costello and Phelps could have been given a winnable district to run in.

  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 11:19 am:

    Sango Dem, the congressional delegation drew the congressional map. At the time, there were more Repubs than Dems in that delegation and it had to pass both the IL House (controlled by Dems) and the Senate (controlled by Repubs). Your argument doesn’t hold water.

    And, fed up, your conspiracy-minded attitude is exasperated. Take it somewhere else, please.

  35. - Captain America - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 11:23 am:

    I was proud to march with Jan Shakowsky in two July 4 parades. Jan is very popular and respected in her Congressional district. She is also nationally respected in progressive political cirles. She has a leadership postion in the Democratic caucus. Somehow she keeps getting reelected by overwhelming margins.

    While one can appreciate genuine philosophical objections to Jan’s progressive politcal philosophy and recognize that none of our politcal leaders are saints or without faults, she is the opposite of a mope. If she is wacky, then all of our politcal leaders in both parties need to be a little wackier - maybe something would get done.

  36. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 11:50 am:

    What I don’t get about GOP whining is that this is a blog that allows comments.

    You want to say Danny K. Davis is a goof for crowning Rev. Moon the messiah, why not just say it? Why whine that Rich isn’t covering something that’s old news?

  37. - GLT - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 12:24 pm:

    Though it’s been said a number of times in this dialogue, I’ll say it again. Shimkus was simply stating a tenet of political PHILOSOPHY, not political reality.

    Frankly, I’d love to hear one of our politicians refer to the philosophy of John Stuart Mill.

  38. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 12:29 pm:

    GLT, as aa “tenet of political philosophy” if you believe that a benevolent king with no bureaucracy is better than a democratic-elected government, and state such over the 4th of July holiday, then you deserve whatever you gots coming to ya.

  39. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===Though it’s been said a number of times in this dialogue, I’ll say it again. Shimkus was simply stating a tenet of political PHILOSOPHY, not political reality.

    What tenet is that? Democracy is bad?

  40. - Only a casual history reader - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 12:49 pm:

    How can there be any self-sustaining monarchy without an effective bureaucracy? You need one just to make a nation state run, no matter the form of policy decision making on top of the structure. Look at several hundred years of British Monarchs…look at Chinese Emperors… for Pete’s sake, look at little old Kings of Belgium during their Colonial Period. Got Bureaucracy? You bet.

    BTW…not conceding any of those examples were compassionate.

    Two things for those who insist on the purely philosophical. First, equating simple and best is not logical. Second, where human diversity happens, there ARE NO easy decisions for a Compassionate Monarch…or any other type to make.

  41. - GLT - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 12:54 pm:


    It’s political philosophy, not political reality. Two different things. Also, I didn’t say that anything about what I believe or don’t believe. I was simply pointing out that the basis for Shimkus’ remark was philosophical.

    Cool out!

  42. - Peoria Pete - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 12:55 pm:

    Let’s link two unrelated discussions: I believe Danny Davis has a Ph.D. in Social Work, so maybe he could get the job at Bradley and hire LaHood as a fundraiser??

  43. - Poli-Sci Geek - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 1:02 pm:

    “Pure” democracy is bad. It leads to mob rule and the tyranny of the majority. (our founders knew this.) The original system allowed for one democratically elected branch, the House. The Senators were elected by the state assemblies. (you should read about William Lorimer) The President is still elected by the electoral college, originally the thinking was that this would prevent the electorate from electing a president “no one didn’t send”.

  44. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 1:07 pm:

    GLT, do you agree with that philosophy?

  45. - Captain America - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 1:08 pm:


    I really enjoyed that Simpson’s quote.

  46. - GLT - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 1:24 pm:

    No Rich, I do not agree with the application of that philosophy. I’d guess Poly Sci Geek doesn’t either. However, I don’t think Poly Sci Geek was advancing it as a political philosophy. He was advancing it as an idea that was debated at the time.

    Frankly, it sounds like something Thomas Hobbs would have advanced.

  47. - The Horse - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 1:29 pm:

    clearly these guys miss the good old days when they could sit at denny’s feet and have their thoughts listened too.

    They are bored silly with nothing to do and no one to listen to them. they miss the excitment of POWER

    as was said earlier thats why we need term limits

  48. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 1:48 pm:

    We don’t have a king in the US, but the founders gave us a President who combines and mixes the roles of Prime Minister and King.

    I’ve always felt one defining principle for Liberals is they favor a strong national executive over any kind of decentralized government. Most of our political debates in this country are debates about what level of government is appropriate for what decisions.

    I’ve always been an admirer of Lincoln and FDR (growing up at a time when kids still recited derogatory ditties about FDR they heard from their parents).

    Get away from the King imagery and ask yourself where you stand on a strong executive vs a weak one, and then Shimkus is not very out of line.

    What’s interesting is how right and left, and liberal and conservative is all topsy turvy today.

    It is worth noting though the most heavy handed proposal from Gov this year was the attempt to resurrect the fairness in medial rules. Lots of Illinois Democrats came out for that with plenty of paternal sounding pap about educating the public so they hear both sides.

    That’s certainly voting for a benevolent and monarchical regulation by the feds of the air waves.

  49. - FED UP - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 2:23 pm:

    Captain america was jans hubby there at the parade or is he still in prison. I know Jan had no knowledge of her husbands actions. Its ok for Hillary to parade around Bill but we should not link Jan and her husband.

  50. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 2:24 pm:

    I reread Shimkus’ comments and the defenses don’t hold water.

    He’s clearly making a value judgment, not explaining some theoretical form of government.

    And his contempt for bureaucrats is completely divorced from reality. How does Shimkus think a country of 300 million can be governed without a bureaucracy?

    Shimkus succeeded in flying under the radar for much of his career. It’s good to expose him for the authoritarian, Right Wing hack he is.

    Remember, Shimkus was one of the Republicans who put his faith in the Republican leadership instead truth and the rule-of-law in the Mark Foley page scandal.

  51. - FED UP - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 2:27 pm:

    I would never accuse you of a vast left wing conspiracy Rich. just a gentle prod every now and then. And now back to Air Blago a catastrophy of epic size.

  52. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 2:31 pm:


  53. - reluctant servant - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 2:35 pm:

    Lots of people do believe in Monarchy
    with Bush II
    and of course the benevolent dictator of them all
    King Richard lifetime Mayor of Chicago

  54. - Sango Dem - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 3:01 pm:

    Rich, I’m aware of the deal to pass an incumbent protection map that Democratic party leaders agreed to. You’re inncorect that there were more Republicans in the delegation: it was tied. That doesn’t explain why Phelps was drawn out instead of Johnson who hadn’t been in Congress as long.

    They could have revisited the map after Democrats won the coin toss or after Dems gained control of all three branches. It was a failure of the Democrats in the congressional delegation and the party leadership in the legislature. They were willing to fight a battle over the state legislative maps but not the congressional ones. Why is that?

  55. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 3:03 pm:

    You’re right. It was tied, but the Repubs had the Speaker at the time, as you’ll recall. And, as you still won’t recognize, the map had to be passed by a GOP Senate.

    As far as revisiting the map, as I recall MJM said he went thru that sort of thing in the 70s and it was a mess.

  56. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 3:06 pm:

    Also, Phelps was unpopular in the delegation on both sides. Members said at the time he was always saying how much he hated DC, until he was mapped out. It was Costello who cut that deal with Hastert, and it was Costello who tossed Phelps under the bus.

  57. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 3:08 pm:

    Now, back to the question, please.

  58. - Squideshi - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 3:12 pm:

    It’s shocking how many people are scared of Democracy. In theory, Illinois is a DEMOCRATIC republic, as we do democratically elect our representatives; and in addition, we also have limited forms of direct democracy, such as initiative to amend Article V of the state Constitution by petition, annual town meetings, and referendums.

    Support for democracy is at the base of my political philosophy, which makes democracy itself one of the most important issues for me. It seems less important to me what politicans say about nonetheless important issues like healthcare, education, or the economy, because it is my opinion that these problems are less likely to get solved without a strong democracy.

    This is one reason that I support neither the Democratic or Republican parties. I haven’t seen either as particularly strong on standing up for democracy. In fact, people like Madigan and Blagojevich appear to be almost the opposite.

    This is the type of thing that goes beyond party platforms and individual issues. It’s at the core of a political party’s philosophy. I am a Green not because I am an environmentalist but, rather, because one of the party’s Ten Key Values is Grassroots Democracy.

  59. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 4:12 pm:

    I didn’t have the Shimkus comments in context. Read the discussion over at Prarie State Blue and you see him more in context of talking about the situation civil war in Iraq.

    The anti-Iraq war crowd’s position is Iraq would have been better off with Saddam left in place, and Saddam no benovlent dictator! The whole liberal arguement today is Democracy is something that can’t be imposed by force of arms. That the price Iraqi’s have paid is a civil war for which the anti-war crowd can see no sides worth fighting alongside with.

    Shimkus seem perfectly in line with much of the country at the moment and ALL of the Democratic Party. Democracy is not suitable for all people and the US has no business acting the Social Revolutionaries trying to incite it were it’s never existed.

  60. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 4:14 pm:

    Baar’s comments are strange and wrong, as is often the case.

    Liberals in favor of a strong executive? Ever hear of two presidents named Nixon and Bush? They seemed to like to concentrate power.

    Further, per Baar, the biggest story is media rules? Maybe for Baar. Personally, I am more concerned that Mr. Bush is his signing statements on bills takes the position that he does not have to follow laws passed by Congress. That sounds like a pretty strong executive to me.

    A President who includes statements saying that he need not follow the law, or a suggestion that if you use the public airways, you must do so fairly? Which is the sign of the monarch, Baar?

  61. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 4:19 pm:

    BB, as the in-law of a family that just had to flee Iraq en masse, I gotta say you have no idea what you’re talking about. Spare us, please.

  62. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 4:51 pm:

    Rich, I’m just trying to put Shimkus’s statement in context. He was talking about Iraq and whether the place would have been better off with or without our intervention. Shimkus put out the notion Iraq and much of the middle east not ready for Democracy and the place is better off with benevolent Monarchs.

    I think much of the Democratic Party today is off the mind Iraq would have been better off without the US marching in.

    If I’m wrong there, I’m really misunderstanding what these candidates are saying. It sure seems to me they’re in agreement that the invasion was bad for America, Iraq, and the whole middle east.

  63. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 4:55 pm:

    Skeeter, check some reviews of Amity Shales new book on the New Deal,

    So what is the New Deal’s legacy? First, as Shlaes notes, it changed the definition of “liberal” from a concept centered on individual liberty to one involving support for the activist governmental approach underlying the New Deal and the social programs that have followed it. It also dramatically increased the power of the presidency and the federal government.

  64. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 4:58 pm:


    You are not misunderstanding at all. You are deliberately trying to paint a false picture.

    You can’t see a difference between “democracy is inferior to monarchy” and “The U.S. should have not gone into Iraq”? Of course you can see a difference there. No Democrat has said “democracy is bad.” Only Republican Shimkus has said that. You also know that “democracy for the Iraqis” was at best a limited original justification for the war, and it only came up after WMD were not located.

    All in all, Baar’s arguments are, as always, pretty pathetic.

  65. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 5:06 pm:

    Shimkus said,

    “In some of these countries where they are having some Islamic presence, is it better to have a constitutional monarchy, with a very strong, powerful king, and maybe a dictator who is trying to move a little bit to democratic principles, versus just throwing the door open and pushing full-blown democratic principles, which could destabilize the country?” Shimkus said during a discussion with the editorial board of The State Journal-Register.

    Now read Obama’s speech to Answer back before the war started.

    Obama says its would be a dumb war. That Saddam could be left in place, that he would go away with containment, and that everyone would be better off.

    I think that’s where the whole Democratic party is today and much of the country.

    I thought Shimkus was giving some theoretical speech here, but in the context of today’s middle east, I certainly see where he was coming from and think many if not most Americans are with him at the moment. I don’t count myself as one, but I certainly respect the view.

  66. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 5:25 pm:

    Again, Baar, you can’t see the difference between “This is a bad war” and “Democracy is bad”?

    Of course you can see the difference. You are not that much of a fool.

    With regard to FDR:

    What have the GOP Presidents done to limit that power? Zero. Instead you get Mr. Nixon who spies on his political enemies, Mr. Reagan who through Irancontra deliberately hides a program that Congress has forbidden, and Mr. Bush who claims that he is not bound by the Geneva Convention and further, adds signing statements to bills passed by Congress stating that he does not need to follow the law.

    You lost this one Baar.

  67. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 5:34 pm:

    Skeeter, you agree with Shimkus here?

    “In some of these countries where they are having some Islamic presence, is it better to have a constitutional monarchy, with a very strong, powerful king, and maybe a dictator who is trying to move a little bit to democratic principles, versus just throwing the door open and pushing full-blown democratic principles, which could destabilize the country?”

    Bush threw open the door and pushed full-blown democratic prinriples. Most Americans think that was a bad idea.

    Getting back to Rich’s original post though, I really think Shimkus deserves to have his comments put into full context because they guy’s grappling with real problems, real people, and life and death policy. He’s in the mainstream of the country at the moment.

    That’s all I’ve been saying here.

    so now I’ll drop out.

  68. - No way - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 6:42 pm:

    Shimkus and LaHood: Leading the GOP into irrelevancy for most of our adult lives.

    Now I remember why I wanted Shimkus to keep his term limit promise.

  69. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 6:52 pm:

    Bill, by what measure was the United States worse off vis-a-vis Iraq before implementing the Bush/Cheney/Neo Con decision to invade?

  70. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 7:48 pm:

    Sure I disagree with Shimkus. I believe there is a major distinction between a government moving towards democracy on its own and a tyranny. Shimkus disagrees.

    I’m not sure what, if anything, that has to do with Iraq though.

    What is your point, Bill? I don’t have a clue what you’ve been saying. In the alternative, any “point” that you have attempted to build has been effectively demolished.

  71. - eye on peoria - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:13 pm:

    Ray’s self smugness is everything we have come to know and expect out of him. MOst politicians are full of self importance, but this time the guy is way over the top.

  72. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:24 pm:

    Skeeter, Iraq was Shimkus’s whole context for responding to the question.

    Whether Bush’s Democracy at the barrel of a gone made any sense in a society that’s never experienced it.

    Carl, your question is one deserving of more thought than I think Rich would find appropriate here. I’ve posted comments on my blog plus it’s over on Praire State Blue.

    We can discuss there.

  73. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 8:25 pm:

    gone..geez…gun… been a long day

  74. - a new low - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 9:14 pm:

    LaHood and Shimkus are the IL GOP’s proof to the world that yes, as a matter of fact we can give you worse people than Topinka, Keyes, and McKenna.

    So don’t nobody try anything cute. Kapeesh?

  75. - Former Member of the Bombay Bicycle Club - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:04 pm:

    Kirk: Former Staffer.
    LaHood: Former Staffer.
    Just Sayin’.

  76. - Joe Blow from Cicero - Thursday, Jul 5, 07 @ 10:17 pm:

    Skeeter: Earlier, I scrolled past your statement that no Democrat said democracy is bad. It may be true but a notable exception, Governor Blagojevech, absolutely said so. He said it was unfortunate that we live in a democracy. So, maybe no Democrats, except one, said it. The MSM did not call him on this and never will.

  77. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Jul 6, 07 @ 7:31 am:

    Bill, name one reasonable measure by which the United States is better off vis-a-vis Iraq.

    The policy you supported has cost lives, money, devastated the U.S. military, reduced U.S. security, promoted regional instability, and strengthened al Qaeda. And it’s left the United States with a series of no-win options.

    And the Republicans want to shield the architects of the policy from accountability.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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