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Get your mind outta the Beltway, dude

Monday, Nov 30, 2009

* My latest Sun-Times column talked about Congressman Kirk’s rightward lurch and what it may mean

I try hard not to hate. Hating is bad for your health. Plus, the holiday season has officially begun, so hating should be put off until at least after New Year’s Day.

But I have to admit that I absolutely hate the infantile, ear-splitting, hyperpartisan politics that emanates from our nation’s capital.

So, I probably should’ve known better when Republican Rep. Mark Kirk announced his bid for the U.S. Senate.

Soon afterwards, a national Democratic operative called to see what I thought about Kirk’s chances. I told her that Kirk would probably be a lock.

As a liberal Republican on issues such as gun control, abortion and gay rights, and as a strong voice within his party for paying attention to the needs and wants of suburbia, he fit the ideal Illinois profile.

One of the biggest problems that Republicans have had in this state, I explained, is that their nationally conservative party has scared the living daylights out of suburban women, who tend toward liberalism on guns and abortion and are more open to discussing gay rights. Without those votes, the statewide math doesn’t add up. You just can’t win without them, as the extraordinary Democratic surge in suburbia over the past decade or so clearly has shown.

Not only that, I told the operative, but the Chicago media tends to dote on socially liberal Republicans. No way, I said, would the city’s media turn on Mark Kirk.

The flaw in my argument was that I failed to take into account Kirk’s long exposure to DC-itis, first as a staffer and then as an elected official.

After initially citing strong national security concerns as a reason why he voted for the “cap and trade” energy bill in the U.S. House, Kirk flip-flopped almost immediately after he announced for Senate and blamed his vote on his congressional district’s liberal bent. Why? Because his party’s right wing viscerally opposes the legislation and it has become a touchstone issue, so he abandoned principle for party.

Then, Kirk reached out to former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is way more unpopular with women than she is with men, but is the darling of his party’s far right.

And if that weren’t enough, Kirk’s head all but exploded along party lines when the Obama administration announced that it wanted to buy a state prison and transfer in terrorist detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay.

Kirk’s over the top, hyperbolic, error-riddled, extremely partisan fear tantrum finally tipped the media against him. Just about every significant newspaper in Illinois, including this one, which endorsed Kirk’s re-election last year, mocked Kirk’s meltdown and severely chastised him for needless and baseless fear-mongering.

The general election is 11 months away, and the Republican primary is Feb. 2, so I figure Kirk will lurch back leftward sooner or later. Maybe that’ll be enough to regain his mojo with the media. Reporters and editorial writers could just chalk up his recent rhetoric to standard-issue politics and move on.

But I think there’s more at work here than just the usual rightward drift during a Republican primary. Kirk is clearly showing that he’s far too susceptible to our disgusting and mindless national political wars, which endlessly play out on those idiotic cable TV “news” channels. And all this makes me question how Kirk would behave if he were elected next November.

Somehow, Kirk needs to forget the stupid and divisive D.C. wars and find his own center and stick with it. Maybe some holiday introspection is in order.

* Related…

* Governor takes first step to close and sell Thomson prison to feds: In documents filed with a legislative review panel, Quinn’s prison chief outlined why the administration thinks selling the facility to the federal government to house prisoners from the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay makes sense.

* Editorial: Get politics out of discussion about Thomson prison: But in the simmering atmosphere of a young election campaign, discussion appears to be the last thing Cross or any other political leader really wants. Partisan battle lines were drawn virtually the moment it was proposed to shift more than 100 Guantanamo Bay detainees to the underused prison in tiny Thomson, and the only talk either side appeared to want to engage in was to show how far it could puff out its chest.

* Lawmaker wants debate on housing Gitmo detainees in Illinois

* Illinois House Republicans call for slowdown on fast-paced Thomson prison deal: Steve Brown, Madigan’s spokesman, said today that holding hearings would be unproductive until there is a firm proposal from the federal government and an action plan from Quinn. But Brown said watching Republicans “flip-flopping” on whether to oppose or support the Thomson site has been “entertaining.”

* Lawmaker pushes to fast-track hearings on ‘Illinois Gitmo’ plan

* Quinn leaves port board hanging: Selling the state prison in Thomson to the federal government could bring jobs to northwestern Illinois, but officials in the region also are gearing up to launch what someday could become a major development along the Mississippi River.

* Irony alive and well in Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn’s push to sell the mostly vacant maximum-security prison in Thomson to the federal government has not only generated controversy among Republicans, but it is riddled with irony.

* Congressman Has More Concerns About Thomson Prison Proposal

- Posted by Rich Miller        


56 Comments
  1. - shore - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    I don’t think Team America, I, or Louis Astaves will argue with your assessment of comrade Kirk. The only points I’d differ with you on are the facts that democrats and their likeminded thinkers in the chicago media (hello neil steinberg, laura washington, carol marin) play hyperpartisan hardball accusing every republican of being a rightwing nut, and that this prison is a good thing. Other than that, a pretty fair assessment. I have no interest in spending 6 years having comrade Kirk get whacked back and forth like a ping pong ball by the right and left. There are plenty of moderates who have mastered their craft, snowe, collins, nelson, danforth, landreiu, mark pryor.

    I also wonder if you think mark kirk is such a lock, why his predecessor, john porter and other similar republicans haven’t advanced before to the senate. Perhaps the conservative movement is fading or in retreat.


  2. - Mountain Man - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:08 am:

    Completely agree with your assessment of Kirk’s chances. He has taken what is arguably one of the better chances for Republican take-overs in the Senate in ‘10 and made things far more difficult for himself. He must have forgotten that Illinois Republicans, while conservative are not foolish. They will nominate a moderate-liberal if it is perceived that they have the best chance of winning in November.


  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:30 am:

    Great personal assessment of Kirk. Although you missed his deepest and least explicable flip-flop to the Right: Mark Kirk has abandoned his long-held support for abortion rights.

    Here’s the problem for Kirk next November:

    Kirk WILL move back to the center if he wins the primary, but don’t expect the right wing of his party to come with him.

    Life-long conservatives can get away with moderating for the General Election (Peter Fitzgerald never mentioned guns or abortion in 1998).

    But Kirk will be hard pressed to woo suburban women outside of Lake County while holding on to his new-found love for his party’s right-wing.

    There is a reason that no GOP moderate has been elected to the U.S. Senate in Illinois since before WWII.

    Moderates are palatable in the Governor’s mansion. But U.S. Senators confirm Supreme Court justices for life, and their positions on gun control, abortion, gay rights, the environment can’t just be swept under the rug.


  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:40 am:

    ===There is a reason that no GOP moderate has been elected to the U.S. Senate in Illinois since before WWII.===

    What?

    Remember Chuck Percy?


  5. - Team America - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:44 am:

    YDD- you miss the same point that some of the less-forward-looking conservatives do - the GOP nominee is going to be Kirk, and the choice in November will be between Alexi voting to confirm those Supreme Court justices or Mark. The conservatives will show in November - the consequences of not doing so are something no Republican is going to stomach, no matter what residual issues some voters may have with Kirk. Long, long time until November 2010.


  6. - shore - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:46 am:

    I challenge any democrat to find a picture of kirk meeting with a pro-life group. Voting against federal funding of abortion doesn’t make you prolife.

    If the economy sucks this much next year with the blago trial I very much doubt democrats will be able to get people to pay attention to wedge issues.


  7. - Abe Froman - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:11 am:

    Rich, would be unreasonable for you to mention the Dem’s messaging (a la Yellow Dog) that represents their frothing reaction to everything Kirk does. Has Kirk really “abandoned his long-held support for abortion rights?” NO. One vote on a funding issue and he’s “abandoned” abortion rights? Ridiculous.

    Also, reaching our to Palin is not a “flip-flop” in any way. Kirk wants solid support from the GOP. She’s a leader in the party. Kirk spent plenty of time with conservatives in his House district over the years (Yes there are conservatives in the north suburbs) and won them over (often grudgingly). That is not a flip…that is politics.

    I would love to see you view Sen. Durbin’s laundry list of career flips (abortion for real, guns, etc.) through the same prism.

    Durbin came from a conservative downstate district and swung way left when he ran statwide. Kirk represents a liberal suburban district and seeks to represent (and win votes in) more conservative parts of the state.

    Not much of a story there.


  8. - The Real Truth - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:27 am:

    Why would Quinn sell Thomson Prison to the Feds for $120 million when it cost the state $143 million to build? What would it cost to build it now? Doesn’t Quinn and the other supporters of the proposal think $23 million plus is a substantial amount for Illinois to donate to the Federal government. No wonder Illinois is in the financial shape we are in when $23 million is of little importance. Lets sell it for what it would cost to build in 2010!!!


  9. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    ===There is a reason that no GOP moderate has been elected to the U.S. Senate in Illinois since before WWII.===

    What?

    Remember Chuck Percy?–

    Given the current perversion of the word “conservative” in the political dialogue, I’d argue that Ev Dirksen would be considered a moderate today. So would Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, for that matter.


  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:42 am:

    It is difficult for someone with a wavering political compass to read through opinions such as the ones on this page, and not waver.

    Kirk took an awful long time to decide to run for the US Senate. For him, 2010 is a career move. He is his own human corporation, with aides and consultants working for him. He doesn’t seem capable of using the men’s room without polling first, and that is a problem for those expecting him to do what they would normally do in his situation.

    The GOP hasn’t had a winner for a long time, and it seems highly unlikely that any conservative faction would turn their backs on him after he wins the nomination. GOP conservatives are GOPers after all, and they will support Kirk in the General, even as he returns to the political center. They would rather have a moderate GOP US Senator, than a moderate Democratic US Senator.

    So Kirk is a waverer. So is most professional politicians from the White House on down. The opportunity of winning Barack Obama’s senate seat will keep Kirk in the national money. A Kirk win will help the spin doctors, and is worth every penny they invest in a Kirk win.

    I was pretty disappointed in how Kirk finally announced for the US Senate. It wasn’t pretty. I was pretty disappointed in how Kirk handled the Thomson issue. It wasn’t pretty either. So, there are weaknesses in his armour that Giannoulais or Hoffman can exploit next year if Kirk doesn’t start sounding like a guy who knows what he wants to say to voters. Kirk needs to stop stumbling over his own feet.

    Giannoulais has situations coming his way that he cannot control, but he has been deft in more ways that Kirk has.

    It will be an interesting race.


  11. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:48 am:

    Given the current perversion of the word “conservative” in the political dialogue, I’d argue that Ev Dirksen would be considered a moderate today.

    Ok then, what if you took out the “current perversion” and replaced it with “classic”?

    As a classic conservative I know another one when I read their writings on political philosophy. According to Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative”, and Reagan’s “Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America”, these guys were classic conservatives.

    But using the current perversion, one could make the case of them being moderate.


  12. - OdysseusVL - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:53 am:

    There is one factor that the column left out — Kirk’s materials are filled with references to his military service and with that, to leadership. The idea of Kirk as a grown-up is one of the centerpieces of his campaign. However, the flip flops and the ranting destroys that. Instead of a tough leader, the image the last few weeks is of a weakling, begging the right for support.


  13. - grand old partisan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    Rich - The irony is that while you are concerned that Kirk will remain a partisan ideologue if elected in November, the conservative Republicans that he is trying to woo with these moves to the flank are equally worried that he’ll go back to being a media-courting RINO who will join the Snowe caucus come next January.

    I think you’re a bit hard on him in your conclusion here, and in some of your recent posts/columns. I’d stipulate that while there’s plenty of room to debate whether he shifted too far and too fast, going far and fast wasn’t inherently bad plan to start with. Why spend the entire primary defending your flank when you can nip any challenge in the bud with an early, dramatic shift that you can start dialing back even before the primary? Ultimately, I don’t think Kirk was ever worried about losing the nomination – he was worried that the nomination would be worthless if he has to fight a war on two fronts, like Topinka in ’06 (and Oberweis’ core group of supporters were nothing compared to the tea-partiers).


  14. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    The larger Kirk story that everyone is missing is the current punishment that moderates of both political parties are getting from their far left or far right fanatics of their parties. Kirk is an old veteran of such punishing tactics.

    Being a moderate, a voice of reason, being someone who could “reach across the aisle” and behave in a “bipartisan fashion” was once a badge of honor and something to aspire to in politics. Not anymore! The fringe of both parties now portray moderates as traitors to the “cause,” of abandoning their party, of being a “flip-flopper,” of being Republicans or Democrats in “name only” and the “base” of both parties shrilly rises up against them. When moderates speak the message of the base of their party, they are accused of pandering. When they don’t, they are traitors.

    Let me just say that is a pile of hot, steamy you know what!

    I’ve campaigned for Kirk for a decade now. I watched the fringes of both parties pound on him mercilessly and claim that he is a “flip flopper.” That he takes convenient positions that are designed merely for him to be elected or reelected. That he is not a thoughtful, reasonable person. He gets pounded mercilessly from the far left and from the far right. And the majority in the middle vote for him, predominately because he has established that he is indeed a thoughtful, intelligent person.

    Now that Kirk has been elevated to the statewide stage, the same charges are being hurled by the fringes. To me this all old news. For those of you living outside of the 10th Congressional District, it is your first exposure.

    If you want someone who is a policy wonk, who is studious beyond belief, who works like a dog non-stop on being a public official, then Kirk is your man. If you want someone to explain in detail the bill that is pending and explain why he voted it up or down, then Kirk is your man. If you want someone as your next U.S. Senator who will vote lockstep the party line even to the detriment of his own state and his own nation, the rest of the candidates running, perhaps with the exception of Hoffman, will be to your liking.

    The problem with moderates in both parties is that their voices are being drowned out by the fringes in both parties. And without voices of moderation, our nation, our state and our future governments will wildly careen from far left programs to far right programs, leaving us all feeling like ping pong balls in a championship match.

    It is time for moderates to be elevated to a position of respect again in political circles. Voices of reason are necessary in our form of government. They should be treated with respect and not with derision.


  15. - OdysseusVL - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:08 pm:

    Come on, Louis. Look at cap and trade. That’s leadership? Or is it pandering? There’s just no defense for how he handled it. Why would anybody trust him, given his conduct on that vote? What has changed since then, other than the office that he’s running for?


  16. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:18 pm:

    Kirk? A wonk? Pffaaw!

    Kirk is adept at playing politics, but on issues he’s consistently shallow and pandering.

    Pick an issue: Iraq, nuclear power, Thomson, military pay, climate change, etc.

    Kirk has credentials, but there’s little evidence he’s learned much besides cynical politics along the way.


  17. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:24 pm:

    On what issue has Kirk said anything insightful?

    Without mentioning Kirk’s credentials, has the man ever said (or wrote) something that made you rethink an issue? Showed that he understood things better than the average person?

    Has Kirk ever brokered a clever compromise on a thorny issue?


  18. - Team America - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:27 pm:

    Carl - by your analysis, Alexi and Kirk are dead even, then.


  19. - Loop Lady - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:32 pm:

    good one Team! LOL!


  20. - OdysseusVL - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:36 pm:

    Of course, Kirk is much older than Alexi. If Kirk hasn’t shown anything yet, when is he going to do so? Kirk has not shown any improvement over the years and definitely had not shown that age has brought any great wisdom. While Alexi can run on potential, Kirk cannot.


  21. - 10th Indy - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:37 pm:

    Just a few Kirk issues where he demonstrated leadership, thoughtfulness and/or the ability to broker a compromise:

    North Chicago/Great Lakes VA - instead of closing the VA hospital Kirk and Phil Crane led efforts (that grew to include Melissa Bean and Dick Durbin) to develop a joint Naval/VA hospital and training facility that has become a nation-wide model.

    Impact Aid, again working with local often democratic officials and members of the Illinois delegation worked to ensure that 10 CD school districts were not negatively impacted by changes at the Naval Training Center.

    Too local for you? How about his early and persistent co-sponsorship and support of the Hate Crimes prevention act, his repeated calls for increased economic pressure on Iran or his work to reform the earmark process?

    And his willingness to forge bi-partisan solutions is perhaps best articulated by the fact that most, if not all of the legislation Kirk introduces is offered with a democratic co-sponsor


  22. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:37 pm:

    Giannoulias’ supporters don’t go around trying to sell him as a policy wonk, wise elder statesman or a bi-partisan guy.

    Kirk’s supporters do sell him as these things. And they are all as phony as Mark Kirk.

    Kirk isn’t adept at policy, even national security policy.

    Kirk isn’t an elder statesman. I doubt he’s convinced anybody in Congress–D or R–of anything while he’s been there.

    While Kirk has voted with the Dems on some issues, he consistently finds an excuse not to vote with Dems when votes are close. Also, I can’t recall Kirk playing a leadership role in brokering any bi-partisan deals that were enacted (as opposed to the phony bi-partisanship of his Iraq bill with Lipinski).


  23. - 10th Indy - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:49 pm:

    Well Carl, here’s one recent clip from a Dick Durbin’s press release that might help your memory:

    “Durbin first introduced Lovell Federal Health Center legislation in November 2008 and Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL) introduced similar legislation – co-sponsored by Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) – in the House of Representatives earlier this year.”

    Durbin first introduced legislation in 2008 on an issue Kirk has been championing since he was first elected.


  24. - Team America - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:49 pm:

    Carl - you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. If you ever heard Mark Kirk speak in person about the war in Afghanistan, he seems to know the situation there about as well as you might expect the generals running the war to know it. Maybe Obama could have come to a decision sooner if he was open to getting input to people like Kirk. I’ve actually heard Kirk speak about such policy issuss in person. Have you, or do you just know what Team Alexi tells you?


  25. - Segatari - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    >One of the biggest problems that Republicans have had in this state, I explained, is that their nationally conservative party has scared the living daylights out of suburban women, who tend toward liberalism on guns and abortion and are more open to discussing gay rights. Without those votes, the statewide math doesn’t add up. You just can’t win without them, as the extraordinary Democratic surge in suburbia over the past decade or so clearly has shown.

    And your strategy is to drive off and WIN WITHOUT conservative votes…that idea remains and has been proven repeatedly DOOMED TO FAILURE. I have to repeatedly say this loudly because people steadfastly refuse to get it…heck the pain level from the hard way hasn’t gotten high enough for them. The “suburban women” were not ever going to vote for a pretend Democrat anyway, they are going to vote for the actual Democrat.


  26. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    === The “suburban women” were not ever going to vote for a pretend Democrat anyway, they are going to vote for the actual Democrat.===

    That’s just plain ol’ political illiteracy. Suburban women are independents, not Democrats, who leaned Republican as a whole for a very long time. It was how Edgar won, GRyan and even how Peter Fitzgerald won. People like you scared them off.


  27. - OdysseusVL - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:04 pm:

    “Maybe Obama could have come to a decision sooner if he was open to getting input to people like Kirk.”

    Based on recent events, Kirk would first have told him to increase troop levels, then, taking into consideration his state rather than just his district, to decrease troop levels. Then he would have sought Tom Delay’s endorsement of the policy.


  28. - Will County Woman - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:19 pm:

    the thomson thing is very political. the mayor of thomson gets to look good in the eyes of townspeople in advance of his next election, whenever that is.

    quinn gets fodder for a campaign ad o the effect of: i sold surplus/underutlized state assets when the state needed money. i anticipate that this will yield 3000 jobs, and as you know i’m running on a job creation platform, and i helped obama—he owes me a political favor.

    obama gets political cover and to keep a campaign promise and tout how the moving of gitmo enemy combatants helps to stinulate an economically depressed area of illinois, yada, yada, yada… convenient segue into his (new)efforts to fix what his harvard brain trust couldn’t with respect to economic stimulus.

    the only that i find interesting is the lightenging speed with which the thomson thing has gone down. it’s almost as if this thing was on a fast-track well before it was rolled out a couple of weeks ago. what, no quinn task force, commission or panel to review and study and deliberate the matter first?

    hmmm…


  29. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:23 pm:

    I stand corrected.

    Chuck Percy was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1966.

    After his daughter was murdered in the campaign.

    Its only been 40 years.


  30. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:24 pm:

    YDD, he was last reelected in 1978.


  31. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    Keeping in mind, of course, that Percy had endorsed Barry Goldwater for President in 1964, which is alot like Mark Kirk endorsing Sarah Palin.


  32. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:29 pm:

    If Kirk knows what to do in Afghanistan, why didn’t he tell President George W. Bush back in 2001?

    Or does Kirk think it’s a reasonable outcome that it took less than five years to defeat Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany but after eight years the U.S. military is treading water in Afghanistan?

    Or did Kirk give Bush advice on Afghanistan and Bush ignored him?

    BTW, I would be happy to attend a Kirk event where he talks about issues and takes questions from the general pubic.

    When and where does Kirk hold such events?

    PS I have seen Kirk in person and discussed issues with him one-on-one. Based on discussing military issues that were not particularly partisan, I came to the conclusion Kirk has significant gaps in his knowledge of the U.S. military and he’s willing to make-up his own reality rather than admit he doesn’t know stuff.


  33. - OdysseusVL - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    “YDD, he was last reelected in 1978.”

    Interestingly, he lost in 1984 to Paul Simon. The country went right that year in every race but that one. Maybe the right was already starting to turn on the ones who were not pure then. An argument can be made that the state of the current ILGOP began with that race.


  34. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:40 pm:

    ===An argument can be made that the state of the current ILGOP began with that race. ===

    It’s possible. There was a lot of talk on the right of endorsing Simon because he couldn’t possible be reelected.


  35. - 10th Indy - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:59 pm:

    “BTW, I would be happy to attend a Kirk event where he talks about issues and takes questions from the general pubic. When and where does Kirk hold such events?”

    He has a townhall meeting at least once a month alternating between live and tele-townhalls. I think he did 3 this summer/fall on health care alone.


  36. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    Giannoulais has situations coming his way that he cannot control, but he has been deft in more ways that Kirk has.

    The “minimal” comment on his inherited millions? Uh - scrub that statement on him being deft, and replace “deft” with “daft”.


  37. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:06 pm:

    10th Indy, I just looked at Kirk’s campaign website and didn’t see anything about upcoming events.

    If you know of any upcoming events where Kirk will take Qs from the general public, email me, RadioNyberg circled “a” Yahoo spot com.


  38. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:11 pm:

    –Keeping in mind, of course, that Percy had endorsed Barry Goldwater for President in 1964, which is alot like Mark Kirk endorsing Sarah Palin.–

    No way. Goldwater was far more sophisticated, accomplished — and coherent.

    Once he lost White House fever, and it’s inherent compromises, Goldwater was The Last Word among relevant (electable) conservatives, and those moving west. He plowed the field for Reagan.

    He also had a sensible, Libertarian streak that drove people nuts on the left and the right.


  39. - Responsa - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:26 pm:

    Word, you are right about Goldwater. Running for president often seems to muck up a guy, but after 1964 Goldwater was a statesman and American first in a way that is sorely needed in Washington politics today. And man, he was not afraid to tell it like it was to anybody including those in his own party! Just ask Nixon.


  40. - Segatari - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:27 pm:

    >That’s just plain ol’ political illiteracy. Suburban women are independents, not Democrats, who leaned Republican as a whole for a very long time. It was how Edgar won, GRyan and even how Peter Fitzgerald won. People like you scared them off.

    According to YOU. Peter Fitzgerald ran as a unabashed conservative and won decisively. Fitzgerald did not run as a left-leaner pretend Democrat.

    >…suburban women, who tend toward liberalism…

    Are GOING TO VOTE FOR Democrats NO MATTER WHAT. You pretending they vote Republican once in a blue moon is like the speel from a user car salesman. I’ll say it again, any Republican that writes off 40% of the voters who identify themselves as conservative and try to get all their votes from the remaining 36% to offset the 20% of liberals who vote Democrat no matter what is doomed to failure. “Independents” as a group will NEVER split 80-20 toward one candidate which is what the split would have to be for a Republican that disowns conservativism would have to have for them to have ANY hope to win unless the other guy is THAT repulsive. There is NO ONE that can disown such a large chunk of its base and still win, it is IMPOSSIBLE.


  41. - Quinn T. Sential - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:36 pm:

    [But I have to admit that I absolutely hate the infantile, ear-splitting, hyperpartisan politics that emanates from our nation’s “capital.”]

    Rich, I hope you had your fill for Thanksgiving.

    Did the Fun-Times lay off all of the editors, or does your spell check system not scan for grammar? I would like to believe that it was not the author that mis-used the word “capital” in this instance when referring to Washington D.C.


  42. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:38 pm:

    ===Peter Fitzgerald ran as a unabashed conservative and won decisively.===

    You must not have lived here then because Fitzgerald ran a very vanilla campaign and kept the conservative stuff on the down-low, not in his TV.


  43. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:01 pm:

    ===
    The flaw in my argument was that I failed to take into account Kirk’s long exposure to DC-itis,…
    ===

    Interesting word “DC-itis”. Does one need to consider geography in evaluating “DC-itis”? E.g., would one behavior seem acceptable in CA, for example, and not in IL? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it used before, but it’s an interesting term.


  44. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:03 pm:

    ===
    Perhaps the conservative movement is fading or in retreat.
    ===

    Or, they’ve gone “silent” for now.


  45. - OdysseusVL - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:04 pm:

    After reading Segatari’s comments, I understand why the ILGOP holds no statewide offices.

    Seg, where are the votes to elect a republican statewide going to come from? Where is that margin?


  46. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:17 pm:

    ===
    It will be an interesting race.
    ===

    I’m not so sure about the Conservatives, and Alexi’s going hard after, of course, the unions, job creation, etc., but he’s also going after the Military and is even “touting” issues like daycare, etc., which will play well in positive commericials. Depends on how much is really “out of his control”, I’d say at this point.

    It will be an interesting race.


  47. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:26 pm:

    ===
    For those of you living outside of the 10th Congressional District, it is your first exposure.
    ===

    Louis, this is a STATE-WIDE race you’re dealing with now–and numbers, I believe, are showing that during the past 10 years, the center has become more conservative. Just saying. Maybe you need to revisit your perspective. You’re not in the 10th anymore.


  48. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:31 pm:

    Here’s an example, Indy: Is “thoughtfulness” a term to which many Midwesterners relate? Or is it more of a 10th District or DC term? It’s certainly been raised in quite a few article and blogs recently–and not necessarily as a positive. Again. Just saying.


  49. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:36 pm:

    ===numbers, I believe, are showing that during the past 10 years===

    No. Numbers show independents are more conservative because so many Republicans dumped their party IDs.


  50. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:39 pm:

    ===
    When and where does Kirk hold such events?
    ===

    All his healthcare town halls, so that argument has been tried and is not valid.


  51. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:39 pm:

    ===You pretending they vote Republican once in a blue moon is like the speel from a user car salesman.===

    Actually, it was a longstanding history in Illinois until the double whammy of GWB and GHR.

    History is clear: The GOP can’t win without them.

    And it’s “spiel,” not “speel.” Sheesh, but you’re tiring.


  52. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:43 pm:

    Yes, you’re right, Rich. That’s what I meant to say. And that’s what Hughes is counting on.


  53. - 10th Indy - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 6:17 pm:

    I am a suburban woman who tends toward liberalism. I’ve always voted D for president. voted for blago once, topinka once, obama twice and 4 times for kirk. I think thoughtful matters in a positive way to voters like me.

    And Carl, i’m fairly certain you can sign up for e-mail alerts at both Kirk’s campaign and congressional websites to keep informed about upcoming events.


  54. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 6:26 pm:

    The election results of 2006 and 2008 show Illinois becoming more conservative? Which Illinois are you talking about? :-)

    The 10th CD may be more of a proving ground for statewide elections than most realize. From some of the poorest parts to the wealthiest. From the most liberal parts to the most conservative. Solid Democratic parts and solid GOP parts. Parts filled with illegal immigrants, others not. Parts still thriving in this economy, parts not. Parts that have the best school systems around and parts that have some of the worst. Parts with stunningly high unemployment, others not. We still have a small handful of (rapidly disappearing) farms.

    I would say that a careful demographic review of the 10th shows that it may actually match up fairly well with what you see with state-wide demographics.

    Thanks to the many rabid fringe type posters who have proven my point. A true moderate gets pounded on viciously from the extreme left and from the extreme right.


  55. - Segatari - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 6:59 pm:

    >You must not have lived here then because Fitzgerald ran a very vanilla campaign and kept the conservative stuff on the down-low, not in his TV.

    Sure I did, Fitzgerald advertised himself as a conservative and I voted for him. The disaster that was known as Carol “Mo’Money” Braun was finished.

    >Seg, where are the votes to elect a republican statewide going to come from? Where is that margin?

    The conservatives of course…you’re gonna see how many of them come out of the woodwork because they’ll have someone to vote for.

    >History is clear: The GOP can’t win without them.

    And you have research numbers identifying their political ideology as overwhelmingly liberal to counter what national numbers have been put out showing that’s not the case?

    http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/gallup-poll1.bmp


  56. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 1, 09 @ 9:17 am:

    I won’t argue the demographics, Louis, but I will say that it could be a matter of focus and ability to relate to all.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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