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An abundance of “social moderates” in the GOP

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

* Illinois’ Republican US Senator Mark Kirk is pro-choice. The GOP’s gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner says he’s pro-choice, as do Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka and state treasurer nominee Tom Cross.

So what about the newly elected Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider? Greg Hinz

One thing Mr. Schneider wouldn’t talk about is social issues, the kind of things that often bury statewide GOP candidates in a left-leaning state.

“We’re a big-tent issue. There’s certainly room for disagreement,” he said. […]

Ergo, Mr. Schneider said issues such as gay marriage and abortion will be on the table later, when the party drafts a new platform, not now. […]

For what it’s worth, Mr. Schneider described himself as a “social moderate and fiscal conservative.”

When Republicans say “social moderate,” they usually mean “pro-choice.”

* But, US Sen. nominee Jim Oberweis is against abortion (despite once coming close to comparing Republican pro-lifers to the Taliban), so the pro-life activists do have one prominent candidate to bring ‘em to the polls.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    You mean he didn’t dive headfirst into social issues?

    That’s actually… smart.

  2. - Archiesmom - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    I wonder if Republicans are like most Democrats - if the candidate adheres to most important positions, the voter can swallow hard and pull the lever even if there’s disagreement over one major social issue. Being pro-choice (or at least neutral) will get crossover votes in a state where they seem to be necessary for a statewide victory.

  3. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Most “moderate” Republicans are only moderate on social issues like abortion, gays, ECT…because these identity issues don’t cost any money and therefore don’t threaten their ideological devotion to Trickle-down economics. It’s the economic issues that drive government, everything else is there to get your vote for nothing

  4. - shore - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    The chicago media spends about 90 percent of its time covering republicans pinging them on social issues and trying to either disqualify them as candidates as they did bill brady for their social conservatism or trying to nail them as fuzzy flip floppers (looking at you lynn sweet) as they’ve tried and failed with mark kirk for 15 years hoping that this will draw out dan proft and the rest of the conservative cabal into fighting them from the right.

    I understand most of you chicago media members (not rich) live in extremely socially liberal urban or inner suburban areas with people who don’t vote republican very often, but get a grip and move on. Social issues aren’t even the primary focus of the majority of hardline Republicans anymore, that focus would be taxes and spending (there was something called the tea party-heard of it?), which just so happen to also be the issues that you regularly complain about in regards to democratic governance in the state.

    There’s so much this election cycle can be about that’s real, substantive and of value to voters where we don’t need to let our regional issue biases cloud our coverage.

  5. - veritas - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Tim Schneider is the consummate healer as will become evident over time - and Job 1 of the Il. GOP is healing. Tim is the face of the new GOP and Madigan/Quinn are the faces of the old Dems.
    Methinks that the GOP tent is going to attract a lot more “visitors” with Tim at the helm. His election is a game-changer.

  6. - Wumpus - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Who cares about the economy, what does the local dog catcher candidate feel about abortion?

    Rauner has shown discipline. Unreal

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Someone needs to ask Slytherin Jim Oberweis is Tim Schneider is a “Good Republican”

    If you can’t find Oberweis, leave a note on his Legislative-Plated Red Cadillac…in the Handicapped parking spot…

  8. - Jacob S - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Socially liberal

    They are not moderate.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    - Jacob S -

    I guess that depends on your Litmus Test or Blood Oath.

  10. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Always has been plenty of moderates in the GOP. When the emphasis has been too much on Social issues, they became “Social Members”. Every cycle offers new opportunities. They’re diverse enough. Now it’s time to prove it.

  11. - Da Moat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Socially moderate is code for liberal.

  12. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    It’s easy to find the social moderates — they’re the ones who can actually get elected statewide.

  13. - Da Moat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    More than just the one issue of pro-choice.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    - Da Moat -,

    I think the. “Slytherin Handbook” clearly states…

    What is ironic is that, again, agreeing 80% of the time is not embraced, but how about we focus on what can divide all of us and the voting public too.


  15. - Chris - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    “Socially moderate is code for liberal.”

    So, all y’all just going to ’stay home’? Whether that means actually staying home of going and only pulling the Obie (and any sufficiently pure locals’) lever. Because under than standard, there’s only “liberals” as far as the eye can see.

  16. - Da Moat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    No. Just agreeing with Rich that it usually means abortion rights but most “moderates” share many more positions with liberals than conservatives. Kirk is a good example.

  17. - Wensicia - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    It’s safe to use the “M” word if you’re a Republican? We’ll see come November.

  18. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    So ChairmanCarWash can’t give a correct answer
    Great start. Did Brady give the keys to the warehouse with all the FireMadigan Gear?

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:30 pm:


    The media did not invent the Tea Party nor force them into a civil war with the GOP.

    Conflict is news, and the press is covering conflict within the GOP no more or less vigorously than conflict within the Democratic Party.

    Heck, does a week go by when someone is not fanning the flames between Preckwinkle and Emanuel? Will Guzzardi? Remember Quigley v. Stroger? Madigan v. Blagojevich? The ‘68 Convention ring a bell?

    This is how you sell newspapers, attract radio fans and tv viewers, and ultimately sell advertising.

    Bloggers have been known to stir the pot occasionally as well, although most are driven purely by orneriness ;-)

  20. - Jacob S - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    I agree. I am Pro-life but vote for both Democrats and Republicans.

    They always use moderate when it comes to Abortion and they are not moderate.

    Being Pro-life is one issue and it doesn’t make a person a conservative. I have never missed an election in my life and that includes taking the greyhound home from college at NIU to register to vote after I turned 18 so that I could vote in the November election so many years ago.

    I left the Democratic party because of their hostility to Pro-lifers but that doesn’t make me a Republican. I used to be very active in the Democratic Party until I was at an election night celebration and the candidate and other people in the room were acting like Pro-lifers are evil. I walked out and never looked back.

    I vote for the individual in every election regardless of party affiliation.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===I vote for the individual in every election regardless of party affiliation.===

    - Jacob S -

    You are a Single-Issue voter. Holding My Party accountable to your issue is Slytherin style politics, with the result of a closed Party of. “Must”, “Always”, “Never”, and “Only “.

    Bad form requiring that of ANY Party.

    It’s ok to be a Single-Issue voter, just own that, and leave he rest of the ILGOP be.

  22. - Jacob S - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    You are wrong OW

    I voted for Quinn in 2010. He is not Pro-life.

    I vote for the person regardless if Party.

  23. - Jacob S - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:20 pm:


    You are too quick to judge without reading what was written.

    I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I am a true independent. Your assumptions are bad form.

    I do not fit neatly into any political party and do not like any of the politicians currently in office.

    One of my favorite Presidents is Truman.

    I can speak for myself without you telling me what I am and in the process being wrong.

    I am Pro-life but I look at the big picture and voted for Quinn because I thought that he was the least of the two in 2010.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    Well good on you.

    If My Party has an acceptance of Pro-Choice leaders or candidates, it doesn’t make it “liberal” it makes My Party an Open Tent.

  25. - Anon - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    == Methinks the GOP tent will attract more visitors with Tim at the helm. ==

    Tim has been at the helm of the GOP in Hanover Township, yet that hasn’t stopped the formerly Republican township to continue to moved more Democratic. Optimism about the state party is not based on his track record leading the Hanover twp. GOP.

  26. - Jacob S - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:25 pm:


    They use moderate as Pro choice. A person can be a moderate and Pro Life.

    You certainly hold yourself out as a Republican and I never argued the point.

    Labels are used against pro lifers and I do not agree with those labels.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Fair enough.

    Point well taken.

  28. - Will P - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    The republican party will serve itself well to move away from social issues as they are increasingly being decided by the courts, not legislature. The courts decided abortion and continue to over-rule restrictions and conditions imposed by the state. The same goes for gay marriage.

    In Illinois, there will not be enough votes to do anything with social issues. Republicans need to follow Bruce Rauner’s lead and keep this election about one thing…The Economy.

  29. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    Will P:

    Rauner will not win on his anti-gay stance, but he decided early on that he cannot win without it and so he is stuck with it.

    It will be a campaign issue if Team Quinn has any sense.

  30. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    In their defense, Cross, Topinka and Kirk have all worked hard to cultivate images as “moderates” beyond reproductive rights, including the environment, stem cell research, and gay rights, to name at least a few.

  31. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    A true Pro Life position would put you squarely against the death penalty. Many Christians follow a different path on Immigration policy (I imagine other faiths may too, I’m only speaking for my own). There are GOP members who aren’t for unfettered gun rights. I know plenty who don’t have any position on Gay marriage or support it. It’s not my imagination that I see far more African Americans and other ethnic groups at GOP functions. The Libertarian leaning GOP members are very supportive of Med Marijuana. A large percentage of Tea Party members have no outward position on Social issues. We need to define ourselves and not let others define us. A wide coalition of people make up the GOP.

  32. - Lou Skunt - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    It’s high time the GOP embraces birth control. I am an advocate of male birth control, for me the best birth control is a picture of Shelia Simon. For too long the GOP has been pro-life but not pro birth control.

  33. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    We could have gone on all day without that classy addition to the conversation, Lou.

  34. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    I think your screen name will attract some attention very soon Lou. Bad form dude.

  35. - Downstater - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:16 pm:

    These terms, “moderate”, “liberal”, “conservative”, are each relative terms. Their meaning is gained from its context. To be a “moderate” on an issue in Illinois may not translate to being considered “moderate” somewhere else. The current president and the previous occupant of White House are perfect live examples of this for we citizens to observe. Also, these terms can speak of one’s temperment as much as one’s ideological placement. One could hold a “conservative” position of the issue of Abortion while having a “moderate” temperment in his or her articulation of that viewpoint.

  36. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 8:03 am:

    A pro-choice Republican is like a pro-slavery Republican. All scientific evidence demands that we recognize human life where it exists, whether or not society finds that recognition convenient, socially acceptable or legally defined as human.

    Natural law exposed the fraud of the legal and acceptable arguments in Dred Scott, and it has also exposed the fraud of the legal and acceptable arguments in Rowe vs. Wade. Human life is human life, whether or not a Supreme Court judgment agrees with it. Eventually the truth will need to be accepted, regardless of societal convenience.

    There are other election year 2014 issues. It is acceptable to focus on those as presented by the candidates. Abortion isn’t one of those at this time.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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