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Question of the day

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller


State Sen. Jason Barickman said Illinois voters punished Republicans in the midterm election, in part, because of the GOP stance on abortion. He said his party needs to acknowledge there are instances in which abortion should be legal and be willing to say what those legal conditions are.

“That type of a statement, I think, is wildly controversial in Republican primaries. But the fact we are unwilling to even say that has created among many, especially women, an unwillingness to even entertain a Republican as a vote,” said the Bloomington Republican.

Barickman, speaking on WGLT’s Sound Ideas, said the GOP has put itself in a corner on social issues.

“In that corner there is a limited pool of votes that are available to them. It’s not even that all those Republicans standing in that corner believe in all those issues, they simply have become more silent on them,” he said.

* The Question: Should the new Republican legislative leaders put special emphasis on recruiting pro-choice candidates for 2024? Explain.


  1. - Lost in Place - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:01 pm:

    They are (banned word) if they do and (banned word) if they don’t. Either way, republicans will be second and third guessed by the carnival barkers.

  2. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    The ILGOP should focus on candidates who can get the GOP out of the far-right corner they retreated into. And yes, the ILGOP is going to have speak clearly as to what party planks it is changing and what they will support going forward. But a single issue isn’t the way to do it; it must be comprehensive change to have meaningful impact at the State level.

  3. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    In theory, but I’m not sure they can get through a primary. It’s not just abortion, but also attitudes towards LGBTQ folks and other cultural issues that the Republican base has an issue with, but the larger society is fine with.

  4. - Montrose - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:05 pm:

    Yes, but they have to accept it will take time to get back to a place where a socially moderate Republican can get out of a primary.

    They also need to find some term other than “pro-choice” to indicate they have a position between the pro-choice an anti-abortion ends of the spectrum.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    It should be noted, however, that Jason Barickman for a whole General Assembly voted to hurt the most vulnerable and needy of Illinois, refusing Illinois a budget.

    It’s quite rich that such a “phony thought” comes from Barickman, when in a reality Barickmam isn’t concerned about results except to seats.

    To the question,

    Until the GOP starts recruiting more Eileen Lyons and Rosemary Mulligans, what exactly is the point to think the GOP will get anymore seats.

    I’ve tried to encourage such recruitment for nearly a decade. Ten years too late by some phony, they should try to recapture these type of candidates they lost

  6. - Chicago Republican - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    Perhaps this is what needs to happen in Illinois. At that point, why not just run as Democrats?

  7. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    Party identities are becoming so nationalized that even if they have more pro-choice candidates, voters would see through that electing a Republican majority would empower anti-choice leaders. I struggle to think it would make more than a marginal difference even if they tried.

  8. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    recruit? how about as a party they take a step back off the women don’t have rights to control their body platform?

  9. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:13 pm:

    ===He said his party needs to acknowledge there are instances in which abortion should be legal and be willing to say what those legal conditions are.===

    If Jason in only talking about cases of rape and incest, then that ain’t gonna cut it dude. Then add in their ongoing opposition to gay marriage, picking on transgender school kids, their fanatical religious views. At the national level, a week after the midterms, conservative talking heads are making their rounds, some are even women, saying that women should never have had the right to vote and we should raise the voting age from 18 to 21 because kids are stupid. So sorry Jason, it’s not only abortion that is crushing you here in Illinois.

  10. - Chicago Republican - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:15 pm:

    Truthfully, the Republicans should simply encourage the election of pro-life, pro-second amendment democrats. The Illinois Democratic party used to have John Bradley, Gary Forby, Brandon Phelps, Glen Poshard, Jerry Costello, David Phelps, etc. They moderated the Illinois Democrats and kept the far left from taking over the show completely. The Republicans were never gonna run Illinois, and their attack and defeat of downstate conservative dems sent them further into the minority and radicalized the Illinois dems.

  11. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:18 pm:

    I think they definitely need to recruit candidates who put social issues on the back burner. Those issues clearly lost this election cycle. The Republicans spent an inordinate amount of time focusing on “wokeness,” transgender issues, and other social issues. And those issues all lost. Instead of talking about the economy, inflation or whatever they were talking about drag queens

  12. - The Ford Lawyer - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    Montrose- I think you nailed it. As with most issues, the majority lies somewhere in the middle. The problem, as you say, is with the ability of a moderate, or even moderately conservative candidate to survive a GOP primary. The party of Dirksen, Thompson, and Edgar used to win elections. The party of Uihlein, Proft and Bailey does not. Recruiting moderates is essential to having enough legislative votes to be meaningful. I agree that finding a term other than pro-choice is essential. I think the issue will settle down a bit in two to four years, and people can start discussing nuances. Nuance. There’s a good word for the Republicans to learn.

  13. - TJ - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:23 pm:

    Yes, they should.

    But you reap what you sow. The GOP, both statewide and nationally, has villified all aspects of abortions for generations now in complete contrast to changing public views on the subject matter. And now they’re stuck in a place where loads of otherwise swing voters are loathe to support an anti-choice while the GOP’s core base views any hedging on the issue to be intolerable.

    It’s going to be multiple cycles for the GOP to get over this, and that’s only assuming that they’re willing to temper their stance, which I doubt.

  14. - H-W - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:23 pm:

    First, kudos to OW for insisting all along that abortion was a big deal in 2022. It seems to have turned out the young voters for whom the theory is different from the reality.

    While I will agree with the leader’s thought that Republicans need to accept that ending Roe v. Wade was a mistake and wrong, I am not sure “recruiting” pro-choice Republicans is the same thing.

    To be honest, the issue is bigger still.

  15. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:32 pm:

    Sure, they are welcome to try doing that.

    Then they can start to address why people won’t believe them just because they say it.

    I don’t think the GOP is even beginning to grasp how deep the hole they have dug for themselves actually is.

  16. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    Sure, for pure entertainment. It would be fun watching leadership candidates go down in flames because they’ve previously done so well in creating a radical base.

  17. - OneMan - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    Good luck getting a pro-choice fiscal conservative out of a primary.

    “Hello, Dick, it’s Dan. A pro-choice guy is running in a GOP primary in Illinois can you send a check?”

    The second challenge is finding these people in the Illinois GOP anymore. I suspect most of them have left the party a while back and view themselves as independents.

    At the least, if they are pro-choice, odds are they will not be conservative enough on social issues to pass a purity test.

    Take it from someone who used to consider themselves a moderate Republican. They don’t want moderates in the tent anymore.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    (Tips cap to - H-W -)

  19. - Huh? - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:52 pm:

    Putting the words “republican” and “pro-choice candidates” in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

  20. - cover - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:53 pm:

    = Nuance. There’s a good word for the Republicans to learn. =

    Yet we have seen on CapFax many times, “voters don’t do nuance”. That’s especially true among the far-right crowd, who will label anyone a RINO for not agreeing 100% with their radical views.

  21. - Yep - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:57 pm:

    I am pro life and I just do not understand why ending a babies life is such a popular position. For those of us with that position, it truly is incomprehensible to be for pro abortion policies. Having said that, there is also nothing that Illinois politicians are going to do to protect those babies, so yes the Illinois Republicans should nominate pro choice women in the suburbs (if they can find any who will run as Republicans) to run for office. With the political climate out there and in Democrat drawn districts, the GOP will not win many seats in Illinois otherwise. It’s a sad reality but it is reality.

  22. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:04 pm:

    Hard to say. On the one hand, I don’t want Republicans to win elections, so by all mean no recruiting of pro-choice GOP candidates. On the other hand, we reelly need to let the extremely toxic pro-life movement whither and die on the vine, so just maybe recruit some pro-choice GOP candidates.

  23. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    In a word…yes. Absolutely if they want to be relevant in Illinois. ever.

    =It should be noted, however, that Jason Barickman for a whole General Assembly voted to hurt the most vulnerable and needy of Illinois, refusing Illinois a budget.=

    OW, with respect, he also voted to support gay marriage. Ultimately didn’t hurt him but he took some hits for a time. I am not going to say it was courageous, because supporting basic humanity shouldn’t require that, but it was a risk for him politically.

    I get what you say about the impasse and his role. There were other too and I was often in the room with Barickman and thought he could be more than a state senator. The impasse changed my mind. A lot of decent republicans were cudgeled by Rauner. He was radio silent on Bailey. He was never a pension denier like Bill Brady though, and that gave me some hope that he could be that moderate republican.

    Like I said, with respect.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===…that gave me some hope that he could be that moderate republican.===

    … and yet when one talks about being socially moderate or social issues, I can’t help but think about all the social programs Barickman hurt with his votes… and supported Rauner without hesitation.


    One can be “likable”, but one can’t be thoughtful “today”, but be painful with their switch, without any remorse.

  25. - vern - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:17 pm:

    Republicans should definitely nominate pro-choice candidates, but I’m not sure that leadership recruitment is the best way to go about it. Getting tagged as “establishment” is a death sentence in those primaries. What they need is a moderate insurgency that can confidently hammer the far right without the baggage of being a recruit. The model probably looks a little like the DLC/Clinton show from the early 90s. But I don’t think they have that in them.

  26. - Homebody - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:27 pm:

    There is no reason that anyone should believe the ILGOP (or national GOP) for that matter on any issue related to reproductive rights, gender identity, or sexual orientation. GOP SCOTUS nominees all said the right thing during confirmation hearings, but as soon as they had the votes they needed, to crash the court into a right wing ditch again.

    I just don’t believe the GOP or the ILGOP, and I won’t ever again. They need to decide to exorcise their rabid social conservative demons before there is any way I give them even a smidgen of credibility when it comes to respecting the personal rights of women or LGBTQ communities.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:27 pm:

    - JS Mill -

    It’s all good, by the by. I hear ya.

    It’s amazing to me that folks feel they can breeze by without realizing the real damage they have done but have this thought they are “solving” what ills the party.

    It’s farce.

    If they’d like to say they learned a lesson… but I doubt Barickman and others learned anything, as they now ignore the whole Rauner years.

  28. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:32 pm:

    Yes. Obviously, yes. I was one of those weird Judy Baar Topinka/Jim Edgar Republicans. You know, one of those Republicans who actually believed in fiscal restraint even when Republicans were in power, not just when Democrats were in power. And middle-of-the-road on social issues. It worked in Illinois. It worked for decades. But the GOP has pushed people like me out. And I don’t like looking at my ballot thinking all these dems are the best option. Yes Republicans, give me fiscally conservative, socially moderate, normal acting people. Please.

  29. - Huh? - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:35 pm:

    “I am pro life”

    Many people who proclaim your belief are “pro life” for the baby only. Once a baby is born, it’s “sorry kid you’re on your own.”

    Can you not understand that until a fetus is at least 24 weeks old, that it is not a viable human being. Even being born at 24 weeks, the hugely expensive, invasive, and hurtful medical interventions necessary to keep such a young baby alive have long term impacts to the quality life of the baby and family.

    Have you ever seen a 24 week old preemie? I have. I used to work at Children’s Memorial Hospital. My dad was a retired chief of pediatric surgery. These babies look like skinned rabbits. They weigh less than a loaf of bread. They are suffering from the medical treatment to keep them alive.

    “I am pro life”


  30. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:38 pm:

    === there are instances in which abortion should be legal and be willing to say what those legal conditions are ===

    There are instances in whch abortion is much more popular as a personal choice.

    As in: 80% of men would definitely want the option of an abortion if someone raped their wife. Probably higher.

    But I agree with conservatives that once you accept their religious premise that human life begins at conception, it becomes really hard to rationalize legalizing abortion in the case of rape and incest.

  31. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    Yes. The right wing is a political dead end in Illinois. Anti-abortion is a killer. Voters chose enshrinement of workers’ rights. Republicans could use real moderates, not phonies who are pro-choice but rabidly anti-union.

  32. - Newman - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:21 pm:

    Single issue candidates are not a good solution. Competitive districts that favor moderate candidates are. Polarized districts favor polarized candidates.

  33. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:23 pm:

    ===Single issue candidates===


    Who said anything about that?

  34. - ANNON'IN - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    Mr/Ms yep:
    Not really a popular position just the ultimate “local control” position. People are not attracted to rules made by Goofs like Lindsey Graham. Pretty simple when you think about it

  35. - Jerry - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:30 pm:

    +++ They also need to find some term other than “pro-choice” to indicate they have a position between the pro-choice an anti-abortion ends of the spectrum. +++

    Great point Montrose. “Pro-Life!” and “Pro-Choice” are marketing slogans invented somewhere. That is not what was in the decision. Roe, which was based on precedent in Griswold was based on a Right to Privacy. Which if you go back to the “Reconstruction” amendments former slaves didnt have.

    A roundabout way of saying Republicans (and Democrats) need to find a different way to convey their message.

  36. - illini - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    Jason can say whatever he wants to try to spin his message, but it will be to no avail. The ILGOP has painted itself in a corner and simply changing their “official” position on one issue will not save them from further embarrassment.

    As our friend OW has said many times the Republicans will forever be relegated to forever being a minority party until they rid themselves of “racist thinkers, insurrection apologists and conspiracy theorists.”

  37. - Jerry - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    @chicago republican

    Nothing “far left” about individuals having the freedom to make decisions about their own lives. Its Conservative (if by Conservative you mean limited government). For instance, Loving V Virginia…based on the same Right to Privacy that Roe is. No one even blinks an eye at inter-racial marriage anymore.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:37 pm:

    ===At that point, why not just run as Democrats?===

    That’s how Republicans lost those like Eileen Lyons or Rosemary Mulligan.

    How has that worked out?

  39. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==should simply encourage the election of pro-life==

    Did you completely miss the message about pro-life being a losing issue in Illinois right now? You want to keep doubling down on a losing issue? Be my guest.

  40. - Homebody - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:26 pm:

    == Truthfully, the Republicans should simply encourage the election of pro-life, pro-second amendment democrats. ==

    Good luck winning a Dem primary with that.

  41. - Cosgrove - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 5:47 pm:

    They should, but they won’t. In the 1990s into the 2000s, we had amazing pro-choice Republican leaders in the House that were supported by Personal PAC (Mulligan, Coulson, Beaubien, Parcells, Frederick, Cross, Lindner, Moore, Wood, Klinger, Mathias, among others). Republican Governor Jim Thompson vetoed 34 of 34 anti-abortion bills that came to his desk. Then the Republican party let the crazies in and the more they lost, the more crazy they got (Breen, Morrison, Dwight Kay, Bourne, McCombie, Bos, too many to list!) and no doubt the crazier they’ll continue to get, which leads us to that 1st definition of insanity. And when the Rauners had the chance to change course and support a pro-choice Republican woman over Skillicorn, they went with Skillicorn and look how that one ended. Hello pro-choice hero Suzanne Ness re-elected. I don’t know how deep the crazy hole has to get, but I have tried to recruit pro-choice Republicans every election single election cycle and have come up empty for the past 12-15 years because the Republican leadership keeps supporting the crazy.

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