To those who say preacher-State Sen. James Meeks will be running for governor as a candidate of a third-party I respond: I dont think so but even if he does, social conservatives shouldnt be hustled into his camp. This is a tussle with Blagojevich on the part of Meeks Jackson-based sponsors to control jobs and contracts at the Abraham Lincoln airport, with the likely result that Meeks will make out and not run.
The idea that social conservatives should flirt with Meeks is ridiculous. He claims to be pro-life: a little more about that in a minute. He wants a spectacular tax increase for education without looking at vouchers or getting tough with the teachers unions
and supports at the top of his lungs furtherance of a confiscatory gun policy. Social conservatives must remember that they go together as a political force in coalition: pro-life, pro-family, pro-2nd amendment, anti-tax hike. Cutting strings loose on 2nd amendment and anti-tax to go because he makes bleating sounds on pro-life, pro-family would be the greatest folly.
While Meeks is definitely anti-gay rights basis his church constituency which in the black community is hostile to this concept, there is no vote on pro-life in the legislature that would verify Meeks claim to be pro-life. Pro-lifers know hes voted wrong on one key bill: the bill forcing insurance companies to pay for abortificients. His slender claim to be a pro-lifer is largely preacher-talk. I dont think social conservatives should be fooled by Meeks. The Grand Coalition which carried more GOP primary votes than the Combine candidate for social conservatism would never get back together.
Not that if he did run, enough social conservatives will ever go with Meeks to make a difference. But blacks would likely, even certainly, turn out in record numbers. He could very well elect Topinka. But election of Topinka would be a greater disaster than the reelection of Blagojevich: in that social conservatives will have lost any chance to gain control over the Republican party. Cutting a deal with Meeks isnt the answer; isnt even part of the answer.
Incidentally, whats with Big Foot columnist George Will, saying in his national column about Topinka that Blagojevich has the vote of the public employees unions? Doesnt he know ASCME rejected him in the primary and is flirting with Meeks in order to put pressure on Blagojevich? That happens when national journalistsand Will is a very good commentatorget spread too thin. But George ought to at least read the Illinois clips.