Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Personal Aside: The Good NewsThe Decks are Cleared for Illinois Conservatives to Take Over the Combine-Prone GOP.
The defeat of Judy Baar Topinka was what I was waiting for this week and when Copley came out with a poll that showed her very close to Rod Blagojevich, I was concerned that she might squeeze through and keep control of the party firmly in the hands of those who have produced her disastrous nomination. Imagine: in a party whose national platform stands for pro-life, no special concessions to gays and tax cuts, this candidate took exactly the opposite positions (thumbing her nose at social conservatives, playing her accordion at gay rights rallies and refusing to rule out an income tax hike). This would be the equivalent of the Democratic party of Illinois nominating Jim Oberweis. Judy is not a moderate Republican. Jim Edgar is a moderate Republican and could have had support grudging, yes, but support from many conservatives in this state. Judy is exactly what I wrote about her months ago: she is the most liberal candidate the Republican party of Illinois could have nominated for governor. It is important to note that certain media pundits who cheered her on continue in a state of denial today by claiming that she lost only because she was out-spent.
She lost because (a) she had followed a reckless course throughout her state treasurer career of insulting and virtually giving the finger to social conservatives; (b) granted, she was out-spent which played a role; and (c) from the day she emerged as a candidate for the nomination, she had not slightest evidence of a program or solution to Illinois problems. Her monologue as an official began years ago when she was first elected treasurer with a vulgarism on flatulence and has continued through the period where she and her staff told an incumbent president that if he were to campaign for her he should do so at a secure, undisclosed location. It wound up just a day before election with a gratuitous insult to Cubs fansan insult that was as irrelevant to the problems of Illinois as her hastily crafted casino for Chicago, aimed to get the support of Richard M. Daley at the expense of social conservatives. So much for the irrepressible Judy. The people who aided her cause publicly should be excused; even the Tribune for relying on business-office marketing rather than consideration of abilities as it wove a fiction of her competence out of whole cloth. But even this will be eventually forgotten. It partially compensated by wisely endorsing Tony Peraicaas any other reputable newspaper would do considering the option.
As I write this, Tony is behind and I hope this trend can be reversed. If it is not to be, he should be saluted for a gallant campaign. With respect to Todd Stroger, given that he has shown so little expertise and understanding of Cook county government in the campaign, one must wonder if we are not witnessing the scale of ineptitude equivalent to installation of puppets to run a banana republic. Cook county has had thugs in control of its presidential levers before, but this ineptitude is ridiculous. Democrat Pushcart Tony Cermak and Republican Bill Erickson who was indicted for ghost payrollers at least had governmental skills that co-mingled with their avarice. Not until now has Cooks board presidency presented the spectacle of an empty suit yearning, yawning to be filled. The editorial board of the Sun-Times should congratulate itself on subordinating the newspapers prior honorable/ history to the all-time nadir with this endorsement.
On the congressional side, as I write this Peter Roskam is in slight lead which I hope continues and Dave McSweeney is not which I pray will be reversed. But if there is any good to come out of this, it is that social conservatives now have a chance to redeem a party that began its decline with the machinations of Jim Thompson redeem it to an honorable revival and that those who cooperated covertly to enable her to win her narrow nomination will not be forgotten.