Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Personal Aside: The Good News—The 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 fans—an 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 Peraica—as 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 Cook’s 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 newspaper’s 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.


  1. She was against the state minimum wage hike but for the federal one. She wouldn't take the pledge but said she wouldn't raise taxes. She stood for the 2A but not concealed carry. How many sides of an issue can you be on?

    Blagojevich had a lot of money because he was a vulnerable incumbent. Vulnerable incumbents raise more money because they have to. It wasn't Blago's strength, it was a sign of his weakness. Edgar and others are parroting that it was the money. No, it was the candidate.

  2. Lovie's LeatherNovember 8, 2006 at 5:48 AM

    Even the intellectuals fell for Rod's ads. Good one, Blankenship. It is people like you that drove this election cycle into the ground. If you want Illinois to actually have a Republican party, stop criticizing the Republicans running for state-wide office. Otherwise, you will have a tough time when your candidate gets the nomination. No, that is not a promise... it is a threat!

  3. I published an op-ed in the SJ-R that said Judy was better on health care. I didn't see very many others saying as much.

    When she strayed from free markets and limited government I criticized her. I did the same with Blago. It was her spokesman who said she was for the fed hike in the minimum wage but against the state increase. It was Judy that said she would hike taxes because of a natural disaster of other event. It was her campaign that said she was against concealed carry. Look it up, it's a matter of public record.

  4. Tom, I remember your blog the day after the 2006 primary where you threw a public fit thanking Brady for your loss.

    I won't stoop to that level today. Neither would Judy, who has too much class.

    Judy lost the race for one reason--she got less votes than the winner. She had the grace to concede that early. Unlike, shall I say, a certain Alan Keyes.

    Tom, face it. You chose the wrong year to openly support the corrupt Democrat nominee. Your weak effort to re-write history here will fall short.

    You can try to say it wasn't Rod's money and negative ads. You can try to say it wasn't the anti-Republican trend. You can try to say that it wasn't the millions spent against Topinka in the primaries. You can try to say that Illinois isn't a blue state. You can try to say that it wasn't the active opposition on the part of "Conservatives for Blagojevich".

    You can persist in saying that she "didn't have the base", when she got 41%. That's noticably better than Alan Keyes, who with 'the base' in a presidential election year headed by President Bush received only 27%.

    You can try to belittle Topinka if you must. You can say Judy is a "liberal", when she is in fact to the right of Jim Edgar. You can say she won a "narrow nomination" with 39% of the vote, compared to Jack Ryan's 35% in 2004.

    But as a conservative who is d**n proud of my role in this battle, I'll tell you this--you won't be able to carry out a vendetta against any and all that did the honorable thing and supported the Republican nominee.

    You can take your petty slights, and Jack Roeser's $100 million in DOD money, and ____________________________--more charitably, you can go retire in Florida.

    This hard right conservative is 100% behind Bill Brady, Joe Birkett, and any other conservative who fought against Rod Blagojevich. And I'll fight tooth and nail against anyone, 'conservative' or otherwise, who openly worked for Blaojevich this election cycle. Tom, that's you and the whack-job in Carpentersville, and any of his bought and paid for hirelings.

  5. Would a more conservative candidate have beaten A-Rod? Some pretty conservative candidates managed to lose on the 7th (McSweeney, Roth, Pankau).

  6. Tom, are you still dancing in the streets after Topinka's loss? What a wonderful victory for Republicans who actually care about this Party! And thank you for sticking to your guns and saying what needed to be said!

    Just one quibble on your party re-org message. I agree with you that principled conservatives need to step up. But we also shouldn't kid ourselves. Some of the conservatives are just as dishonest and as unfit for leadership as the person we just showed the door. I'm talking about "conservatives" like Brady and Birkett.

    Tom, I think the first criteria for leadership isn't a particular ideology, it's character and integrity.

    In fact give me an honest liberal over a dishonest conservative any day.

    A weasel's a weasel.

    But congratulations again on a great victory!! Onward and upward!