The columnist Sneed wrote yesterday that Bill Brady was on the way to get elected but a last-minute flyer that pointed out correctly he is a pro-lifer doomed the effort. She credited this insight to a high Republican source.
It takes no great stretch of imagination to imagine who The Source was…one of Sneed’s great favorites—the Catholic former pro-lifer who rose above principle and became a pro-abort to get elected state treasurer and now state comptroller (with the help of ASCME funding)…the one Sneed often calls “irrepressible”-- Judy Baar Topinka.
Every few weeks or so Sneed has printed choice Topinka cutesy tidbits. One was about her puppy who has gone wee-wee in ten countries. Another how she looks in a kimono with her hair up in curlers running down her front steps at 7 a.m. to pick up the morning papers. The harmless gossip column items are to fit Topinka’s meticulously honed self-image: a working class Czech lady…great for the ethnic vote at which Topinka is proficient… schmaltzy, who’s tighter than a tick in her personal life and a sure bet to be the same with taxpayers’ funds.
The reason it’s a good bet that Topinka is the source of that little vial of poison is that the same column carries another genre flavored item about Topinka’s Norman Rockwell-like lifestyle.
Topinka whom I knew well years ago before her transformation is known as a Republican who detests….make that word despises…social conservatives.
Earlier when she was in the House and for a time in the state Senate, Topinka was a social conservative herself. Fearing defeat she sold out, scrapped her beliefs, gained plaudits from the social Left, endorses abortion, supports gay-rights and rides each year in Gay Pride parades blowing kisses to the crowd.
The two items:
In yesterday’s column Sneed writes this engrossing tidbit about Our Judy. “Judy. Judy. Judy. Newly elected state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, unable to celebrate her victory Wednesday morning with her favorite cup of java from Grumpy’s coffee shop in Riverside, opted for a cuppa at a mini-mart, sent the dog-sitter home and settled into a nap with rescue pups Jack, Nora and Bella. Zzzzzzz.”
The item just ahead of this breathless news read: “Sneed is told GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady got machine-gunned by suburban women voters deluged by direct mailings highlighting his `socially-right-wing-not-
exactly-pro-female-agenda’ according to a GOP source.”
That’s Topinka talk, familiar language she’s put out since she sold out as a pro-lifer. It’s the language she used when she was State GOP chairman—calling pro-lifers weirdos, nutcases and loonies. That kind of rationalization made her refuse to endorse Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, a pro-lifer, when he was considering running for a second term.
The Combine days of Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar where Topinka matriculated toasted a pro-abort, pro-gay rights GOP. What Topinka wants is to return to those days where being pro-life in the GOP was regarded as supporting the Flat Earth Society. Already her views have been taken up by Capitol Fax, the influential newsletter and blog.
Soon it could be conventional journalistic wisdom—Brady lost because the pro-life crazies lost the suburban women. Expect to hear Carol Marin postulate this in a future column. If only Brady were pro-abort and pro-gay rights as Mark Kirk is, Brady could have won the governorship. Lynn Sweet will soon include it in her blog as a “given.” But it is not political analysis they write but hard-shell advocacy. If pro-life was the kiss of death statewide, how do they explain the victory of pro-lifer Peter Fitzgerald to the U. S. Senate over pro-abort Carol Moseley Braun? How do they explain the repeated statewide elections of George Ryan (forget his transgressions later) as Secretary of State and Governor? (He recanted his pro-life status later when…along with other changes of opinion…he was trying to sway the jury that sent him to stir).
Advocacy holding that pro-life defeated Brady doesn’t have much journalistic standing. Not so for many reasons.
First, take a look at the Walsh-Bean race for Congress which Walsh, underfunded, virtually cut adrift from the state and national parties, purportedly won (Melissa Bean won’t give up). The 8th district is all suburban…ranging from Schaumburg, Palatine, the rapidly-growing western half of Lake county, Barrington Hills, half of McHenry county, the northwest suburbs, Arlington Heights. Bean’s TV commercials against Walsh were single-issue…picturing him as a raving anti-abortion fanatic. This was virtually the only issue she used. It didn’t take hold sufficiently to reelect her.
Second, consider the heavily suburban 6th which has consistently been represented not just by pro-life congressmen but leaders of pro-life….the late Henry Hyde and now Peter Roskam. Talk about suburban, the district takes in much of the suburban area west of O’Hare including the string of suburbs west of the Loop—Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Glen Ellyn and Wheaton…and goes on to include other suburbs along Interstate 290…Bensenville, Addison, Wood Dale and Bloomingdale.
Third, although Capitol Fax doesn’t like to admit it because it is culturally biased to the Left, attitudes in the U.S. have changed on abortion thanks to education and a marvelous invention—ultra-sound. These days a woman contemplating abortion can see her unborn on the screen, see him/her wriggling and even making an attempt to suck his/her thumb. That convinces her that this is a real live baby she would abort--not an appendix. Thus pro-abortion as an issue is fading while pro-life as an issue is growing in potency.
Fourth, if pro-abortion were all that potent an issue it didn’t take but pro-life did…as I reported yesterday…in many governorships where pro-lifers replaced pro-aborts up and down the map. And if pro-life was disadvantageous, look at the list of supposed pro-life Dems who were defeated largely because they voted for Obamacare which despite a fig leaf “executive order” from Obama provided no airtight protection for unborn life…the only member of the Blue Dogs to survive being Dan Lipinski (3rd) who opposed ObamaCare specifically because it didn’t protect unborn life.
The list of so-called “pro-life” Democrats following Bart Stupak (Mich.) (who decided not to run) were Reps. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.) who ran for the Senate and was defeated…Steve Driehaus (Ohio)…Kathy Dahlkemper (Penn.)…Alan Mollohan (Mich.)…Baron Hill (Ind.)…Paul Kanjorski (Penn.)…John Salazar (Col.)…Jim Oberstar (Minn.)…Bob Etheridge (N.C.)…John Boccieri (Ohio)…Chris Carney (Penn.)…John Spratt (S.C.)…Ciro Rodriguez (Texas)…and Charlie Wilson (Ohio).
That’s all there is to that tune.