Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Confessions of An Ultra-Conservative: 'I Would Have Opposed Scott Brown In A Primary'

We're all still pretty darn excited that Scott Brown won the Massachusetts election for the U.S. Senate and, among other things, became the magic "41st vote" that already has Obama and his Dem cohorts retrenching on their radical makeover of healthcare, when only days ago it seemed a done deal.

Now, imagine we could have a Massachusetts-like victory in the race for U.S. Senate right here in Illinois. Got that thought? Feels good, don't it?

Now imagine that neither victory is reality. Imagine we're on our way to socialized medicine just like Obama, Pelosi and Reid wanted with a GOP loss in Massachusetts. Imagine we are swearing in Senator Alexi Giannoulias next January as the new Senator from Illinois.

It's not a pleasant set of thoughts, especially now that we've had a nice taste of victory.

But while the Brown victory has stopped the march of ObamaCare for now, the war is far from won. We need every Senate seat we can get, and that's where Illinois comes in. We have a great opportunity to elect someone who can appeal to independents and maybe even some Dems, just like Scott Brown did. His name is Congressman Mark Kirk, and he is simply the only one of the many GOP candidates who has a chance (dare I say, I great chance) to pull off a Republican win in a Democratic state, just like Brown did in Massachusetts.

However, some conservative members of the Republican party don't seem to get it. Somehow, they got the idea that the Brown victory in Massachusetts was a "conservative" victory and the harbinger of a right-wing wave that will overwhelm the country. (As the old saying goes, success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan).

I got involved in a chat on Facebook tonight with a fellow who is a self-proclaimed "ultra-conservative" who admitted that, even as conservatives seem to want to claim Brown's victory as their own, he would have voted against Brown in a primary if he had a more conservative challenger. This is in spite of what would appear to be a clear case that if a conservative candidate that could not appeal to independent voters in Massachusetts (which made up about half the electorate) was nominated, we'd be on our way to socialized medicine, because that conservative would have gotten creamed in the election.

Sadly, that revelation did not seem to make a difference to Mr. Ultra-Conservative. And he probably won't learn that lesson in time to have him make the right decision in the Illinois Senate race.

I suspect this won't be the last time I say this, but the Brown victory was a victory of moderate, common-sense, fiscal policy and a rejection of the socialization of healthcare as foisted on the American people, as Obama tried to do. It was not a right-wing affirmation. I suspect that, based on Scott Brown's speeches over the past 24 hours, he would be somewhat amused by the large number of conservatives who are trying to hijack his victory as a clarion call to flock to the conservative banner. Brown credited the 'independent majority' for his victory, and told supporters that he was not beholden to his party, and that he was going to Washington to be a new kind of Republican, a "Scott Brown" Republican.

How long will it be before conservative candidates like Pat Hughes decide that they ought to stop trying to adopt Scott Brown for risk of alienating their own conservative supporters, as Brown will likely continue to assert his independence as he goes forward to be seated in the Senate.

Folks, there's nothing wrong with supporting conservative candidates in my book, but you have to consider the electorate. Mark Kirk is the most conservative candidate that can get elected to the U.S. Senate in Illinois. And he's the most electable candidate from the standpoint of fundraising ability, name ID, etc. Kirk is the only Republican who can attract the independent voters that we need to win this race in November.

The key to winning the November election for both sides will be to win the independents -- for the GOP, to win back the independents who flocked to Obama. It's not a race to win over the hard right. Let's hope the GOP primary voters are smart enough to realize this and make the right choice, for Mark Kirk.


Anonymous said...

Your post today needs to be stated and understood by every single Independent and Republican voter over and over until the message sinks in. TA, we are at a very important crossroads and some of us KNOW IT. Mark Kirk is our side's best hope for winning in November, but it all begins on February 2. We can't get to the General unless Mark Kirk gets a WIN in less than 2 weeks. What you've stated today in this direct, to the point, outstanding post: put our labels aside, WIN this Primary and then circle the proverbial wagon and make history next November 2. This isn't about ganging up on the far right within our party, it's about WINNING this Seat and helping return the Senate to a body of power with more balance and integrity. That's the goal, folks, and I hope that we can stop this truly dangerous path we're on right now. What happened in MA on Tuesday night showed the power of the people, the 28% of registered Democrats who said enough of what this administration is doing. The election showed the absolute power of the Independent voter who echoed the same message of ENOUGH of the out of control Congress. Can we replicate that spectacular victory in IL? You KNOW we can.

Anonymous said...

Another outstanding post on this topic TA. You are on a roll!

Watched Rachel Maddow and the MSNBC gang during election night to amuse myself.

Liberals blame their candidate. They don't believe their agenda is being rejected. Conservatives claim Brown as one of their own even though he is a moderate and stated in his victory speech that he will continue to be "independent."

Liberals claim that if their liberal associates in Washington had just rammed through more of their liberal agenda, including health insurance, then Brown would have lost handily.. Conservatives claim that those who do not follow the GOP Platform religiously are lost in the wilderness and doomed to defeat. They are both wrong.

It's the middle that is angry. Old Richard Nixon's "silent majority" has been fuming at home, keeping quiet, and then showed up and voted. The silent majority that wants a strong national defense, security, good jobs and opportunity. Right now they are struggling to keep their homes, pay their taxes, feed their families, hanging on to their jobs or are out of work and they can't borrow money.

While all this is going on, the "too big to fail" philosophy of the current gang in Washington addresses none of their concerns. Foreclosures are still way up, credit card fees and minimum payments have skyrocketed. Need a new car? No credit available for most. Need to refinance your house? Tough!

Instead of expanding their horizons, the silent majority are forced to scale back while watching national, state and local governments go on irresponsible spending sprees.

Add the liberals and conservatives to the unhappiness mix, and you have the bluest of blue states going 52-47! But the real credit goes to the folks in the middle, the moderates, the silent majority who are independents, or moderates in their political parties. Without them, Brown would have handily lost.

Anonymous said...


You need your own column - you are the best!

Anonymous said...

the d.c. political hands like larry sabato are already calling illinois for kirk in the general and expect us to pick up 7 more senate seats including places like pennsylvania where the democrat party has a 1.3 million registered voter advantage. This is before we get others to run like mike pence in indiana. I expect a total blowout this fall.

Health care is dead and Jon Stewart said last night the "republicans are once again playing chess while democrats glue their balls to their their legs."

And we still have the blago trial still to go!

Oh and catlady has declared war on the white house.

Advantage, King Louis Astaves the Ellen, Pup and Alexi Slayer.