Chew Toy For Morons -UPDATED | Main | Stay Classy, Dems, Massachusetts Edition
February 04, 2010

In Defense of Mark Kirk

The eternal argument is going on again.

Boots:

Agghhh, I'm raising my blood pressure just by reading these ridiculous anti-Kirk comments. The primary election in Illinois was moved up by the dems back in 2008 when fav son Obama was on the ballot. They purposely made Illinois the first primary in the nation to give the chosen One a big win early. Because the dems here can get 200% voter participation and push anything over the finish line when they put their minds to it.

So with a primary on Feb 2, 2010, nominating petitions were due way back in November 2009. Which meant the filing season started in summer 2009. Umm, wasn't Obama the most popular guy in the universe last summer? Except for vanity candidates (i.e., Pat Hughes, a guy who has never voted in a primary election, in fact rarely votes at all, and has never lifted a finger to get anyone else elected either, he's a rich rich rich lawyer guy from Hinsdale who thought he could buy the nomination but I digress), it looked like a fools errand to run for Obama's former US Senate seat.

Mark Kirk (R-IL-10) decided to enter the race back in May or June of 2009. Illinois 10 is a suburban district just north of Evanston. Evanston's US Rep is Jan Schakowsky, a spittle-spitting lefty who makes Nancy Pelosi look moderate. Kirk's district trends very blue, but he kept getting elected, even in the face of Obama's win in 2008. Here's another little factoid: Kirk's district (IL-10) is the boyhood home of Rahm Emmanuel, and it's where David Axelrod lived for years. Do you think Axelrod would live in a red district? It's as blue as can be here, but Kirk continued to win.

Kirk is a squeaky clean guy, Navy Reserve vet, and a good campaigner. The independents around here keep voting for him. He and Scott Brown are probably ideological twins. He will be a terrific force for good in Illinois politics. There is no perfect candidate, especially in Illinois.

Mallamutt:

think some also over look the obvious advantage of a Kirk win. If, and it is still a big if, the Republicans get control of the Senate (and you need Mark Kirk to win Illinois for that happen) then the Republicans control the committees, including the power of subpoena. Why is this important, lets take one issue: global warming. Want a serious congressional investigation of the science behind global warming - then you need someone like Tom Colburn chairing a committee with subpoena power to investigate. To do that, you need someone like Kirk to win to get there. As my Daddy used to say, its the price you pay for the thing you pray for.

stuiec:

I think you nailed it when you pointed out that Kirk ran harder than his opponents.

There's the old joke about the guy who dies and goes to Heaven and gets to ask God one question. He says, "God, I've always been good and faithful, so why is it that every week my prayer for a lottery jackpot went unanswered?" God says, "Murray, it's because you never actually bothered to buy a ticket."


Listen up: To win the Senate, we need the Kirk win. It is not possible (or only theoretically possible) to do without this win. Without the Kirk win, we'd need to win in Connecticut, too: And I don't think that is going to happen.

So any of you saying you don't want Kirk to win, or he's not good enough for your support, and etc. -- you are also saying you don't want the Senate, with the subpoena power, the power to approve of judicial nominations, etc.

Please explain to me in what fantasy scenario taking back the Senate is even possible without this victory.

Again: We'd have to win Connecticut. Maybe we could do that -- and if Kirk wins, sure, I will put myself into a "We Can Win Connecticut" frame of mind -- but this Illinois thing is a gift from above that you are scorning as "not a nice enough gift."

Did anyone really think we'd be favored to take Obama's seat? Did anyone think this was even possible?

And with victory possible, some decide to spurn it as not a great enough victory.

Well, whatever. This is essentially free-rolling as they say in gambling, playing with the house's money with nothing to lose except free money anyway, and if you want to just walk away from the table and forfeit your free money, that's your deal.

Kirk's ahead at least six in Illinois and the Republicans are down something like 10-20 in Connecticut. You tell me which is more gettable. (Actually, I think we're down 20-30 there -- Dodd's replacement is the most popular politician in the state.)

Politics is the art of the possible. I am sorry, but some of you seem to think this is all theoretical and we can afford to play the Art of the Impossible.

We can't. If you don't want Kirk, you don't want control of the Senate.

Balls: A lot of "better candidates" were not candidates at all because they were too afraid to run, thinking this was Obama's year.

Well, Kirk ran. (Hughes ran too, but had never run for anything before, nor even voted much, and was pretty much a protest candidate.)

So -- you know what all of your preferred candidates were lacking?

Ambition and drive and belief and even a little courage.

Kirk had those. The imaginary "better candidates" didn't.

No one can win without those.

Woody Allen said 80% of success was just showing up. Kirk showed up. Other "better candidates" didn't. I'm sort of not understanding why were are talking about gutless candidates who didn't even bother to stand for election.

Sean Connery Again: Here's another Jimmy Malone quote: "The Lord hates a coward."

Procedural Votes: As we keep seeing time and time again, the most crucial votes are often procedural -- closing debate, most famously, but there are others.

And as we see with the Democrats, a favorite trick is to vote with your party on the crucial procedural vote -- which effectively settles the matter -- while casting a cosmetic "Nay" on the substance, just so you can tell your constituents you broke with your party.

Again... I... I am baffled this is even a real argument.

I keep being told that the United States of America and the western way of civilization are at stake and then I get told by those same people they want to lose elections and trust that Democrats will make the right decisions.

There is a cynical argument to be made that we don't want control of the Senate, where we'd actually have to pass budgets and such, but would rather almost take the Senate, leaving Democrats in nominal control while permitting ourselves all the irresponsibility of an opposition party (as the Democratic Party was 2000-2006, and then even kind of until now).

That's a genuine argument. It's probably true, if all we care about is political power. I discussed this with Gabe privately but I'm not really comfortable with the idea that I don't actually want to win, I just want to almost win, so we can pose and do politics while having no real responsibility of governance.



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posted by Ace at 01:35 PM

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