The Hastert (non-)legacy

posted at 1:18 pm on March 9, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The retirement of Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker of the House, has led to the loss of his seat from the Republican ranks. In a low-turnout special election, political newcomer Bill Foster beat Jim Oberweis to win the seat for the Democrats. The loss leaves the GOP looking even more impotent in Illinois than ever before (via Memeorandum):

In a stunning upset Saturday that could be a sign of trouble for Republicans this fall, a little-known Democratic physicist won the special election for a far west suburban congressional seat long held by former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Rookie candidate Bill Foster scored a comfortable victory over Republican dairyman Jim Oberweis, who lost his fourth high-profile contest in six years, after an expensive and highly negative contest.

Foster had 53 percent to Oberweis’ 47 percent with all of the unofficial vote counted.

Only 20% of the electorate went to the polls in this special election, which marred Governor Rod Blagojevich’s efforts to generate more enthusiasm for voter participation. That wound up being the only failure for the Democrats in replacing Hastert. The Republicans tried running a three-time flop in the election rather than looking for a fresh face, and at the moment appear to favor giving Oberweis a fifth shot at the brass drain.

What is going on in Illinois with the GOP? Barack Obama might not have had the standing to run for President this year if the Republicans in the state could have found a credible candidate to oppose him. Instead, they drafted Alan Keyes in a carpetbagging candidacy for the Senate in 2004, turning the race from tough to a laugh riot. Now they can’t find anyone to beat a chemistry teacher in a district that has been solidly Republican for decades.

Some of the blame has to fall on Hastert himself. His run as Speaker got marred by corruption and massive increases in pork-barrel politics, two themes not without their connections. He personally benefited from pork legislation that increased the value of land he owned as part of a trust. He also fought to protect William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson from an FBI investigation into bribery and corruption rather than take a more reformist stance that demanded transparency and clean government.

Hastert’s actions created the legacy we see now: no legacy at all. Although he doesn’t deserve the blame for the collapse of the GOP in Illinois, he deserves at least some of the blame for leaving his constituency in a mood for this kind of change. It’s a lesson that the current House GOP caucus needs to learn, and learn quickly, if it wants to avoid losing even more ground in November.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Actually, the areas that Hastert, Hyde and some of the more conservative GOP state pols are from (Lauzen, Rauschenberger) have been trending Democrat for about the last 10 years. So, with that alone it isn’t a huge surprise.

But the fact that the Ill. GOP chose this loser to run for Hastert’s seat when they had a REALLY good candidate in Chris Lauzen is typical of the stupidity of this party. I’m glad I quit the party over a year ago. The Ill. GOP is a joke.

So, why did they run this Oberweiss loser? He has run for every state wide position he can think of and LOST. He lost for Senate. He lost for Gov. He has now lost for Congress. He has never held a state office. He’s never even been a town mayor of committeeman! He is a loser.

But, why run him?

He is a millionaire and brings his own cash to the race so that the state GOP won’t have to pony up any $$, THAT’S why they ran this major loser.

This party deserves all the calamities it reaps.

Warner Todd Huston on March 9, 2008 at 1:26 PM

This just proves that the Republicans are just as good as the Democrats at shooting themselves in the ass. How much time did the Republicans have to select a candidate to run in the special election? Maybe the GOP bench is very lean in the Chicago area and Olberweis was the only semi-competent candidate they could get to run in that timeframe.

Apparently, the guy who just got elected will have to stand ffor election this November. Let’s hope that the Chicago-area GOP can find someone better than Olberweis to run for that seat.

Outlander on March 9, 2008 at 1:26 PM

I hereby officially delcare Jim Oberweis into Jim Unterweis.

If the GOP run this loser for a 5th time, they deserve to lose.

Never found Hastert dynamic enough for anything. Nice man, but not with his heart and soul into winning or doing much out of the ordinary.

Entelechy on March 9, 2008 at 1:27 PM

I don’t know much about Illinois politics but having to import a nutcase from Maryland to run against Obama in a Senatorial elections should have been a wakeup call.

You’d think there is a line of people who want to run for such a high office.

freevillage on March 9, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Illinois. The new Massachusetts.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 9, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Hastert was a very weak leader. And he really lost me when he defended William “Freezer Cash” Jefferson. Did a photo comic about it at the time: “Bush consults the Chief of Control.”

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 9, 2008 at 1:36 PM

This isnt an Illinois republican party problem this is a nation wide republican problem.

Seriously Conservatism is being badly damaged by party elites who are more elite than conservative. They know only to act like democrats when Republicans get into power.

I could run and win many seats for the Republican party using some tactics that have been developed. But because I dont have a “pedigree” nor connections the party thumbs it nose at me and other grassroots organizers. They have fully bought into the dinosaur way of running campaigns that have died out years ago.

So here I am sitting on the sidelines yet again while the party goes down the tubes because the elites love to preach but dont like to listen.

William Amos on March 9, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Oberweis may be a multi-millionaire but I understand that the RNCC spent $1.3 million on him. He is a horrible candidate and a proven loser. I’d have held my nose and voted for Foster if I lived in the district. The fact that the Illinois GOP establishment is backing him [the same state establishment which gave us Alan Keyes] is just one more indication of how stupid and corrupt the Illinois GOP is. I am beside myself.

wbcoleman on March 9, 2008 at 1:49 PM

If the GOP run this loser for a 5th time, they deserve to lose.

There is no if. Oberweis will be the GOP candidate in November. Both he and Foster have already won their respective primaries. (This was a special election to fill an unexpired term.)

paul006 on March 9, 2008 at 1:49 PM

I want a flush of all the accumulated stupidity in the GOP immediately. Unfortunately, it will probably take a loss in November for this to happen.

Techie on March 9, 2008 at 2:08 PM

BWHAHAHAHA..

There is no Illinois GOP. Too many backdoor deals with the Dems over the years that turn around and give crap out to the pieces of crap that are too lazy/dumb to support themselves, etc. has destroyed what little conservatism that is in my homestate.

Illinois. The new Massachusetts.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 9, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Not quite, Illinois, the Louisiana of the Midwest.

Blarg the Destroyer on March 9, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Now, now. The grand tradion here at HotAir is to never read any larger message into an event, unless it’s doom and gloom for Republicans.

Oberweiss won the primary because he’s rich and well-self-funded, but he’s a deeply flawed candidate. His commercials aired regionally against Foster were stupid and poorly produced, and he’s lost four or five straight elections. Nobody likes the guy. Run a conservative against this douche Foster in November and he’d be out of office before he figures out where the bathrooms are.

Jaibones on March 9, 2008 at 2:10 PM

As a California Republican, all I can say is “God bless the Illinois GOP.” Whenever we do something dumb (which is quite often), they do something that makes the CR(a)P look like geniuses by comparison.

irishspy on March 9, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Way to go Denny…

CP on March 9, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Great, now we get to hear the Democrats and their puppets in the media talk about how the landscape of America has shifted towards the Democrats. AND how Obama was the reason for this win.

Screw you, Hastert.

Vyce on March 9, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Oberweiss is about as bad a candidate as you can find. He’s a wealthy dairy owner who’s totally unlikeable and actually a bit weird looking to boot. He’s run for so many offices, he’s become a joke. The Dem also ran a pretty funny commercial with a cow mooing. Sadly, he’s gonna be the candidate in November so we can strike this one off the books for the next two years. I suggest we boycott all his products so he doesn’t have the money to run again- for anything.

jimboster on March 9, 2008 at 2:30 PM

One of the biggest problems here in Illinois is that with the megalopolis that is Chicago and the lesser populated, but just as Democrat area (and the home of Dick Durbin), the East St Louis/Metro East, leaves the smaller rural areas in the rest of the state to try to build a Republican party. Needless to say, odds are overwhelmingly against that happening. The sheer numbers in the urban areas make it tough, to say the least. With ‘white flight”, the western suburbs of Chicago are expanding at astounding rates and taking their liberal, white guilt Dems with them.

Big John on March 9, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Something else needs to be added, and this may not be the worst thing in the world. Yes, Oberweis is a four-time loesr. In the Governor’s race, though, he lost in the primary, not against the corrupt Blagojevich. In this special election, he went up against a far left rookie with no voting record and who was painted as a moderate. Now, Foster has to put in his votes, and whomever the Republicans throw at him in November, even Oberweis, will be able to show the voters that Foster is nothing more than a Pelosi and Obama stooge, that he’s more concerned about his Democrat overlords instead of America. All one has to do is read Rick Ellensburg to see this is the case. As bad as the Republican Party in Illinois has been, there are some decent ones out here; there are more than one Peter Roskam-types here in Illinois. And Oberweis himself is no RINO.

Steve Tsouloufis on March 9, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Actually, the areas that Hastert, Hyde and some of the more conservative GOP state pols are from (Lauzen, Rauschenberger) have been trending Democrat for about the last 10 years. So, with that alone it isn’t a huge surprise.

I live in the People’s Republic of Illinois, so here is my 2 cents.

Yes, those areas have been trending Democrat in part because the Chicago liberals move out to the exurbs and suburbs.

Just look at Lake County,IL which used to be a GOP stronghold for decades. Now one Hispanic newspaper columnist here recently predicted that, after the next amnesty, Lake County and the surrounding “collar counties” will join Cook County as permanent Democrat strongholds.

I believe Obama’s ads were effective for the Democrat candidate considering that here Obama is the “Messiah”.

This party deserves all the calamities it reaps.

Warner Todd Huston on March 9, 2008 at 1:26 PM

I disagree with your negative assessment of Oberweis.
I like Oberweis, and I have voted for him before.

But I do agree with you that this party deserves all the calamities it reaps simply because the State GOP leadership has traditionally had this “blame the conservative wing” approach in policy-making and decisions.
Governor George Ryan was a colossal disaster for the GOP, and the nightmare called the “Illinois GOP” is a direct result of him and his corrupt, “anti-conservative” administration.

Last week, I had 2 illegal alien friends (one Mexican and the other one here illegally from Brazil) explain to me how they had purchased Illinois driver’s licenses under a previous Governor Ryan administration, despite them being here illegally in the USA. They said the Ryan Administration “had no problems” with providing government documentation to illegals as long as you paid the right person.

Governor Ryan hated conservatives, and he hated the principles of the Lincoln-Reagan GOP legacy. He was a liberal, and he destroyed the GOP for decades.

Illinois. The new Massachusetts.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 9, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Excellent point.

Even the suburbs and exurbs are Democrat. Look at Lake Forest, Illinois, where they have a Democrat State Representative and Democrat State Senator. There is a future possibility that Congressman Mark Kirk’s seat (Republican-10 District) will switch to the Democrats.

The State GOP party is in shambles.

This isnt an Illinois republican party problem this is a nation wide republican problem.
William Amos on March 9, 2008 at 1:39 PM

I agree with you here.

Look at Indiana where I am from. Indiana was dominant Republican. Now the Chicago Northwest suburbs (Lake County, Indiana) are becoming a dominant Democrat stronghold due to population and demographical changes coming from Chicago. People are moving from Chicago and building houses in Crown Point, Hebron, Indiana, and that county is becoming Democrat. My point is that yes, Blue States are becoming “bluer”, but they are also having the electoral impact of making dominant Red States more blue.

Seriously Conservatism is being badly damaged by party elites who are more elite than conservative. They know only to act like democrats when Republicans get into power.

I could run and win many seats for the Republican party using some tactics that have been developed. But because I dont have a “pedigree” nor connections the party thumbs it nose at me and other grassroots organizers. They have fully bought into the dinosaur way of running campaigns that have died out years ago.

So here I am sitting on the sidelines yet again while the party goes down the tubes because the elites love to preach but dont like to listen.

William Amos on March 9, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Allahpundit and Bryan Preston, in a separate post, predicted that the “Amnesty push” strategy of Karl Rove and George W could destroy the GOP.

I think they were right because they pointed out that if the party leadership loses sight of the “core essentials of Conservatism”, then the base becomes discouraged, and stays home. Yesterday, a strong GOP voter 5 years ago gave me a sermon extolling the virtues of the Illinois Libertarian Party.
This Libertarian Party voter used to vote GOP only, but my friend said that Governor George Ryan’s administration ended that streak for him.

The point is:

when our national party leadership loses sight of the core essentials of Conservatism, ——–as has happened in Illinois years ago———should we really be surprised that the GOP self-destructs?

The Illinois GOP should be viewed as a present day “wake-up call” to the future possibility of a national GOP party that could one day be relegated to permanent minority party status due to the “elitism” of its leaders.

ColtsFan on March 9, 2008 at 3:00 PM

His commercials aired regionally against Foster were stupid and poorly produced, and he’s lost four or five straight elections. Nobody likes the guy. Run a conservative against this douche Foster in November and he’d be out of office before he figures out where the bathrooms are.

Jaibones on March 9, 2008 at 2:10 PM

I do agree with you on that point.

Who is producing the GOP commercials? They sound silly or hysterical. They are probaby crafted by a GOP elitist or Madison Ave advertising firm, and not by a conservative.

The GOP needs Bryan Preston to make their commercials.

ColtsFan on March 9, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Guys, this isn’t just a bad indicator for that state, but for NOvember in general. I’m telling ya, the GOP is gonna get hammered.

Look at the turnout in dem primaries, ffs.

Midas on March 9, 2008 at 3:24 PM

the same state establishment which gave us Alan Keyes

Keyes isn’t even from Illinois, is he? I thought he was from Maryland. There’s nothing wrong with him; Buckley called him brilliant (see Happy Days Were Here Again, if you think I’m lying), Rush liked him, Coulter gave money to his 2000 campaign. He’s a brilliant speaker and an actual conservative.

And, Keyes is running for president, again, as the strongest conservative in the race (no contradictions and no “I was a lawyer for planned parenthood” scandals). Laugh all you want, the GOP has been saddled with John McCain. Still funny?

emailnuevo on March 9, 2008 at 3:29 PM

To add to the good news, I live in the 11th Il district, currently represented by Weller (R). Rep. Weller is retiring this term. The primary was held and a mayor of a local town was selected to run against the Dem nominee. Approximately 2 weeks later this man dropped from the race, mumbling something about how hard it is to campaign, time away from family, yada, yada, yada.
The upshot is that now the district has no Republican nominee for the upcoming November election.

rockdalian on March 9, 2008 at 3:30 PM

The Illinois GOP should be viewed as a present day “wake-up call” to the future possibility of a national GOP party that could one day be relegated to permanent minority party status due to the “elitism” of its leaders.

Amen to that ColtsFan. There has to have been a better candidates than Oberweiss. It is like the Illinois Republican Party just auctions off nominations to the highest contributor. Pathetic.

Oberweiss makes GREAT ice cream. He makes a horrible candidate. Oberweiss has lost four previous elections for office and seems to have learned nothing from the process.

Angry Dumbo on March 9, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Guys, this isn’t just a bad indicator for that state, but for NOvember in general. I’m telling ya, the GOP is gonna get hammered.

Midas on March 9, 2008 at 3:24 PM

You are correct.

And I blame the top—George W.

No, I am not advocating withdrawal from Iraq. I am only asking, “why is George W. sequestered in the White House at the very same time the GOP is being destroyed?”

If there is any good news coming out of Iraq, he (or somebody else) should be vocally on the airwaves and in the districts letting the voters know about it. The GOP leader (or somebody else) needs to be on the offensive and take the GOP message directly to the voters. Have Senator Thune or somebody bypass the White House, and start going on the offensive with a Conservative Blueprint of ideas that matter.

If the Democrats are pushing billion dollar housing bailout, then he or somebody needs to be constantly letting the voters know how this Democrat idea will negatively affect their wallets. The GOP needs to go on the offensive with our message.

Instead, George W just seems to be dying to return to his Crawford ranch.

ColtsFan on March 9, 2008 at 3:39 PM

Problem:

The Bush White House gave up long ago on trying to change voters’ minds about anything. Oh, some sort of statement will be made, but it’s as if they just want something on the record for future historians to find if they decide “W. was right” about this, that or the other thing.

It’s not like they’re actually going to try to convince anyone here & now.

This really starts at the top. W. thinks there’s something undignified (or something) about “selling” policy; to some extent, he almost places value in the hostility he generates (as in “if these people hate me, I’m doing something right”) and wears it almost as a badge of honor. He either thinks he can’t overcome the Dems megaphone or he doesn’t want to make the effort.

As a result, the Dems & their megaphone define what Republicans stand for.

BD57 on March 9, 2008 at 4:09 PM

I live in the 14th and i can tell you that Foster wasn’t running against Oberweis -he was running against Bush.
Foster claimed that Oberweis was nothing but a syncopant for Bush. Judging from Foster’s campaign “propaganda” he’ll be in Nancy’s pocket.
Did I mention that he bragged about all the taxes he would raise if he got elected?
We have a lot of “immigrants” in Aurora and I was told by a friend who live there that they were out in force yesterday.
It’s a very sad day for 14th IL!

annoyinglittletwerp on March 9, 2008 at 5:09 PM

You would have to understand what we had going on out here in Illinois with this “election”.

This was a special election degreed by our idiot governor Rod Blagojevich to fill the seat of retiring former Speaker Of The House, Denny Hasert. Out of the mirade of candidates we had running for his seat, it came down to Jim Oberweis and Bill Foster.

Jim Oberweis is a big time dairy owner out here, not to mention a multi-millionaire about 3-4 times over. He has tried running for political office here in the past, so he’s pretty well known.

Bill Foster is a former scientist and researcher from Fermilab National Accelerator Labs in Batavia, IL. Other than that, the guy was a complete unknown.

The problem is if these two had run honest legitimate campaigns where they focused mainly on the issues, this could have been a decent election.

Instead, in typical Illinois politics fashion, both sides ran negative ads that practically bordered on the out and out hostile and in some cases, both of them went over the line.

The real problem was that towards the end of the campaign, Oberweis pulled out all the negative stops trying to portray Foster as your typical left-wing liberal and in the end, it wound up blowing up in his kisser. Oberweis has had a habit of doing this in other campaigns he has run in and the problem is the guy doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

Now Foster and the Democratic Machine here in Illinois can toss the confetti with him winning Hasert’s seat, but it doesn’t end there. The guy now has until Novemeber to prove his mettle in Congress, otherwise he could come across as looking ineffective and could lose the seat during the November General Election.

This would give the Republicans time to get a new candidate in there to run against Foster, but as crazy as this sounds, it would not surprise anyone here in the least if they threw Oberweis in yet again. If that happens, Foster is pretty much a shoo-in to stay in that seat in Congress.

The bottom line is that the more ineffective candidates the Republican Party here in Illinois runs, the more ineffective the Party becomes as a whole. They have to stop running fools like Oberweis who seem to believe that campaigns are all about how much mud you can sling at your opponent. I know that if they were to run just one qualified candidate against Foster in November, one with a good reputation and a clean slate, Foster’s term in Congress could wind up being a short one.

Problem in we are talking Illinois Politics. Candidates wil good reputations and clean slates are not much in plenty here.

pilamaye on March 9, 2008 at 5:17 PM

The Illinois Republican party no longer exists as such.

The “party insiders” are happy to lift a middle finger to the fiscal conservatives and the religious right since the latter two groups will no longer tolerate the “we’ll run a moderate republican and the saps will elect him” bullshit that gave Illinois Big Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar and, finally, Jim “corruption” Ryan.

Until the party insiders get their heads out of their asses and start listening to their constituents, Illinois will remain safely blue.

Mew

acat on March 9, 2008 at 5:37 PM

It’s a lesson that the current House GOP caucus needs to learn, and learn quickly, if it wants to avoid losing even more ground in November.

Hate to play the realist here, Ed, but the GOP is going to lose more ground in November. Period.

Looking at registration polls, voter ID polls, new voters, fundraising, overall enthusiasm, press hostility (despite inroads made during the past few years), the youth vote, the illegal immigrant vote, etc. It’s a perfect storm of blue shaping up, just like in 2006.

Can’t wait to see the October surprises the Donks will be throwing out there, because the kitchen sink is coming, ladies and gents.

ALL blue this year. Solidly blue. This is the same trend we saw leading up to 2006. More of the same this year, except he GOP will likely lose the WH as well, putting them out of power for at least a half-generation.

And they’re going to lose Senate seats.

And that, unfortunately, is what happens when you have a party refusing to do at nearly every opportunity what it was elected to do along with a President who refuses to lead the party.

Just be ready, folks. This Illinois GOP story is just another anecdote in the ongoing national meltdown of the GOP.

We now return you to your hopeful-yet-tempered political outlook.

;-)

Sorry to go all Allahpundit on everyone, but just don’t say you weren’t warned come November.

Good Lt on March 9, 2008 at 6:30 PM

It only confirms what I have known for 10 years now and that the GOP is made up of the biggest bunch of losers on the face of the earth. They couldn’t win an election if they were the only candidate in the race. They are the worst possible politicians on the world and I’m only waiting to see how they screw up the race against Glacier and hand the election to her.

flytier on March 9, 2008 at 6:34 PM

Here’s the problem with IL voters: apathy. They don’t care anymore. They’re so tired and fed up with being a “blue state” they don’t even try. They figure it’s useless. Why bother?
Keyes and Oberweiss were jokes. No one wanted to vote for them. Until the GOP finds some good, exciting candidates, it will just keep getting worse. When there was a rumor of Mike Ditka running before Keyes, the whole damn state was excited even though Ditka wasn’t qualified.

PoliticallyIncorrectSandy on March 9, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Actually, the real blame is on — the people. The Party is just a collection of people. If the majority of people don’t want what a political party wants, that party will lose. The sad truth is — the percentage of actual conservatives in the USA — of all flavors and stripes — is less than 40%. Maybe only 35%. And by all flavors and stripes, I mean they don’t even agree with each other and won’t necessarily coalesce around a common candidate anymore.

Think about the current presidential primary. The most conservative candidates were knocked out first, moving to less and less conservative until we ended up with McCain.

But the majority of the country wants socialism-lite — “free” stuff paid for by “anybody else”. And Illinois is just a bell-weather. As Illinois goes, so goes the rest of the nation in a few years.

SunSword on March 9, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Actually, the real blame is on — the people. The Party is just a collection of people. If the majority of people don’t want what a political party wants, that party will lose. The sad truth is — the percentage of actual conservatives in the USA — of all flavors and stripes — is less than 40%. Maybe only 35%.

But the majority of the country wants socialism-lite — “free” stuff paid for by “anybody else”.
SunSword on March 9, 2008 at 7:44 PM

For some time now, I personally have wrestled with this observation of mine.

I am familiar with rural Congressional districts that are supposedly “conservative”, yet the people there insist on their Congressmen bringing in federal bacon annually to pay for tens of millions of dollars of unnecessary, wasteful projects, basically just, pork-barrel spending.

And I also have watched with dismay at how many of the allegedly “conservative” GOP members won’t sign a pledge against wasteful spending or earmarks.

I think you are right.

ColtsFan on March 9, 2008 at 8:46 PM

Here’s the problem with IL voters: apathy. They don’t care anymore. They’re so tired and fed up with being a “blue state” they don’t even try. They figure it’s useless. Why bother?
Keyes and Oberweiss were jokes. No one wanted to vote for them. Until the GOP finds some good, exciting candidates, it will just keep getting worse. When there was a rumor of Mike Ditka running before Keyes, the whole damn state was excited even though Ditka wasn’t qualified.

PoliticallyIncorrectSandy on March 9, 2008 at 7:21 PM

You do not know how close you are to the truth. In fact, you may have hit the nail right on the head. Illinois has become such a magnet for crooked and corrupt politics, not to mention the sleazebag politicians who run the whole show, be they Democrat or Republican, that people here here have pretty much come to the conclusion that things here are never going to change, so why even bother to try. Chicago is so politically corrupt now, the Federal Government has so many cases involving chief Chicago political figures waiting to go to trial, there is practically a backlog of just so cases alone. We have had so many former governors go to prison on various corruption charges, it has almost become something of a tradition. Not to mention Congressmen, mayors, aldermen, city and state department figures; corruption is practically rampant out here, and yet election after election, people keep re-electing these crooks, and the corruption goes on unchecked. Frankly, I am surprised that the body of Abraham Lincoln hasn’t walked out of his tomb in absolute disgust with how bad things have gotten in this state and taken the first Greyhound bus back to Kentucky.

pilamaye on March 9, 2008 at 9:06 PM

Keyes isn’t even from Illinois, is he? I thought he was from Maryland. There’s nothing wrong with him; Buckley called him brilliant (see Happy Days Were Here Again, if you think I’m lying), Rush liked him, Coulter gave money to his 2000 campaign. He’s a brilliant speaker and an actual conservative.

And, Keyes is running for president, again, as the strongest conservative in the race (no contradictions and no “I was a lawyer for planned parenthood” scandals). Laugh all you want, the GOP has been saddled with John McCain. Still funny?

emailnuevo on March 9, 2008 at 3:29 PM

I prefer politeness and decorum in political discussion, but there is no easy way to pretend that Keyes is anything but a nutcase. His disgusting treatment of his lesbian daughter makes him completely out of bounds for almost all voters, and rightly so. He’s no better than a muslimn ayatollah.

thuja on March 9, 2008 at 9:49 PM

What is more pathetic:
1) The citizens of Illnois for growing the power of the party that raises their taxes at a dizzing pace (e.g., Chicago is to have the highest sales tax in the nation), increases the states debt via poorly planned public pensions, corruption that does not stop (e.g., Rezko and Blagojevich), etc.

2) The Republicans for not having the ability to defeat the Democrats.

As a citizen of the 11th congressional district whose Republican candidate dropped out and now sure to have a Democrat representative (what a joy it is going to be to have a representative that will take away liberities and reduce my freedom of choice), I hope we have some young Republican studs coming up the pipe. I am watching Aaron Schock (http://www.aaronschock.com), if he can take over for the RINO LaHood, We may have some hope in Illinois.

WashJeff on March 9, 2008 at 9:52 PM

Gee…the Republican party is in great shape going into the fall elections! Have fun! I have re-registered as a Conservative. The Republican party no longer represents my interests. Have fun all you lemmings as the party takes you over the cliff and you get your a$$es handed to you in November!

sabbott on March 10, 2008 at 7:12 AM

Well sabbott — you may be right — but have fun never winning squat in the Conservative party. You and your 11 friends will be able to carp and snarl and whine to your hearts content — keeping your ideological purity and never winning anything. This way you will always be able to assert — “I never voted for that rotten bum”!

SunSword on March 10, 2008 at 8:43 AM

The Republican party needs a massive blood bath. We’ve nominated one of the more liberal members of our party for president, and he’s likely to get beat by a one-term Senator who’s only real qualification is that women think he’s cute.

No fence, no vote from me. Let them burn.

doufree on March 10, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Hastert was a weak Speaker of the House who gave in to the BS of the left. He accomplished nothing and has helped allow a party that deserves not to be in power get in power. It’s all very disgusting and I think this country is on the verge of collapse like the former Roman Empire.

Travis1 on March 10, 2008 at 1:02 PM