Did anyone think one of the Senate’s most reliable RINOs, who’s up for reelection next year not just in a very blue state but in Barack Obama’s home state, and who supported the Schumer/Rubio Gang of Eight amnesty bill, was going to go to the mat to block Obama’s pick for AG to protest executive amnesty?

Conservative Republicans won’t stick up for religious liberty even in red states for fear of being called bigots. The odds of a moderate Republican opposing the first black woman Attorney General of the United States in a Democratic stronghold were precisely zero.

“I am confident from my conversation with Loretta Lynch that she will be a valuable partner in confronting the gang violence that is robbing families of their children every day in Chicago,” Kirk, a senator from Illinois, said in a statement.

All 44 Senate Democrats and two independents are expected to vote for Lynch, who would be the first African-American woman to head the Justice Department…

Prior to Thursday, four Republicans indicated they would vote for Lynch’s nomination, and with Kirk, there potentially would be a majority in the Senate to confirm her.

Kirk has an excuse: A no vote here could hurt him next year in his Senate race in Illinois. What’s the excuse for Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, and Orrin Hatch, all three of whom come from red states and none of whom is up in 2016? (Susan Collins is the other Republican supporting Lynch.) I realize that Graham and Flake are amnesty shills, but even they should be capable of rebuking Obama for seizing Congress’s power over immigration for himself.

So yeah, we can let Kirk slide on that, if only in the interest of protecting the GOP’s Senate majority in 2016. You ready to let him slide on this, though?

Only days after a high-profile Democrat opponent announced a run to take his seat, Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk is coming out swinging. Not against his opponent, but against fellow Republican Mike Pence for signing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

On Wednesday, Kirk attacked Indiana’s Republican Governor for signing his state’s much-dissected Religious Freedom Restoration Act, saying that he “strongly opposes” the governor’s actions…

“We should not enshrine bigotry under the cover of religion. It’s not just bad practice—it’s un-American,” he said in his statement.

There are tactful ways to pander to moderates on Indiana and RFRA — just ask Jeb Bush — and then there are ways so demagogic that even many Democrats are staying away from them. Why is Kirk in the latter camp and not the former? Take it from me, it’s possible to support gay rights without also thinking Christian business owners should be forced on pain of sanction to participate in gay weddings. Maybe Kirk’s convinced that nothing short of over-the-top condemnation of religious liberty will satisfy blue-state voters at this point. Or maybe he’s just a jackhole. Exit quotation via Sean Davis: “[Senator Kirk] says religious freedom — literally America’s reason for existence — is ‘un-American.'”