Anybody that has read this blog for more than a couple of posts is probably aware that:
1.) I love Barack Obama. I mean really love. The only way I would ever consider a sex change is if it came with a uterus that Obama agreed to impregnate.
2.) I hate the Republican Party. I mean really hate. I hope John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, et. al. die a lingering and painful death.
However, for only the third time in my life, I voted for a Republican candidate today. I pulled the lever (actually, I touched the box) for Mark Kirk in the Illinois Senate race.
The reasons are pretty much the same as those of the previous two times. They were in the two elections that Rod Blagojevich won for Illinois Governor. In the first one, I voted for Jim Ryan, who I thought would actually be a pretty good governor. In the second one, I voted for Judy Baar Topinka, who I thought would actually be a pretty bad governor. But the real reason for my votes was all about Blagojevich. From the start, he seemed to me to be nothing but a haircut, someone who didn’t have the skills or the desire to do any of the things he talked about, someone who was only out for himself.
We’ll never know if Alexi Giannoulias would have proven me so spectacularly correct. But I got exactly the same vibe from him. He seemed like a rich kid who was able to use his contacts to greatly exceed his abilities. I felt certain that from the moment he reached Washington, he’d be working for himself and not for the people of Illinois.
But there was another reason. Mark Kirk is part of a breed that has been missing from Washington lately… the reasonable Republican. In the ten years he’s been in the House of Representatives, he’s gotten the following ratings from interest groups:
Planned Parenthood: 100%
The National Education Association: A
The AFL-CIO: 47%
The American Conservative Union: 48%
The NRA: F
The only decent argument against casting my ballot for Kirk was that he would be another vote for an insanely conservative Republican leadership. I’d lie if I said this didn’t give me pause, or that my near-certainty that the Democrats would keep the Senate didn’t provide some solace. But, ultimately, I find this to be a flawed argument. It’s basically the same rationale for voting for Kerry in 2004… yeah, he sucked, but he wasn’t Bush. Obviously, I voted for Kerry, but I knew it was a losing effort from the start. You shouldn’t be elected President on the argument that you’re not as bad as the other guy. And you shouldn’t be elected Senator because a decent candidate’s leadership is crazy.
I hope that Kirk proves me right. And I hope that voices like his start to turn the Republican Party back from the brink of treason.