Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Keyes to the Senate 

I have read some of the reaction to Allan Keyes accepting the Illinois GOP nomination for Senator on sites such as realclearpolitics.com and I know that there are some who are dissmayed that Keyes was the choice and that he actually accepted the nomination despite coming from another state and being a four time political loser. I agree with Jonah Goldberg's take that it is bad for democracy when a nomination could just up and change the way the powers that be decided it to. I think that a party should stick with either homegrown talents or should stick to no choice at all. I think there is no dishonor in not fielding a major candidate when your first choice went down the way George Ryan did. While I think Barak Obama is an overrated leftist state senator (see here), I don't think that nearly as much damage to democracy can be done with this choice as was done by the Democrats in New Jersey when Bob Torricelli (the torch) flamed out in a bribe taking scandal.

Chances are at this point that Keyes will go down in flaming defeat in November and the fellow who would have probably won the race regardless of whoever the Republicans threw out there will most likely win. In Keyes, Obama has a challenger who can match his charisma and rhetorical abilities. This is probably why Keyes was brought in: to rough up and challenge full bore Obama's charm and charisma.

I disagree with GOP strategist Mike Murphy's allegation that choosing Keyes set the state party back five or six years. Two things need to be said on this front: first, the Illinois GOP was already in trouble with candidates who had skeletons in their closets and had shown political inneptitude before this year. Bringing in Keyes merely allows the party to go on a political bender into the wilderness before calmer, cooler, smarter heads prevail. Second, Mike Murphy has precious little room to talk with his latest stunts named Rick Lazio and John McCain. Memo to Murphy: you should have learned from your colleague Mark Mellman: When given the choice between phony Democrats and the real deal, voters will choose the real deal. With his obsession with appealing to Democrat voters on Democrat issues, Murphy has tried unsuccessfully to dress moderate (Lazio) and even conservative (McCain) politicians in Democrat drag. Sorry, but seeing grown men in drag doesn't look good in real life and it looks just as bad in politics.

I remember Phyllis Schlafly talking one time about her two runs for Congress. She said the first time she ran, she didn't stand a chance of winning, so she went for broke and simply went after the incumbent philosophically and what have you. She rather enjoyed herself and enjoyed discussing larger issues of the day in a way didn't enjoy in a much closer race some twenty years later. I think Keyes is in that situation. He has nothing to lose. If he loses the election, so what? he packs his carpetbag and goes back to Maryland or settles down in Illinois to be a gadfly back home to Obama. If he wins, then he finally breaks through and gets electoral office in DC.
Finally, I LOVEthe line Keyes says about Obama's supporting partial birth abortion. It is obtuse to say that Obama has chosen the rationale of the slavemaster in violating basic human rights by supporting partial birth abortion, but it takes the rhetoric of the left and fires that gun right in their face. At the very least, the race should be entertaining for political spectators like myself to watch. If only I had C-SPAN....

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