Monday, March 10, 2008

March Madness Political Style

Apathy victorious in Illinois 14Th
Illinois GOP: Dead and Buried

Just when you couldn't believe it could get any worse for the Illinois Republican Party, enter Jim Oberweis. The GOP candidate to replace retiring congressman and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert loses to a virtually unknown Democrat who barely won his own primary.

Oberweis has become the Illinois GOP premiere perennial candidate, losing two senate primaries, a governors race and now a congressional campaign. To his credit he has come close numerous times, so he's not exactly a loser nut-job in the tradition of Ralph Nader or Lyndon LaRouche. The leading Illinois perennial candidate in that category is anti-Semite Andy Martin, who is a legend in his own mind.

Ever since Saturdays special election became official, your brilliant blogger has been asked numerous times to summarize the race. Is this a sign of things to come in November? Not exactly. The turn out for this race was pathetic and that is being kind. At best 1 in 5 registered voters came out for this election. Apathy, especially amongst Republican voters was the big winner Saturday.

In the February 5Th primary, GOP candidates garnered just over 77,000 votes. Oberweis total vote count on Saturday was 46,988. Over 30k GOPers who voted a month ago, stayed home on Saturday. As for the Democrats, Bill Foster was victorious with over 52,000 votes. In the Primary less than 65k vote were cast for the Democrats. Democratic apathy was still apparent but much less than the Republicans in the district.

The media in Chicago is calling this race an upset, but your brilliant blogger was very certain before election day that the GOP would loose the seat. The fact of the matter is that Oberweis was a terrible candidate. He captures no independent support or even a hint of Democratic crossover votes. He has a reputation of being a loser who keeps trying to buy himself a political seat. That does not play well with many conservatives. It also doesn't help that he once compared the pro-life movement to the Taliban in Afghanistan. The far right hierarchy has forgiven him, but not all voters have.

The sad truth is that the Illinois GOP doesn't have any candidates for any major races. Sen. Dick Durbin who does not have a very high approval rating in Illinois is being challenged by a nobody. Governor Blagojevich may end up in prison before his term ends, but if he survives and runs again, even with an approval rating comparable to President Bush, he would most likely win with candidate nobody running against him.

What is most frightening for the Illinois GOP is that Oberweis is viewed as a top tier candidate in the Party and he lost a Republican seat to a nobody. Apparently a Democratic nobody is more popular than a Republican somebody in Illinois.

McCain gets angry...or did he?
Media desperate to expose his temper

It was first seen on, which means the Drudge Report ran it, which leads to all the cable news channels and newspapers covering the event. I'm referring to the supposed temper incident involving John McCain and New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller.

I have watched the video numerous times and can't understand why this is newsworthy. If anything the story is how a reporter for a left-wing rag is asking questions that were answered nearly four years ago with the goal of instigating an angry reaction from a Presidential candidate.

Clearly McCain is annoyed with the reporter, but to say he is angry, losing his temper or clashing with Bumiller is irresponsible reporting. I also happen to like this side of the Arizona senator. I want my President to show some fire when he is being slighted by a journalist. President Bush has spent nearly eight years being pushed over by the media. I want a President who is willing to tell Helen Thomas that she should of retired when Nixon resigned or at least say "sit down you old hag." But that's just me.



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