It has the feeling of succession from the Union. Lincoln's home state has been abandoned by both national parties in this Presidential sweepstakes, and the state Republicans have abandoned the U.S. Senate seat. Leadership selected Alan Keyes as their carpetbag candidate after Jack Ryan was booted from the ticket for asking his then-starlet-wife for sex. Before the door could hit them on the a*#, the state Republicans fled the spotlight to hide in their bomb shelters until the mushroom clouds of November 2nd pass.
Barrack Obama was anointed by the federal Democrats as the rising super-politician. A liberal in a moderate Democrat's sheep's clothing. Obama gave a stock political speech at the national convention that was spun into gold by the cable pundits.
Obama has the earmarks of another candidate on the trail: John Edwards. Edwards swept himself into the Senate on charm. However, he abandoned his state for self-promotion. Edwards was dubbed the no-nothing senator in his home state; he was so disliked that he ran for president because he could not win re-election to the Senate. He now has eyes on 2008. Obama has no stable record of accomplishment; the race has not been on issues, but on his likeability demographics. He kept out of controversy by agreeing with the basic premise of the Bush Administration tactics on foreign policy, and deferred the moral issues to Keyes' preaching rants. The first candidate debate was not even televised! With Obama leading by 47 points, Keyes' campaign is an academic exercise by a professor of conservative political thought.
The election will come down to the children pulling on the Bush or Kerry coat tails. Kerry is hoping that the Obama lead will carry him forward to an easy electoral victory, but if Obama's followers think the victory is in the bag on November 1st, they may not go to the polls. Some voters may stare at the ballot in the booth and say they like neither candidate and punch out a protest vote for Kohn, the Libertarian candidate for Senate. The scare vote may come down to the Bush or Kerry security blanket, and that voter may believe that the candidate with the best security program should get support by a straight ticket vote. But split party voting is the norm in Illinois and in most states because the vast majority of eligible voters believe themselves to be independents.
Forty percent of America desire a better candidate than Bush or Kerry. A majority of eligible voters will not cast a ballot, for apathy reigns supreme. Ralph Nader is not the candidate that could create an earthquake election of protest votes against the alleged two-party power monopoly. The wasted vote myth by the two parties (you waste your vote if you vote for a third party because third parties cannot win elections) is a form of incumbent insurance. Illinois Republicans did not step up to the plate when Ryan was replaced because no one wanted to lose an election. It appears in modern politics, it is a single elimination career. The reigning poster child for losing his political career with one loss is Al Gore. No one wants to be the next Al Gore.
Illinois has turned into a single party wolf pack. Three separate factions are fighting for full control of the party, patronage and power. The wolves are constantly biting at each other; if there was a close Senate election, the state committee could put aside the differences and work for a common goal. But since Obama is way ahead, the griping continues unabated in Chicago and Springfield.
Keyes attempted to jump start his campaign by preaching moral issues. His moral positions on marriage and pro-life play well in core Democratic venues of the Black churches. But Keyes did not have the time or the coverage to make a mark in the conservative vein of the Democratic voters. The only thing the suburbs have seen of Keyes is the windshield wiper flyer that contains a bumper sticker, and a few Keyes yard signs surrounded by Bush signs. No major Republican leader has gone on a speaking binge to support Keyes.
The election will be the biggest whipping in Illinois politics if the polls are correct. Keyes may actually place third if the undecided/other vote casts a third party ballot. If that would occur, the Republican Party would be equivalent to the Whig Party in Lincoln's time; a fading, irrelevant and dying political caucus of discontent.
Opinion, Commentary, Editorial Cartoons by Ski.
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