Back when I lived in Northern Virginia, a fellow member of the Arlington County Republican Committee launched a quixotic bid to take on County Democrat stalwart Mary Margaret Whipple when she launched her bid for the state Senate. On every issue sacred to the Democrats, Whipple towed the party line, marching, for example, in lockstep with NARAL on abortion.
Well, while her challenger was not pro-life, on every bill related to abortion introduced in the Virginia General Assembly, he would have voted with the pro-lifers. But, that was not enough for some leaders of the pro-life movement in his jurisdiction. They refused to support him unless he declared himself to be pro-life.
Similarly, in a special election for the Virginia House of Delegates, a conservative friend balked at helping the Republican because she, who happened to be pro-life, wasn’t pro-gun. She would have voted with him on every other issue–and considerably better than her Democratic opponent, but wasn’t worth his support because she wasn’t ideologically pure enough.
I see a tone of this in some coverage I’ve been reading about the Illinois Senate race of Republicans (and even some Hillary Democrats) refusing to back Mark Kirk should he prevail in the Groundhog Day contest for the GOP nomination. Now, I’ll grant you that Kirk is far from perfect. He voted for Waxman-Markey (cap and trade), but has since relented. If conservatives don’t like Kirk, then they have until next Tuesday to rally support for his more conservative primary opponent Patrick Hughes. Indeed, if I lived in the Land of Lincoln, it’s highly likely I would be voting for Hughes next week.
Note the use of the conditional in the previous sentence; I use that tense because I don’t know enough about the candidate to make a definite choice in the matter. I do see it as a good sign that he’s gotten a lot of support from the Tea Party people, hence my conditional support.
That said, should Kirk win the GOP nomination–or, say, should Tom Campbell win the party’s nomination here, I’d vote for them, even though each has been less than perfect on fiscal issues. (more…)