As a veteran of political party, campaign and legislative staff politics and government in both Washington D.C. and Illinois, let me tell you the news of the past few days doesn’t surprise me one bit. Specifically, I’m referring to the destructive behavior of South Carolina Governor Mark Stanford and the continued anti-Republican Party voting of Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk.
There’s a lot of odd people in politics – in fact, the arena seems to be a magnet for them. Columnist Mark Steyn has penned a brilliant column that ran in the Orange County Register this past Friday – the title and subtitle of it was as follows:
That strangeness is not relegated to the elected ranks. When you add up the perennial candidates, the overly emotional activists and bloggers, as well as staff at all levels – it’s certain that creeps and misfits without an office greatly outnumber those that do hold office.
After describing the recent oddball antics of Gov. Sanford, Mark Steyn wrote:
There is a rather large point to all this. As my National Review colleague Kathryn Jean Lopez observed, a sex scandal a week from the Republicans will guarantee us government health care by the fall…
Because of how socialized medicine “redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state,” Steyn writes –
– …if ever there were a season for GOP philanderers not to unpeel their bananas, this summer is it.
The more the citizenry expect from the state, the more our political class will depend on ever more swollen Gulf Emir-size retinues of staffers hovering at the elbow to steer you from one corner of the fishbowl to another 24/7.
Health care is just one issue. Mark Kirk’s vote for the largest tax increase in American history is another issue. To learn more about Kirk’s left wing voting record, read this article by Cathy Santos.
For those of you rank and file Republicans wondering how it is that higher level D.C. types on the GOP side could wish to promote a Kirk candidacy for the U.S. Senate – I’ve met many of those kinds of people when I lived and worked there – and they’re not the best or the brightest.
There aren’t enough straight-shooters and properly motivated players on the GOP side of the field. Republicans aren’t lacking for policy solutions – we’re lacking for professional and competent personnel.
Some people might read this and think it’s too harsh. Frankly, I don’t give a damn. At some point a metric has to be applied and someone has to be held accountable for GOP failure and the terrible lack of results despite the fact that Republicans have held power and have been given a lot of opportunities to gain ground both in Illinois and in Washington, D.C.
Candidate vetting and the amateur psychoanalyzing of current or would be leaders isn’t easy – I also know that from first hand experience. Political alliances are always risky. I’ve watched smart and successful conservatives of all ages start off seemingly level headed then turn really, really wacky.
During this decade – and even in this current campaign – Illinois political characters could fill a novel.
Up next: “Why are politicians so weird?“