In recent decades many Illinois Republican leaders have come out of DuPage County, including former state senate president James “Pate” Philip, former state house Speaker Lee Daniels, and former Attorney General Jim Ryan. Last year’s GOP gubernatorial primary was crowded with DuPage candidates.
I’ve made the case that most of the Republican Party leaders coming out of DuPage haven’t done their part to build a strong statewide GOP. In one article I commented on Philip’s and Daniel’s leadership:
[B]oth men either didn’t realize what was happening around them or didn’t know what to do about it. Pate may have done some good things and stopped some terrible bills, but both men left the GOP weaker than when they found it.
Don’t get me wrong – some of the most stalwart, articulate, and principled Republicans that I know in the state of Illinois are DuPagers. Unfortunately, none of them are in leadership roles.
Like a lot of other places, DuPage Republican politics is dominated by hacks and careerists seeking to climb the political ladder. And then there are revealing stories like this one (read this article too) about DuPage GOP hypocrisy when it comes to the treatment of extramarital affairs on the part of one of their own.
Why am I picking on DuPage Republicans? Because I find it humorous that they are having Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown keynoting their Lincoln Day Dinner in March. Brown hasn’t proved to be much of a leader, either.
Platform-supporting Republicans in Massachusetts report that Brown is now almost an outcast in his own party in his home state. Why? Because of his voting record since he took office last year.
And Massachusetts Republicans aren’t the only ones upset with Brown. The Washington Times ran this story yesterday:
“The National Republican Trust spent nearly $100,000 last year to help Scott Brown win the U.S. Senate seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, but now the conservative political group wishes it had that money back to help kick Mr. Brown out of office.
Saying the Republican senator is no different from a Democrat, the head of the group is calling for Mr. Brown to donate to charity or disgorge campaign money equal to how much the trust spent supporting him during the 2010 campaign.”
Listen, the Republican Party is either going to be about something or it’s not. It’s either going to seek to advance the right policy based upon the principles found in its party platform or it’s not.
I’m sure all those ladder climbers at the DuPage Lincoln Day Dinner will be giving Scott Brown a warm welcome, and will jump up and down to give him standing ovations. I’d even bet that Scott Brown’s speechwriter will insure that some nice conservative sounding rhetoric will be included in his remarks to take attention away from reality.
But as Republicans should’ve learned by now, talk is cheap. Votes for the right policies are what matters. I think it’s safe to say that the DuPage GOP still isn’t what it needs to be.
© John Biver