The 24% Illinois Republican Party (Part 1)

Evidently voters in Chicago aren’t as upset with tax-raising and corrupt Democrats as we were being told by our Republican Party leadership. Here are the results of the 5th Congressional district race as of yesterday’s Chicago Tribune:

572 of 578 precincts reporting:

Democrat Mike Quigley 30,122             60%

Republican Rosanna Pulido 10,513             24%

Green Party candidate Matt Reichel 2,868              7%

Despite all the silly talk about Republicans having Democrats on the ropes in Illinois, veterans of GOP politics weren’t a bit surprised at that result. There isn’t a Republican Party to speak of in the 5th Congressional district, just as there isn’t in the rest of the City of Chicago.

The Cook County GOP isn’t in any better shape. It’s difficult for me personally to take seriously an organization the size of Cook when it is chaired by a twenty-something kid who lacks good political experience. (One thing you can say about the Cook County GOP Chairman, though, is that he adapts quickly. After only weeks on the job last year, he was already taking direction from Andy McKenna and helping to prevent delegates who supported direct elections from attending the state convention.)

Illinois is in danger of permanently becoming the Massachusetts of the Midwest. If more Republicans and conservative-leaning voters decide to spend more time in real, sustained political activity – this could be prevented.

The problem is, as we’ve noted, there’s a tendency for long time GOP activists to prefer fantasy to reality. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Hamlet, their thinking is like a person who is – “bounded in a nutshell and counting himself king of infinite space.”

A healthy Republican Party organization helps with the flow of information to voters. It provides the necessary volunteers to carry the message through door to door – posting signs – letters to the editor – local forums – phone calls and other one on one contact.

It might come as a shock, but there is no such thing as political fairy dust that can spread around a congressional district or state which instantly turns otherwise uninformed voters into thinking Republicans. I’m awfully sorry to break that news to some of you. Real world politics requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people. Until more of you are willing to assist in that work, expect more Democrats like Mike Quigley to win in 2010.

Quigley gets great press. So does Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Comptroller Danny Hynes, for example. Rarely do Republicans get great press. Republicans have to build their name i.d. and positive public perception the old fashioned way. They have to earn it.

Up next: Councils of Trent.