The GOP’s weak answer to the TEA party movement in Illinois

This year – 2009 – answered the question – “are Americans willing to stand up and fight back against big, corrupt government?” The people involving themselves in party politics for the first time – many of whom are running for precinct committeeman – have now answered in the affirmative. So have the countless TEA party and 9/12 Project volunteers that hit the streets and attended rallies and town hall meetings.

The Republican Party, despite their historic opportunity to tap all of that TEA party and 9/12 Project energy, is instead still mostly fielding candidates who hardly inspire regular Republicans, let alone independent minded conservatives.

Mark Kirk – are you kidding me? Judy Baar Topinka – you cannot be serious. Andy McKenna is running for governor – we’re almost into science fiction. If you think a statewide ballot with those names and Dan Rutherford’s is the key to winning the hearts and minds of socially conservative, over-taxed, and cynical voters – then you’ll fit in well with the ever-shrinking number of people that call themselves a Republican in this state.

It’s time for some of our Republican leaders to begin contemplating a few New Year’s resolutions. It might be time for some of them to seek professional help – and I’m not talking about psychiatric – but of course if the shoe fits…

What I mean is that it’s time for conservatives in Illinois to begin importing some talented political people from out of state to help create a climate here where a recovery can begin. Outside of a small number of names on the February 2nd primary ballot, the pickings aren’t exactly inspirational. And they certainly aren’t a magnet for reform-minded citizens.

This column has always subscribed to the basic idea that lily-livered nicety-nice rhetoric gets you nowhere. If we’re going to get anywhere, we have to start with the truth – and part of that truth involves applying a metric to past performance.

This society is oddly extra-sensitive if political words fall outside of what would be considered acceptable in polite company. Have you read about the financial condition of our state and federal governments? Have you seen the facts on government employee pensions? Have you read about the rot that is being taught in our public schools? Good luck finding the gentle terminology to adequately describe all that.

Similarly, the win-loss record of our political and party leaders – as well as that of conservative interest groups or the business community – needs to be likewise dealt with in real terms.

“Watch your tone!” Baloney. Obfuscation is an art form I’m not interested in. Mealy-mouth Republicans have caused us to lose ground no matter which party is in charge. Our language needs to be as rough as necessary to break through.

The time for coddling is past. Many of the Americans who attended those health care town hall meetings last August understand that.