Love your blog, so please don’t have me put to death for suggesting that you make a correction to your post on the Illinois primary.
“He is casually mentioning his service record in his campaigning, but the fact is he is a very distinguished officer in the armed forces who saw an ungodly amount of combat as a pilot.”
Every element of this sentence is incorrect.
Mark Kirk doesn’t “casually” mention his service. It is the virtual centerpiece of his campaign in order to change the subject from his cap-and-trade vote.
He is not a pilot. He is a naval intelligence officer (now in the reserve). So, while he might have flown over some nasty places on intelligence gathering missions, I doubt very much that he has seen a minute of what your readers would understand by the word “combat”. I don’t mean to diminish his service – it’s admirable for a congressman to continue in the reserves – but let’s not make it out to be something that it is not.
Aside from the factuals errors on Kirk, I think you’re being a little too optimistic regarding his RINO tendencies. If cap-and-trade were the only issue there might be more hope. But he was also responsible for leading the “Main Street Republican” caucus to kill drilling in ANWR in the House after it had finally gotten through the Senate. And he has a 100% NARAL rating and is probably only matched by Obama in pro-abortion extremism (that is, he’s to the left of most Dems on that issue).
Everyone in IL with conservative leanings is going to have to decide if they can live with a Republican of that variety versus another crooked, liberal Dem. I wouldn’t fault anyone for making that choice, but they should do it with open eyes and very low expectations. For my part, I will be hoping that Giannoulias wins and is indicted shortly thereafter, leaving another opportunity for a more conservative candidate in a special election.
The Czar thanks SN for writing in with a substantive rebuttal.We agree on some points and disagree on others.
1. No, no one gets put to death for writing in. People who do not write in are put to death. They know who they are. Hint: if you do not write in to us and find yourself with your back to a wall, you are probably one of them. SN is not one of them. No, we are very much friends.
2. Mark Kirk is not, in any radio or television ad the Czar has experienced, doing more than mentioning that he serves. We do not hear listings of the medals he has won, or see photographs of him lovingly walking away from equipment, nor sitting in tents around uniformed servicemen looking over a topo map and faking recommendations. That there is your usual self-promotion from military candidates. He mentions it, absolutely as he should, but does not dwell on it to the degree you suggest. At least, not that we have seen here at the Castle…is he posing in a tank turret with a helmet three sizes too large? Sheesh, we hope not!
3. Kirk screwed up big on cap and trade; however, unlike most politicians, he admitted he dropped the ball and is making amends. Frankly, it isnt so much that he voted for cap and trade…it was his confession that he routinely paid little if any attention to what was happening, and often just casted a vote without knowing jack about what it was about. He heard loudly at a townhall meeting that those days are over, and to his credit, he agreed. You will find that most politicians make very dumb votes at some point in their career; that imperfection need not damn them. We could take a slew of successful GOP politicians and turn up awful bones in their respective cupboard.
4. The Czar is not quite certain what the distinction is between combat and combat-combat. Either sounds bad. Are there questions about how hard he served? Yep, and they originate from Andy Freaking Martin, professional nutcase. The Czar could consider either Kirks record with the Naval Reserve, or the opinion of Andy Martin on this issue; we go with the record and not the lunatic. However, you are quite right that he is not a pilot and does not represent himself as such; the Czars error is that as a naval intelligence officer, he has sat in the RIO seat behind pilots on combat missions. The Czar assumed too much.
5. Regarding his RINO tendencies, they are indisputable. But the simple choice is between Kirk, Andy-Semitic Martin, and a collection of candidates so small that their combined votes will not equal 1 percent. Now, SN may genuinely wish for Giannoulias to winwhether or not SN votes that way will be more telling. Generally, given a choice, the Czar follows Reagans simple principle: if your choice is between a guy you agree with 40% of the time and a guy you agree with 6% of the time, you go with the 40%. SN may and should vote any way he wishes, but incompetent Illinois politicians tend not to be indictedthey can evidently wind up president. Given that Kirk is rebuilding his tattered image on all but pro-abortion (he has not changed his position there, especially now that GOP wunderkind Scott Brown holds the same position), he is a significantly better choice for this conservative than any Democratic candidate or GOP-wannabe Andy Martin, who represents every stereotype the GOP seeks to quash.
In conclusion, you go with the guy who can win. It is better to reform a senator-elect than to tell a guy what he should have done after his concession speech. Kirk can win. And he can beat the Democrats.