And It Begins…

Assigned Reading: Conservative Candidate Drops Senate Bid Against Moderate
(FROM: Fox News)

If this is what it looks like it is, then we’ve got a problem on our hands. Despite being fantastic when it comes to pressuring this administration on financial support for Moammar Qaddafi and Libya, Illinois Republican Congressman Mark Kirk isn’t quite known for his conservative bona fides. Indeed, Kirk scored a mere 48 in the American Conservative Union’s congressional rankings.

The problem here, however, arises not from Kirk but from a guy named Eric Wallace, a conservative GOP candidate who announced on Tuesday that he is dropping his primary bid for President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. Kirk is also seeking the seat.

Wallace, it seems, withdrew under the pretense that he didn’t want to split conservative votes and give the moderate Kirk a free pass into the Senate. Unless every conservative in the Land of Lincoln shows up in that primary, however, it seems apparent to me that what Wallace is doing is jockeying for a third-party bid and a ticket straight into the general election.

Unfortunately, we learned a lesson about this two nights ago, when Democrat Bill Owens prevailed in New York’s 23rd Congressional District thanks to a split vote between a conservative third-party candidate and a liberal Republican who had already withdrawn and endorsed the Democrat. Should Wallace do what I think he’ll do, the seat currently occupied by Sen. Ronald Burris will go to another Democrat. Had he remained in the primary, however, the process could have worked as intended and Wallace could very well have been in a better position to take on all comers from the left.

I understand the draw of a third party. I really do. I know our founders did not want parties to begin with. I also know that running as an independent provides a better chance of reaching a ballot in November. However, we must think about the downhill consequences of our actions here. Do I want moderate Republicans in Washington, D.C.? Of course not. But conservatives need to be able to stand on their own — otherwise, we’re going to have a big problem on our hands come 2010 and beyond.

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Comments

  1. Uncle Rick says:

    A couple of days ago I left a post promoting GOOOH (Get Out of Our House), which is a 'non-partisan' party, dedicated to getting rid of business-as-usual politics, which is practiced by members of both parties. I was gently advised that it is wiser to fix the GOP than to go with a third party.

    We hear this every election cycle, and the party never gets fixed. If a significant number of GOOOH candidates get into the House next year, the message to both parties will be crystal clear, though I doubt the Dems will hear it ('Lalalala, I can't hear you').

    It could be the best thing to happen to the GOP. Those Republicans still in the House will have the opportunity to get in front of the parade by embracing the GOOOH. GOOOH candidates will owe nothing to anyone but their constituents and, since they are pledged to serve no more than two terms, need not have second thoughts about hot issues.

    Polls have shown that most Americans, if given the choice right now, would replace their Congressman. Elections come around every two years, but how many of them offer us a real choice?

    We have a saying in Texas:

    'If you always do what you always done, you'll always git what you always got. If you want differnt, do differnt.'

  2. Lilly says:

    Jeff-
    I really don't think we've seen the last of him running for office as a GOP candidate. I too hope that he does not run as an independent, Illinois is hard enough running as a GOP for senate. There were a lot of candidates that filed here, so lets hope there's a better one the Mark Kirk that wins the primaries.

  3. Gail B says:

    Where is Michael Steele on all this? Why isn't he surfacing?

  4. Rix says:

    It is the eternal dilemma, isn't it? Do we abandon the tolerable in pursuit for the better? I believe that there is no common answer, and each state should have an individual solution tailored to the population of that state. In a Democratic hellhole such as Illinois, I'll take Kirk over Wallace because the alternative is another Burris or, much worse, another Obama; in purple Florida, I'd say let them slug it out in the primaries while the RNC money waits on the sideline; and in deep red states, the GOP must throw its full weight behind the most conservative candidate available. The point is, you just don't expect a deep blue state like Maine elect anyone to the right of Snowe or Collins, and for all their duplicious treachery they are still preferred to another slavering-at-the-mouth liberal nutjob.

    Learn from Democrats: victory means everything. Form a red state-based solid conservative majority, and Snowes, Collinses and Spectors will follow it.

  5. Mike says:

    I think in the case of Illinois, it might be easier to get elected as a 3rd party candidate than as a Republican, given that the state is not that far removed from a rather large Republican corruption trial and conviction.

    I suspect there's a lot of moderate Dems that'd support a 3rd party before a Republican. Especially when the 3rd party candidate seems to have the same sun-tan as the President…

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