I received a new laptop at work, and it has taken about a month to get all the bugs out. So after a 4 weeek hiatus, I've returned to the 'blogwaves, ready to rant.
In the wake of the Jack Ryan near-sex scandal (where he didn't have any sex to be scandalous about, he only wanted to have scandalous sex), Republicans in Illinois could not find anyone with enough stones to run against the Undefeatable Barack Obama. I offered, but no one would respond to my e-mails. The state party leadership looked high and low, and higher and lower, and decided to ask Alan Keyes, erstwhile presidential candidate and radio talk show host from Maryland, if he would run for senate in Illinois. Forgetting, of course, that Alan Keyes took Hillary Clinton to task for "carpetbagging" in New York in 2000.
I guess the state party muckety mucks thought that if they ran an African-American candidate against Obama (who is an actual African American - his father was born on the continent and his mother is from the US) it might confuse all the Democratic voters--or at least take race out of the race. The strategy was simple: Expose Obama's extreme positions with a candidate with a conservative pedigree.
This strategy has failed because as it turns out, Mr. Keyes' positions on many campaign issues are even more extreme that Mr. Obama's! One of the first topics that Keyes threw out for consideration was slave reparations...I guess to challange Obama's "street cred". The problem is that Obama is not the descendant of former slaves (see note above) so he doesn't have a dog in the fight. Slavery was heinous...who can argue that? Mr. Keyes said that an income tax moritorium on slave descendants wouldn't cost the taxpayers any money. A rather short-sighted position, given that in order to make up for the taxes not paid by slave descendants, more taxes would have to be paid by others...costing something to the remaining tax payers. And who would pay the extra taxes? Probably the wealthy Republicans that Keyes is trying to represent.
Keyes has moved his campaign toward the far, far, far right--espousing theories about divine retribution against gay marriage, abortion, sidewalk spitting, and failure to use turn signals. We have yet to hear him address the issues that are important to flyover Illinoisans -- namely taxes, jobs, education, and domestic security.
It is nice to have "big thoughts" about morality and spirituality, but Maslow tells us that we need to address lower pyramid ideas first. Thanks to the economy and terrorism, our state (and our country) can no longer afford to focus on high-minded ideals. We need to work, eat, and have a safe place to live. Show me a candidate who will address these issues, and that candidate will earn my vote.