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The GOP and Illinois

August 5th, 2004

You know, the GOP usually has its act together. So what’s up with the race for the GOP-held Senate seat in Illinois?

The Democratic contender, Barak Obama, used to be pit against Jack “Family Values” Ryan, the ex of actress Jeri Ryan, whose divorce testimony turned up accusing Jack of trying to get her to perform explicit sex acts in public. After withering for a while, Ryan quit. After Obama made a fantastic keynote speech at the DNC, he skyrocketed.

So the GOP scrambled for a replacement. They tried celebrity Mike Ditka, but (forgive the football imagery) they fumbled it rather badly, and Ditka declined. So they fished around some more, with contenders yanking themselves out of contention almost as fast as the GOP can consider them, and then they stumbled upon the brilliant idea: Obama is black, that must be why he’s winning, so let’s find a black Republican candidate! In standard Republican fashion, they set about trying to find the rather unusual combination of black and GOP-brand conservative, and they came up with two names: former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, and former Bush deputy drug czar Andrea Grubb Barthwell.

Of course, the GOP had to look like color wasn’t a factor; a Republican representative said, “These two were selected because of their strengths, not because of their color. Voters are smarter than that. That clearly wasn’t the intent.” Yeah. Right. Barthwell also said, “I don’t think that this committee is playing any kind of race card here. I think they have looked at the candidates and the strengths they can bring to it and how they position themselves on the issues.” But Barthwell is pretty much an unknown on the issues. And since (a) the GOP is looking at two prominent black candidates to fill the spot, and (b) prominent black Republicans are extremely rare, it’s pretty clear exactly what’s going on.

And there are more problems: Barthwell, it turns out, stands accused of Clarence-Thomas-like sexual harassment, a staffer saying that she made statements which were “lewd, derogatory and called into question his heterosexuality.” Read Marshall’s column for the unsavory details.

Well, that leaves Keyes, right? And despite being radical, not to mention having willfully thrown himself into Michael Moore’s mosh pit in 1996, there is one other problem: he’s from Maryland. Why is that a problem, when he can become eligible for Illinois citizenship well in time for the election? Because in 2000, on Fox News, when it was suggested that he run for Senate in New York, he responded sharply: “I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton’s willingness go into a state she doesn’t even live in and pretend to represent people there, so I certainly wouldn’t imitate it.”


So the GOP is going with someone up on sexual harassment charges, or someone who would become an instant hypocrite.

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

For even more GOP ineptitude, read this DailyKos article about how a GOPster got slapped upside the head by Donna Brazille when he suggested that Kerry wasn’t distinguished as a senator.

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  1. Enumclaw
    August 6th, 2004 at 02:36 | #1

    To be fair, Mr Ryan didn’t ask Jeri Lynn to perform sex acts in PUBLIC. He asked her to join him in sex play in private clubs for people that wanna engage in those kinds of acts.

    “In public”, to me, suggests out in a park or on a subway or something.

    Either way, though, the guy was clearly a nitwit. I mean, how do you screw up being married to Jeri Lynn? I’d crawl through broken glass for her!

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