You make excellent points.
Like most Freepers, we’d all like it if Kirk’s voting record were more conservative - but given the leanings of his district, we’re damned lucky to have anyone with a R behind his name holding that seat.
If Mark Kirk makes it to the Senate, is he gonna cast votes that will irritate the hell out of us?
But will he vote more conservatively than Jan Schakowsky or Lisa Madigan?
Is Mark Kirk gonna be a thorn in the side of the GOP like Arlen Specter was?
What Hewitt is saying is that we sometimes have to grimace and accept candidates that may not always be as conservative as we’d like them to be.
Because the alternative is considerably (no, a lot) worse.
Thanks for your thoughts, BUT,
His voting record is the same as any Democrat
Mark Kirk supports the unconstitutional hate-crime legislation. Mark also intends to disarmlaw abiding Americans. In fact here are some of KIRKS record on other key issues.
In 2005, Citizens for Global Solutions gave Representative Kirk a rating of A.
In 2006, the National Rifle Association assigned Representative Kirk a grade of F.
Based on information available in 2006, Sierra Club chose to endorse Representative Kirk.
Based on information available in 2006, Planned Parenthood chose to endorse Representative Kirk.
Representative Kirk voted their preferred position of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 100% in 2002.
Representative Kirk supported the interests of the NARAL 100% in 2005.
Representative Kirk supported the interests of the National Council of La Raza 100% in 2004.
His district is drawn to be about half Republican. Bush won 47% there in 2000, Gore won 51%. The district has been held by Republicans since 1980. Republicans to the right of Kirk have won handily within the district. One of the most notably examples is Tony Peracia (a McCain type Republican who is disliked by the conservative base but considerably to the right of Kirk on social issues) won the Cook County portion of Kirk's district handily in 2006 when he ran for County Board President. Of the three counties in the district, Cook is home to Chicago and by far the most liberal of the three.
>> If Mark Kirk makes it to the Senate, is he gonna cast votes that will irritate the hell out of us? <<
Yes on a weekly basis, along with Durbin.
>> But will he vote more conservatively than Jan Schakowsky or Lisa Madigan? <<
No. I can't think of any major issue where Kirk or Madigan disagree. On any issue that he USED to vote conservative on, like tax cuts and the WOT, he has since renounced them and moved left since 2006 to endear himself to the RAT majority. He now hates Bush/Cheney as much as Schakowsky. Kirk can't even think of any major issues where he disagrees with the RATs. During his 2000 "debate" with moderate-liberal Lauren Beth Gash, the two couldn't think of a single issue the moderator brought up that they disagreed on, so they started arguing about who had stronger roots in the district instead ("I was born here!" "Oh yeah, but I lived here the last 20 years and you haven't! Nah nah!") Read transcripts if you don't believe me.
>> Is Mark Kirk gonna be a thorn in the side of the GOP like Arlen Specter was? <<
No. Kirk will be worse. Specter votes conservative about 40% of the time, you won't even get that much with Kirk. For example, Specter got some pretty good ratings from gun groups. Kirk has an F record from gun-groups. Kirk is likely to be another Linc Chafee type, voting with us maybe 20-30% on a good day. If that's acceptable, you might as well campaign for Mark Pryor for Senate.
>> What Hewitt is saying is that we sometimes have to grimace and accept candidates that may not always be as conservative as wed like them to be. Because the alternative is considerably (no, a lot) worse. <<
Oh, I agree with that point, and if Kirk were a real "moderate" who is not always conservative as I'd like him to be, but clearly better than the RAT, I'd support him. There are many examples of that, like Norm Coleman. Not as conservative as me, but votes conservative 70% of the time while Al Franken is conservative about 5% of the time. Unfortunately, Kirk is not one of those cases.
Let's say Dan Seals had won in November 2006 and taken out Kirk, serving from Jan. 2007-Jan. 2009. On what major issues would "Congressman Seals" have voted differently on?
Let's compare where they stand on major issues:
Kirk supports taxpayer funded abortion being allowed in any and every circumstance, including late trimester and partial-birth abortions most of the general public opposes. He gets perfect ratings from NARAL. Schakowsky votes the same way, and Seals took the same position. I think there a handful of circumstances where Lisa Madigan has opposed abortion, so she might actually be to the right of Kirk on this (though she is considerably to the left of her nominally “pro-life” father)
Kirk is cosponsoring a major anti-gun bill right now and has consistently supported every piece of legislation designed to curtail gun-rights. He gets an A rating from the Sarah Brady campaign and an F from the NRA. Schakowsky, Seals, and Madigan have similar opinions on gun control.
Kirk claims to be “personally” be against “gay marriage”, but is opposed to any laws that would prevent it from being legalized. He favors “civil unions” instead, that would be create a defacto “gay marriage” and give it equal status and the exact same benefits of a traditional marriage, making it marriage in every way but name. He is supportive of “gay pride” events and takes great steps to hire openly gay staffers and make appearances with the gay community. The same position is taken by
Schakowsky, Seals, and Madigan. All of them are “officially” against gay marriage, as is Obama.
WAR ON TERROR
Kirk supported intervention in Afghanistan, but has since used the situation there as an excuse to attack Bush's leadership. He voted for the Iraq War, but now regrets it and Bush mislead him. Kirk vocally opposed the surge, and insisted it wouldn't work. He was the leader of a group of anti-war Republican who marched to the white house and demanded Bush withdraw the troops from Iraq immediately in 2007 because it was hurting the Republican Party. The whole “mislead about Iraq” talking point was also used by Madigan and Blagojevich. Seals took the exact same policy positions on the WOT during last year's campaign as Kirk. Schakowsky is slightly to the left of Kirk (and half of the Democrats) on this one, she opposed Iraq from the start)
Kirk claims that he opposes earmarks, but he ensured that his district got at least $5 million, each, for Headstart, HUD, commuter trains, and local police departments, although none of those subjects is mentioned, in the Constitution. He opposes earmarks, for other congressional districts, and he earmarks them, for his district. He supports all kinds of liberal feel good measures like wasting billions from embryonic stem cell search, fighting AIDS in Africa, giving money to the Palestine Authority, etc. He got a 100% A rating from Americans for the Arts and supported the interests of the Citizens Against Government Waste 33 percent in 2007. Seals also decried earmarks in other districts while promising to fund all kinds of pet projects in his. Not sure if Schakowsky ever denounced earmarks, but her spending levels on are par with Kirk's. Madigan has not taken a position on the issue.
Kirk got 100% rating from Hispanic supremacist group “La Raza” and F ratings from anti-illegal immigration groups. Freeper PhilCollins has heard credible evidence that Kirk visited the border and advised “undocumented” types how to sneak across the border. Seals and Schakowsky likewise supports a “path to citizenship” for illegals and embrace La Raza. Madigan has not taken a position on this.
Kirk votes down the line on the envirowacko agenda and has taken the lead on their pet projects. He believes global warming is man-made and is an eminent threat that we have to spend billions in government money to combat, opposes ANWR drilling and other kind of pro-buisness initiative that gets in the way of the tree huggers. The Sierra Club loves this guy. Obama got an 92% rating from them, Kirk voted to the left of Obama and got a 96% rating. Schakowsky got 100% rating. Seals and Madigan take the same positions as Kirk, but are not quite as extensive about it as Kirk is in his bragging.
Kirk supported all kinds of bailouts last year, including the big wall street bailout and the auto bailout. On the campaign trail, he welcomed spending zillions in borrowed money to “stimulate” the economy. He changed his mind at the last minute and opposed Obama’s porkulus bill, after arm-twisting from the GOP leadership. Lisa Madigan took similar positions in endorsing bailouts but being someone cautious on embracing this year's stimulus bill. Seals took the same position as Kirk last year, and has not made a statement on this year's bill .Schakowsky supported all bailout and stimulus intiatives.
Kirk is too busy attacking Bush and touting his own “independence” from evil right-wing Republicans to say anything negative about the likes of Durbin/Obama/Daley, etc. He has taken pot shots at Blago (given that Blago’s approval rating was in the toilet), and loudly called for Blago’s resignation last year after Blago got arrested. Lisa Madigan has done the same, but been even more vocal about it and “taken the lead” in maneuvering to oust him. Schakowsk, like Kirk, denounced Blago and demanded his resignation after he got arrested as well. Seals has stayed aloof and taken no position on RAT corruption, just like Obama.
That covers a wide range of different issues. Based on that, here's how they stack up:
* Lisa Madigan is just as liberal as Kirk on most issues, but could possibly be a hair to the right of him on one or two things.
* Dan Seals agreed with Kirk on virtually every major issue in 2006 and 2008, and there is no evidence to show any of that has changed since then.
* Jan Schakowsky agrees with Kirk on most issues, and may actually be a millimeter to the left of him on some things.
Conclusion: Only Schakowsky shows evidence of possibly being even worse than Kirk. Congressman Kirk is not “far to the right” of any of them.