Why is Brady beating Quinn?

Rich Miller in this Chicago Sun-Times column has an interesting take on why Republican Sen. Bill Brady is beating Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn in the Illinois gubernatorial race. Quinn is an odd guy who is screwing things up. 
That could be true. But underlying his argument is the premise that Brady couldn't actually be winning on his merits or the issues. This is the conventional wisdom: someone as radically Right as Brady never can be governor. The wisdom, however, is liberal dogma disguised as thoughtful analysis. Never is it possible, the thinking goes, is that Quinn is not just a loser, but a loser on the issues.
In this regard, the comment posted below the column by Illinois Review editor Fran Eaton is insightful and important. It thoughtfully examines the issues and the difficulty that the Democratic Party now finds itself. I highly recommend it.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/miller/2148668,CST-EDT-miller09.article

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  • The Eaton one, which was copied by someone else, and posted at the Sun-Times message board, goes more to the Berrios mess. Of course, everyone at the Tribune hopes that Claypool will ride to the rescue.

    Getting more to the merits of Miller's piece, an issue besides the odd duck stuff and the prisoner release program, and Stantis's Gov. Jello, is that Quinn has proven that his governing style is "you back my tax increase, or we'll cut off the schools, the blind-deaf, and everyone else served by the social service contractors, first." The Sheila Simon interviews also reinforce that.

    As far as your thought that Illinois voters are buying Brady on the social issues, I doubt it. I think this is more like the 1980s, when Mondale was running a campaign similar to Quinn's. In both cases, while the Republicans were mouthing the social issues, the voters knew that Reagan wasn't going as far as he said, while the Democrats meant what they said about social issues, had messed up the economy, and promised to raise taxes. Some Democratic die hards think (by omission, until one brings up the point) that Jimmy Carter left the economy in great shape, but those of us who lived through that know better.

    Hopefully, the polls on Quinn and Giannoulias show that Illinois voters are starting to wise up, as they did in Toddler's case (you don't hear anything from that lame duck anymore, and, according to Miller, Quinn, either).

  • After some brief mentions in early news stories about Brady, there has been nothing I could find regarding Brady's identification with Creationism as an "alternative" to evolution. An early story cited Brady saying that Creationism should be taught in public schools. If this is true, then Brady is truly scary as a candidate for governor. Should he be elected, would he solicit tips from the Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas Board of Education on how to replace science with Bible studies in the public school curriculum? Would he demand that textbooks reflect Creationist ideology, as is the case in Texas? Would he contribute to the further "dumbing down" of science education in public schools? I'd like to read more about Brady's position on Creationism and the teaching of science in public schools.

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