-By Warner Todd Huston
I write against what I consider the outrages of the left every day. But occasionally someone on my own side, someone I otherwise support, will cast a boneheaded vote, or say something stupid, or advocate for a wrongheaded policy. I have to address such situations when they occur and this week the Rockford Tea Party is under my microscope for advocating that voters in the newly reconfigured 16th District should undervote (as in not vote) for Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the upcoming general election.
Many Tea Party folks in the district west of Chicago and running down the western side of the state are furious that Kinzinger loped over from his 11th District to primary Congressman Don Manzullo, the current 16th District Representative.
Many of these longtime 16th District residents felt Kinzinger was an interloper and in the analysis of voting records it was without a doubt that Manzullo's was more conservative than Kinznger's.
But, let's face it, since the Illinois Republican Party has over the last 10 years failed so miserably to make any headway in this state and since the Democrats have a deadlock on power it was the Dems that got to control the redistricting and they made a map guaranteed to eliminate some GOP congressman or another. As it happens, Don Manzullo's number came up this year.
This is galling most especially because the reason we had to redistrict in the first place is because we lost population in this Census and that means we lost a seat in Congress. The reason our population fell is because of the failed policies of the Democrats, yet the Illinois GOP is so feckless that it cannot even make the Dems pay for their failures and the Dems ended up being rewarded with control of redistricting, a control that will safeguard their own political power thereby assuring that Illinois will fall even further into the abyss! Nice going Illinois GOP.
Anyway, back to Kinzinger. As you all know, Kinzinger won his primary challenge against long-time Congressman Manzullo. Kinzinger will now appear on the ballot in November to take office in the newly jigured 16th District.
But there is a new hitch on the road to November. The Rockford Tea Party is now advocating that 16th District voters refuse to vote for Kinzinger even though he won the primary. The RTP is urging people to undervote for the congressional seat.
In their latest email blast, the RTP says the following: (See full email statement at the end of this piece)
We are encouraging all 16th CD voters to under-vote in the November Election for the Congressional Race. We will remind you to under-vote in the coming months. Yes Kinzinger will have a Democrat Opponent, and yes Kinzinger is that bad.
Ugh. I can only urge people to ignore this overreaction. The fact is, no, Kinzinger is not that bad.
Again, I pushed for Manzullo myself because just on strict voting lines he had the conservative edge on Kinzinger. But to say that having a Democrat in that office is better than having Kinzinger, a guy that agrees with 80% of our issues, is, well, idiotic.
Listen, it would have been just as hard if Joe Walsh ran against Randy Hultgren. Hultgren's record is less conservative than Walsh's and I would have supported Walsh in that instance, but not because Randy was "that bad." Only because Walsh was better!
But vote-wise, Randy Hultgren is perfectly acceptable to conservatives when comparing him to any Democrat alive. The same goes for Kinzinger.
Now, the RTP has a point when they rail against the GOP "Young Guns" group that has foolishly come to the support of dinosaur Dick Lugar in Indiana. I'd like to take some of these "Young Guns" and buffalo slap them (Old West talk for a pistol-whipping). But, come on, the Young Guns support of Kinzinger is not any outrage.
As another side, I also disagree with the point that “we can afford to lose Kinzinger” to the GOP caucus. No, no, no. We can’t afford to lose any Republicans -- yes even the less conservative ones -- unless they are replaced by more conservative ones.
Allowing any Democrat into office is just too dangerous to the health of this country. And how does it make sense that a Tea Party group is welcoming a Democrat’s election!? That is worse than an apostasy, it is outright stupid.
Kinzinger is fine. We should all vote for him because not voting can give the Democrats another seat in a day when we need to work on unseating all Democrats, yes even if that means we are putting in Republicans that are not as reliable or not as hardcore conservative as we'd like.
Listen, I get my dander up every day about the GOP leaning too far to the mushy middle, myself. I often get mad and wish we could just vote out every mushy Republican. But the FACT is we can’t do that just because we want to. It is up to us to convince enough voters to get them to join us (Reagan did this, remember) not to be so stiff necked that we won’t even join the process ourselves!
The point is, even the moderate Republicans are by far better than the best Democrat.
The Democrat Party is now so anti-American that allowing any of them to win office is a crime against this country. We need to destroy these enemies to our nation. We need to focus on our explicit enemies. Once we get Republicans in office then we wrk on making the party more conservative, but we can’t make a difference if we have no seat at the table. To me the greater enemy is the Democrats. Any problems Tea Partiers or conservatives might have with Adam pales in comparison.
Look, we are past the primaries now. It is in the primaries where we try to get the most conservative candidate. Now we have to elect the best candidate since those primaries are settled. The best candidate in the 16th District is Adam Kinzinger.
Also, if we work to defeat Adam even after he legitimately won his spot on the general election ballot… HOW can we expect him to listen to us later when we want to influence his votes? Why should he listen to us if we made ourselves his enemy? Opposing him now is defeating ourselves by shutting us out of his circle of influence. Politics is not easy. Politics is not fun. Politics ain't bean bag (whatever the hell that means). It's messy and the founders meant for it to be so. Reality sucks sometimes.
In the end, standing on the outside and stamping our feet in anger does not do us any good. We have to get in there and keep fighting. Folks, we are in the worst state in the Union. We have to fight as hard as we can to turn it around. But standing on the outside looking in and refusing to vote at all is a fool's move. We'll have no influence at all that way.
It bugs the hell outta me, for sure. But we conservatives simply don’t have the power to control the game here in the Land of Stinkum. We need to fight in the only ways we have available to us, but not voting simply is not one of those options.
Me, I’m lucky. I get to vote for Joe Walsh as I’ve been redistricted to his district. But if I were out in the 16th I’d be voting for Adam Kinzinger.
For better or worse, you have Adam, sixteenthers. You need to support him over any Democrat. Period.
Finally, here is my advice of what they should have done. Instead of launching some futile and destructive effort to torpedo Kinzinger, they should accept that he’s the guy, worry about plying any power they might have to guide his vote in the future, and then really launch efforts to concentrating on changing the state party toward more conservative candidates and ideas (which I know they are doing but they should redouble that effort).
I just don’t see how attacks on Kinzinger are helpful.
Full email blast from the Rockford Tea Party
Eric Cantor and the rest of the so called "Young Guns" Republicans are supporting Big Government Republican Dick Lugar in his Senate race against Indiana’s state Treasurer Dick Mourdock. Lugar has been in office since 1976. Yes that's right 30 plus years. Mourdock has been the Treasurer of Indiana for less than 6 years. The so called "Young Guns" includes Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock, and yes the now very infamous Eric Cantor. Cantor is the Wizard behind the curtain who came out from behind the curtain for a moment to oppose Congressmen Don Manzullo in his race against Kinzinger.
This is the ultimate case of Absolute Power corrupts absolutely. Cantor has been untouchable in Virgina. He feels the reigns of power in his hands as Majority Leader of the Congressional Republicans. He believes he is untouchable. He is accumulating power and structuring his power base with these so called Young Guns. They are deceiving many, and the evidence of that deception is their support for Dick Lugar. Claiming to be conservative but supporting Lugar over Mourdock is the prima facia evidence.
We are encouraging all 16th CD voters to under-vote in the November Election for the Congressional Race. We will remind you to under-vote in the coming months. Yes Kinzinger will have a Democrat Opponent, and yes Kinzinger is that bad. Democrats will most likely select a Social Worker named Wanda Rohl from LaSalle County to run against Kinzinger. The best we can do is to under-vote in this particular race, which means leave the ballot empty in this particular race.
It is unlikely that the Democrats will take the House of Representatives in the fall election, because so many other states have stepped up to their conservative values. It is also likely that Conservatives across America will vote in more Conservative members for the US House and Senate, which will offset the loss of Kinzinger. We will see a landslide victory in the Presidential Race against Obama, but Illinois will be sacrificed in the process. Continuing to vote in the same ideas and principals is not the best option. Sometimes we have to allow for a sink or swim policy. Illinois will most likely have to sink more before Illinois will swim.
America is upset with Big Government politicians. However our State has not caught up with the rest of the country. We will most likely loose house seats in Illinois, and because of Chicago, we will most likely remain a Blue State (Democrat) in most of our state and federal offices. Our best options right now as conservatives is to send a message to Eric Cantor and to Adam Kinzinger that big government must come to an end, and that power grabbing is unacceptable.
It has come to my attention that the original email blast that conveyed the undervoting idea that I have taken to task is not an official email from the executive committee of the Rockford Tea Party. It appears that the idea was only the opinion of one member of the Rockford Tea Party, Mr. David Hale.
The email sent me was from a MailChimp account and was sent to the whole RTP email list, but it was not sanctioned by the group. (see image of the message HERE)
David Hale confirmed to me that this is not an official RTP email blast: "The message I wrote and sent to the entire Rockford Tea Party was indeed my position and was not the position of the entire Tea Party although many members of the Rockford Tea Party are in full agreement with me. So yes indeed we are split over this issue."
The original email was not at all clear that this was the case, however. No where did it say this was just Hale's opinion. This is why I mistook the email as an official RTP message.
I apologize for any mistaken notions on my part.