February 3, 2010

Pragmatism and the Mark Kirk Win

There's a great post at RedState on the Mark Kirk primary win for the GOP in Illinois yesterday. It explains why, even though Kirk can't be classified as a true conservative, he should still garner GOP and conservatives' support up to and into the November 2010 mid-term elections.

A distilled version of the points Leon H. Wolf makes;
-Kirk was not selected by the RNC
-Kirk won more than 50% of the vote
-Kirk's positions reflect the GOP voters in Illinois

This despite his pro-abortion and Cap and Trade voting. He's by no means a perfect conservative candidate. But in the bigger scheme of things, he's better than a far left liberal Obama-clone, which is the alternative here.

As conservatives most would have issue with some of Kirk's positions. But in the grander scheme of things, pragmatism has to play a part in 2010 conservative strategy. If Kirk voted with conservatives only 50% of the time, it's still infinitely more than any Democrat would. As Wolf points out, there's also the signal of a Republican winning Obama's old seat.

I'd also add a couple of points of my own to reasons that Mark Kirk should be supported.

-he represents a major shift for Illinois if he wins, much as Scott Brown represented in Massachusetts
-if he has any sort of momentum in the state, he makes a better place to spend time and treasure than a more conservative candidate in say California, who is 20 points behind
-there's a momentum factor in politics. If winning a seat in Illinois with a weak conservative is possible, imagine what can be accomplished in 2012 and 2014
-I would take it one step further than Wolf on Kirk's abortion stance. While he is pro-choice, he is a Republican in a Democrat heartland. He will need GOP support in the future, and that means he may have to bite the bullet on some votes he doesn't want to do so on. Depending on his needs and the party's needs, abortion could be one of those issues. That's hard, cold cynicism on how Washington works, but despite our purity of intentions, politics was, is and will always be dirty business and hard ball
-There's always the remember who is on your team philosophy. A team mate needn't be team captain, or contribute as much as the other players, but they still are part of your team and deserve your support and encouragement
-Illinois will never be Texas, and the GOP will need less conservative candidates in some districts in order to compete. Better the fighting goes on within conservative leaning ranks than within a Democrat majority
-He's not that different from Scott Brown in Massachusetts and his win was important, so why not Kirk's? Every win is important, always. We can sort out the progress towards more conservative candidates in future cycles - the urgency of now, is indeed fierce.

Would I rather see a Barry Goldwater as the candidate in Illinois? Sure. But it didn't happen, and now Kirk is part of Team GOP. He deserves no less support than would any other candidate, even if it means you have to hold your nose while you help.

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