Terrible decision by Keyes

Although I admire Alan Keyes very much (I sent him money during the 2000 campaign), he should not have consented to carpetbag himself into Illinois, especially given his categorical denunciation of that practice in 2000, when he said: “And I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton’s willingness to go into a state she doesn’t even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn’t imitate it.” By contradicting himself on such a strongly worded position, Keyes tarnishes his character as a moral leader and spokesman. As the Washington Post says, he makes himself look desperate.

Indeed, the sophistical statements he’s now making to justify his jump into Illinois are outright embarrassing.

But Keyes’s unseemly intellectual acrobatics are not the most embarrassing aspect of this story. It turns out that there was a perfectly suitable candidate right there in Illinois, Jim Oberweis, who had come in second in the GOP Senate primary to the man who subsequently dropped out of the race because of a sex scandal. Why didn’t the Illinois GOP pick Oberweis for the spot? Because, as indicated by House Speaker and Illinois Congressman Dennis Hastert, who orchestrated the selection process, Oberweis had a strong stand against illegal immigration. This made him unacceptable to today’s Republican party, even though Hastert otherwise speaks highly of Oberweis. So, in order not to pick a legitimate candidate from Illinois who was anti-illegal immigration, the GOP settled on an illegimate candidate from out of state who is not particularly concerned about the immigration issue, a previously admired and respected man who has demeaned himself by accepting their nomination.

Keyes’s excuse was that he didn’t seek this, that he turned down the Illinois GOP until they gave him information on how extreme Obama is on abortion, and then Keyes felt it a duty to run against him. It still doesn’t scan. He is at this moment campaigning to be elected U.S. Senator in a state he knows nothing about, including, he concedes, its streets and neighborhoods. It’s inappropriate, period. At least Hillary spent a year acquainting herself with New York State, so that she knew Albany from Buffalo.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 12, 2004 10:00 AM | Send

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