By Irene F. Starkehaus -
Most of what I'm going to write today is exclusively my own opinion, but please consider me the unofficial spokesman for all "Tea" leaning people of the universe when I say this one thing. The reason that Jim Oberweis is the Republican nominee running against Dick Durbin in the 2014 Senate race is because the Illinois Republican leadership wanted him as the nominee.
Jim Oberweis was not the conservative candidate in the primary. Conservatives overwhelmingly wanted Doug Truax. Truax supports small government, education reform, Second Amendment rights, traditional marriage, health care reform, the protection of our borders and the protection of the unborn. Truax is a solid conservative and he passionately articulates his views. His views led him to run for office when so many candidates from both parties in Illinois decide to run first and then stumble upon their views almost as an afterthought.
Having said that, now that Republicans have Jim Oberweis as our nominee, conservatives are playing ball by supporting him because the alternative to Oberweis is six more years of possibly the most Left leaning representative in the history of the US Senate, and that is an intolerable thought for anyone who esteems the freedoms that have held firm during Dick Durbin's tenure in the Senate.
Conservatives need to set the record straight, because the establishment Republicans refused to back Doug Truax and threw all their support behind Jim Oberweis during the primary so that newcomer Truax would be defeated. They persistently whispered in the ear of Jim Oberweis and convinced him to run.
Harken back to the primary. Oberweis did not jump feet first into this thing. He had to be persuaded. And who can blame him? The idea of coming up against Dick Durbin - a man who has no problem associating members of our military will Pol Pot - is less than an inviting prospect, but the establishment Republicans were firm in their argument that Jim Oberweis was the only candidate that could beat Dick Durbin.
Once the IL GOP leadership got the nominee that they wanted, they dropped their support of Jim Oberweis like a hot coal, and he was left dangling in the wind with little to no party support to campaign against Dick Durbin's megalithic reelection machine. With the election just days away, Dick Durbin now wants to tie Oberweis to the Tea Party movement. Furthermore, Dick Durbin besmirches the Tea Party as if this political movement was made up of nasty millionaire fascists who want to submit your grandmother to medical death panels or something.
Flabbergasted by the idea that he's going down in an Anti-Tea Party witch burning, Jim Oberweis distances himself from Durbin's allegations by mumbling disjointedly about his support for minimum wage increases and gay marriage laws…frankly, I wasn't aware that these are the new planks of the Tea Party platform. Were you? I must have missed that meeting.
And you know? From my perspective, this situation reeks of machine politics. The stench of backroom bargaining is so overpowering, you can smell it from a mile away. Never doubt this for a second. It's not just the state's Durbin-ites that hate Tea Party conservatives. You know who else doesn't like the Tea Party?
That's right. The Republican establishment. The IL GOP views conservatives as a tiny pebble that projects itself into the workings of the well-oiled Illinois machine and breaks it down, and that means that many in the GOP are as much a part of the problem as Dick Durbin is.
The Illinois GOP is progressive-lite. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous. They aren't particularly persistent about shrinking the government or lowering taxes. They detest the social conservatives who believe that 3000 American children dying in abortions every day is unacceptable. I would suggest that many see the political demolition of Jim Oberweis as a means to an end.
The GOP leadership stands to gain enormously from discrediting any person that can be branded with the Tea Party moniker so that the next time Dick Durbin runs for reelection, they can point to what they will characterize is a failed Tea Party candidate and offer us another "go along to get along" candidate like Mark Kirk.
Right now. In these final days of the 2014 election, pay attention and make a note of which Republican leaders failed to stand up for Jim Oberweis…the man who just twelve months ago was the only candidate who had a chance of beating Dick Durbin. If your elected Republican representatives aren't out shredding Dick Durbin's failed record on behalf of Jim Oberweis, then hold their feet to the fire and force them to explain why. Moreover, plan to notice just who decides to run against Oberweis when he comes up for reelection for his current senate seat. That candidate will speak volumes as to who choreographed this election fiasco.
In the interim, there's still time to turn this election around if the idea of political change is truly important enough. For those conservatives who have considered protesting this candidate by not voting for him because he isn't the right brand of Republican, please remember how much damage Dick Durbin has done to you, your children and the whole of society just since the last election. He relies on your frustration to get him reelected. Don't give him what he wants.