The Illinois Senate Race and Cap and Trade

Maybe my Congressman, Mark Kirk (R-IL), is smarter than I (and a lot of my fellow conservatives) thought. Last week, in being one of eight Republican Congressmen to vote in favor of the Cap and Trade Bill, Rep. Kirk angered every one of his Republican constituents that I know. We feel that this was an abdication of his previous fiscally conservative pronouncements.

I have been hot and cold on Mark Kirk for many years (mostly cold, however). Prior to his vote against the surge, he had always been strong on military issues, he is the Congress' leading supporter of Israel and he was fiscally responsible. But, in fact, he is what we call a RINO. Unfortunately, the 10th district of Illinois does not lend itself to a true conservative, such as myself, being elected. Therefore, conservatives in the district supported and voted for Rep. Kirk.

In the past 4 years, Congressman Kirk has made two key votes that, in my opinion, undermine his credentials as a Republican - voting against the surge and voting in favor of Cap and Trade. If a Republican casts these votes, he is not a Republican at all (I am well aware of the big tent theory, but these are two core issues that every Republican should agree on, or he's just not a Republican).

Well, yesterday we find out that Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, has decided to seek re-election and not run for either the Senate or the Illinois governorship. This shocked most political observers, including me. Ms. Madigan was under heavy pressure from Rahm Emanuel to run for the Senate. She was probably the Democrats best hope of retaining that Senate seat (which has nothing to do with Sen. Ronald Burris deciding not to seek election to a full term).

Coincidentally, yesterday, Fox News confirmed that Rep. Kirk will seek election to that Senate seat. And, as good luck would have it for Mr. Kirk, earlier today, Brazil, China and India tell the leaders of the G-8 that they will not impose any carbon emissions reduction plans on their citizens. At the same time, the G-8 leaders refused to make any real commitments to reducing emissions as well.

During his Senate run, Congressman Kirk now has a plausible out for his vote for Cap and Trade. Conservatives will be skeptical, but we will be forced to vote for him anyway. He will start telling the people of Illinois that his vote for Cap and Trade was well intentioned, but that it is not good public policy to impose this type of regulation on our economy when no one else in the world is willing to do the same. He will be able to tout that he showed leadership on the so called climate change issue and the rest of the world failed to act. Therefore, he can no long support such a plan because it would be economic suicide or unilateral economic disarmament.

Maybe Rep. Kirk saw this all along and it was a well orchestrated political plan. If not, he is one lucky fellow. Either way, he will hopefully see the error of his ways and start opposing Cap and Trade now!


Johnny Keynes said...

One thing to keep in mind is that the cap and trade vote is entirely consistent with his past record on environmental issues. He has always maintained that this is a big priority. In my opinion, this would actually have given him leeway to vote against cap and trade but would not be as harmful if he were not consistent on the environmental issue overall.

While I would much rather have a Roskam type representing me in the Senate, we need to face up to the fact that we live in a very blue state and Kirk's leadership on many things that are important to conservatives will be better than if we were to be represented by another typical Illinois Combine Dem.

Steven L. Baerson said...

However, let's hope that Rep. Kirk doesn't buy into the new line from the White House that says that so called global warming is a greater priority than economic growth!