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Will the Illinois GOP Ignore Social Conservatives in Forming Ticket?

Thomas F. Roeser 28 April 2009 2 Comments

Small wonder the “Tribune” is monetarily bankrupt given its proclivity to sell liberalism, backpedaling from its tradition…which makes it intellectually out of pocket as well. With the currently bankrupt “Sun-Times,” the general trend of big metropolitan dailies, the major newsmagazines, the broadcast networks: who needs yet another liberal house organ? You’d think the “Tribune” would try…out of desperation, anyhow…to be something different. But no: it’s liberal board of directors, its know nothing little Lucifer motorcyclist owner, its viscerally left-leaning editorial board are rooted in liberal cliché-dom. Here’s what the nebulous one offered readers yesterday, Sunday, on its editorial spread.

Two columns trumpet under different bylines the paper’s weak intellectual bleating on lefty social issues. One is an academic travesty by a so-called legal scholar, Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago law school. It says that the Illinois legislature will soon act on the “Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.” He says that since religious people largely oppose the legislation, “religious doctrine cannot be the source of our law.” Pardon me? Under what rock did this ignoramus Stone crawl out of? And how do students taking his constitutional course get their tuition back?

The concept of a law higher than the state was antedates our founders, is not a Catholic creation, but developed with Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine and Aquinas coursing down through the principal articulator of English common law, Sir Edward Coke, who described the “law of nature” as “that which God at the time of creation of the nature of man infused in his heart for his preservation and direction, and this is `lex aeterna,’ the moral law called also the law of nature. And by this law were the people of God governed before the law was written by Moses who was the first reporter or writer of law in the world.” Blackstone’s “Commentaries” first published in 1765 affirms the supremacy of the “law of nature,” insisting “no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”

From there it took root in the Declaration of Independence and the Revolution itself, the writings of James Otis in “The Right of the British Colonies” and by John Locke who wrote “The common good of the people in the Supreme law…of nature…given to the human race…by the only monarch in the Universe Who alone has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power because He is the only one who is omniscient as well as omnipotent.” What Stone has done is to short-circuit the entirety of jurisprudential law and focus instead on recent pronouncements of jurists of one general liberal species.

And of course the mal-educated “Tribune” Op Ed staff, run by a black woman feminist-liberationist whose background consists of editing the newspaper’s cookbook, publishes Stone’s truncated history ala fiction. The scholarship is so faulty, of course, that the paper itself is highly problematic as a newspaper of record. It is in fact a liberal propaganda sheet indistinguishable in most respects from the daily insult to intelligence, dinged up in elegiac liberal tones, the “New York Times.”

The second article of propaganda vs. scholarship appearing yesterday was written by the paper’s lefty “rights” libertine posing as a faux libertarian, Stephen Chapman who is in reality a programmed liberal who makes his living misleading readers that he stands for “freedom” and “liberty” when he does the opposite. He says the founders would have endorsed the right of states to pass same-sex marriage as part of federalism…the doctrine that states themselves can decide, as an argument for same-sex marriage. Any study of what the founders believed negates that proposition. Jefferson, usually cited as the most liberal of the founders on deism and Enlightenment reliance on reason alone, not faith, specifically ordered as president the use of the national capitol for religious services on Sunday.

The fundamental concept behind the 1st amendment was that states can pursue the concept of established religion if they so choose. In fact the Congregational Church was the official church and religion of Massachusetts until 1833. Does Chapman support this as well, since established religion for the states is verifiable under constitutional law? Likely not. The entire “Tribune” editorial board would vociferously deny that right, citing as pretext Jefferson’s “wall of separation” phrase which was written not in a federal document at all but in a private letter.

Social Conservatives Out of Luck…So Far.

Illinois GOP leaders are doing what they have a right…almost a duty to do…to raise money in great gobs-double digit millions-to be used in behalf of a unified state ticket. The only problem is that they have, thus far, ignored the most potent element of conservatism and Republicanism: grassroots social traditionalists based on the evangelical and conservative Catholic communities. Country-clubbers, these men are eagerly awaiting a decision to be made by Rep. Mark Kirk whether or not to run for governor.

If Kirk decides and gets the party’s all-but-official nod, the party can kiss goodbye any hope that social conservatives will support Kirk. I divide Republican moderates as either pro-choice or pro-abort. Kirk has made no bones about the fact that he is a hard-left pro-abort. He supports not only abortion on demand but has spoken against the Born Alive bill which guarantees nutrition, comfort and medical care to babies born alive from botched abortions…which puts him squarely in Barack Obama’s pro-abortion camp. He supports partial birth abortion, public funding for abortion, total ban on parental consent and use of embryonic stem cells for experimentation. In short, where Jim Edgar could have been called pro-choice (he opposed partial birth abortion), Kirk is hard-line all the way.

It might be ameliorated if Kirk were to run for the U. S. Senate but as governor and leader of the party in Illinois, he would assuredly shut down any remaining pro-life dissent and would be a variant of Big Jimbo Thompson on the issue.

Some social conservatives have supported the gubernatorial candidacy of Ron Gidwitz knowing he is pro-choice, but understanding that his pro-choice view pertains to his opposition to a federal amendment banning abortion. On other aspects, public funding of abortion, Gidwitz would be libertarian-meaning that he would not espouse public monies used for the purpose. On gay rights he would not endorse special rights for homosexuals believing that like all our rights, theirs is contained as individuals in the 14th amendment. Gidwitz is not perfect on life issues but could be the basis for a coalition of supporters who see him as a very practical alternative. There is enough libertarian in him on the abortion issue to keep the state’s hands off the issue.

(Editorial Note: Ron Gidwitz is one of the founders of the Chicago Daily Observer)

Gidwitz’s pro-choice opposition to a federal amendment is not necessarily a threat since all realists understand the securing of a constitutional amendment banning abortion is by no means imminent. Gidwitz’s tough-minded policy wonk decisiveness would warrant on reflection support from social conservatives who would recognize the importance of building a coalition to achieve victory. The Gidwitz family’s own heavy financial support of Henry Hyde gives added luster to his credentials…and in my last conversation with Henry-not long before his death-Henry expressed fervent gratitude for Ron Gidwitz’s help as well as his confidence that Gidwitz would make an outstanding governor.

To my mind, a case could be made for Kirk running for the U. S. Senate and Gidwitz for governor. Unfortunately it appears that those who are planning a double-digit state campaign budget are not so inclined. Another possibility would be the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, Bob Thomas for governor.

Thomas is a deeply committed evangelical pro-lifer. I don’t see any great support for him either among the financial powers. They should be warned against thinking Bill Brady is the answer. All I can say is there is much to him which is faux. And much which can come out.

Evidently the powers that be think it would be a great sop if they were to back a pro-lifer well down the ticket…a Dan Rutherford for state treasurer. To them I say the role of state treasurer has nothing to do whatsoever with social conservatism. If they think slating State Rep. Jim Durkin for state AG would help, it won’t. Durkin is a pro-lifer in mien but is not known for either the intensity of his feeling or his association in any meaningful way with the movement.

The good news seems to be that the business types are on to Judy Baar Topinka who wants to run for her old post of state treasurer. Two reasons why she ought to be cut adrift and allowed to make do for herself without a massive influx of party funds. One, her complicity as state GOP chairman to cause Peter Fitzgerald to abandon any plan he had for reelection because she was cozy with anti-Fitzgerald-ites George Ryan and Speaker Dennis Hastert. On my radio show heard for 100,000 she steadfastly refused to endorse him…which she has shamelessly lied about ever since despite the fact that tens of thousands heard her.

Second: while running for governor she showed an idiosyncratic tendency to market herself as a flip, vulgar comedienne for the gossip columns…example: owner of a late pooch who, she says with her back-alley humor, “peed in 100 countries.” Her self-marketing as an attempted comedienne is based on her need to divert attention from her lamentable failure to master the fiscal issues notwithstanding her long service in the legislature and state treasurer. She is counting on her strident anti-conservatism to woo friends in the media. I could not vote for her and wrote in Stufflebeam. She has told a friend of mine that by her estimation in my writing and radio broadcasts I cost her 16,000 votes. Good. I hope so. As governor she would have shut down any conservatism, would have given us a tax increase, social permissiveness and the spectacle of her riding in gay rights parades and prattling about her doggy going wee-wee in numberless foreign countries. Gee, if I cost her the job I’ll take that Upstairs when I go as a recommendation.

At this writing no one has heard from Kirk about his plans. But this is just to say to the party’s financial leaders who are planning that double-digit budget: it will all go to waste and be lost in the election of Lisa Madigan (likely to be the Dem gubernatorial nominee) if you don’t consider conservative grassroots people in the gubernatorial selection. Madigan is a veritable pinwheel of grassroots movement support: pro-aborts, feminists, labor, gay rights. You name a nice little guy with a cute button nose and smile but no grassroots and you’ll once again have to relearn what you should have learned when you nominated Judy Baar Topinka: a Republican nominee for governor with no grassroots conservative support can’t make it.

Tom Roeser is the Chairman of the Chicago Daily Observer Editorial Board.

Image: Charles Percy and Everett Dirksen


  • Trudy said:

    As ususal, Tom, you’re right on the mark. In my view, the whole issue of “same sex marriage” is a move toward making it law across the nation and then finding any Church/Synagogue/priest/rabbi/judge guilty of prejudice when they refuse to marry same sex couples. How long after that would churches and synogogues be forced to close down or face countless ACLU suits? Would they follow the Catholic hospitals cut off from funding and forced to close due to their refusal to perform abortions?

  • John Lofton, Recovering Republican said:

    Forget \"conservatism,\" please. It has, operationally, de facto, been Godless and thus irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God they are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson\’s Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

    ”[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.\"

    Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

    John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com

    Recovering Republican


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