August 10, 2004
But then I read this graf by Kos and I have to question my take on this:
The Illinois GOP screwed up horribly. Keyes isn't running for Senate, he's running for higher ratings and book sales.Well, yeah, that's right: Keyes doesn't give a flip about Illinois and must be smart enough to know he's unelectable, so it has to be for his ego and profile, and maybe a little bit for the cause of far-right reactionary Declaration-of-Independence-as-religious-text-fetishists in general. And, at the risk of giving them too much credit, the state GOP must know he can't beat Obama. So perhaps this is their way of, in effect, conceding the race and "keeping their powder dry." Remember there was a lot of talk by Zorn, Archpundit, here at Polis, et al. a few weeks ago about conceding the race, conserving money and talent for the next cycle? Now they can do it without an unthinkable public declaration as such. No up-and-comer or party loyalist need sacrifice a safe county commissioner or state rep seat. And they don't have to support the logical choice - the guy who came in second in March - and incur the undying wrath of Bush and Rove. If and when the race is lost, it wasn't one of their own, no carcass left behind, he's back to Gaithersburg. They can say, hey, you know, these were unusual circumstances, we had to make a decision and pick the best possible counterpart to Obama, but you know, he didn't really represent our party in this state. Maybe that's one reason they're all scattering like cockroaches when asked about supporting the pick, or as Jon Stewart put it, "coming up with alibis." Financing is a minus, you would like to have had a self-funder, but Keyes' ideology and the high-profile race will likely lead to conservative dollars flowing in from outside the state.
The biggest flaw in my argument (no, besides that it's completely speculative) is that, under this scenario, they would be knowingly sticking it to the down-ticket races by giving them no coattails, and possibly suppressing turnout in some areas, even. Well, I give up - I can't explain it, either.