I live in Illinois where incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is being challenged by multimillionaire and “socially moderate” Republican Bruce Rauner. The multimillionaire part doesn’t bother me and shouldn’t bother anyone who loved JFK or loves JayZ and Queen Bey. It’s the euphemistically called “socially moderate” part that irks me. Social moderates and the state and national GOP’ers who support them irk me so much that I am revolting. I will not be voting for Bruce Rauner. He will damage the Republican Party in ways Quinn never could. He will damage the Republican Party in the same ways our socially immoderate Republican Senator Mark Kirk is doing.
And Rauner is deceitful.
Not only will I not vote for Rauner, but I’m also voting for Quinn. I want to do everything possible to ensure that Rauner is not elected. If conservatives continue to accept the Mark Kirks and Bruce Rauners—deceptive men who don’t understand how essential the “social issues” (to use the condescending, reductive, evasive term of cowards) are, then we will get more of them. And while they’re in office, they will corrupt the party (or to borrow biblical language, leaven the bread). The Rauners and Kirks will disseminate their views on the “social issues” within the party and in the twinkling of a cataracted eye, the “social issues” will be removed from the party platform.
I regret not having voted for Democrat Alex Giannoulias in his senatorial campaign against Mark Kirk. If Giannoulias had been elected, the GOP would be working feverishly to unseat him. Will they expend any effort to unseat Kirk who has betrayed social conservatives at every turn?
I didn’t vote for Kirk either. I like other conservative Republicans didn’t vote for either lousy candidate. But no more vacuous, self-righteous gestures. If by not voting for either candidate, conservatives seek to thwart Rauner, why not ensure his loss by voting for Quinn? Unless and until the powers that be in Republican circles realize that conservatives will sabotage their darlings, they will keep sending us Rauners and Kirks. Just look at what’s happening in the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign where the state GOP guttersnipes will evidently stop at nothing to prevent Massachusetts Republicans from having the choice of a conservative candidate. Sabotage in the voting booth is the only power conservatives have left.
I’ve met Rauner. In a meeting with him last fall with some potential big donors, Rauner was asked about his position on same-sex “marriage.” He answered, “Frankly, I think the idea of two men marrying is just weird.” When asked about abortion, Rauner answered, “I believe that life begins at conception.” These responses led me—colossal dupe that I am—to believe that he opposes the legal recognition of homoerotic unions as marriages and that he opposes abortion.
Within a few days of this meeting, he announced his first-trimester pro-choice position. And last spring, he skipped an Illinois Right to Life event but made an appearance at an ACLU event celebrating the “right” of mothers to have their babies destroyed in the womb—you know, those babies whose lives Rauner believes begin at conception.
In August, a revelation of just how “weird” Rauner finds the fanciful notion of same-sex “marriage” appeared in the Chicago SunTimes. If you’re still teetering on the edge of feckless nose-holding for Rauner, perhaps this hearty Rauner endorsement from two homosexual activists from Chicago will steer you to a more radical but potentially more meaningful vote:
We are deeply troubled by statements made by Gov. Pat Quinn and his allies, including those in the LGBT community. They would have you believe that Bruce Rauner is hostile to LGBT individuals and the progress we have made toward achieving full equality in Illinois. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We want to share our thoughts based on our perspective — as active LGBT volunteers and leaders; as individuals in long-term, committed same-sex relationships; as civic and business leaders; and perhaps most important in this case, as friends and colleagues of Bruce. We enthusiastically support Bruce Rauner for governor of Illinois. We support him for his commitment to uphold the laws protecting our civil rights, our community and our families.
We commend those on both sides of the aisle who worked to achieve marriage equality in Illinois. As he has repeatedly stated, Bruce is “comfortable with the law” and does “not seek to change it.” Bruce will support and uphold the current marriage equality law, and all others that protect the civil rights of LGBT individuals and families.
We know Bruce and we know what he will do. Bruce will work to support and protect the civil rights of all in Illinois. He will ensure an inclusive administration that welcomes all points of view, including from the LGBT community.
Rauner is a big “b-raun-y,” gregarious taradiddler. And I mean that in the most charitable way. I will not hold my nose and vote for bruiser Rauner. I will not passively and impotently refuse to vote. No way, my conservative sisters and brothers. I will take my vexation with immoderate Republicans into the polling booth and do my best to sabotage the duplicitous glad-hander Rauner.
Republicans are living in lala land if they think Rauner can effect any changes that Democrats in Springfield don’t like. Currently, Dems have an impenetrable supermajority led by the ethically challenged Mike Madigan, who’s been speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for a century and has been crowned “King of Illinois” by Chicago Magazine, and Senate president, John Cullerton, who’s been “serving the public” for 35 looong years.
More important, Rauner’s election victory would not merely signify affirmation of his views on “social issues,” it would also allow his views to seep deeper into the tissue of the Republican Party.
When a Kirk, Rauner, Susan Collins, or Rob Portman roams the halls of power, they spread their socially immoderate beliefs within the upper echelons of power. Does anyone really expect that after people like these serve 4, 6, 8 or more years in power, we will have a more socially conservative Republican Party, or that the Republican Party will end its
forfeit “truce” on social issues?
I am willing even to suffer short term fiscal pain here in the Land of Lincoln to send a clear message to the Republican Party that we are not powerless nose-holders for social immoderates who hold us in disdain while they pursue “socially” suicidal policies.
If Rauner is elected, the Karl Roves of the state and national GOP will be thrilled that they have not merely survived but have been victorious again. Unless and until the GOP understands that conservatives mean business and that we will no longer hold our noses, the Karl Roves and those they love like Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, Susan Collins etc. will proliferate. And while in office, they will have a platform from which to unctuously dismiss “social issues” with treacly, mealy-mouthed evasions, while behind the scenes, they will spread their poison.
I’ll suffer the pain of living with the incompetent Quinn for a time in the hope of something better next time ’round. Call me irresponsible. Call me unreliable. Call me hopelessly naïve, doctrinaire, or a saboteur. Just don’t call me Clothespin Nose.
On a cold, probably rainy day in November, I will enter what heretofore I have called the booth of doom and do my radical, countercultural work (bwahaha). For the first time in years, there will be a spring in my step.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.