Last Resort

Surely the Illinois GOP could’ve done better than Alan Keyes.: “Mark Twain once described Chicago as a place where people were constantly ‘contriving and achieving new impossibilities.’ When members of the Republican State Central Committee met at the Union League Club in The Loop last week and picked Keyes, they may have done it again.” (American Prospect)

I heard Keyes interviewed on an NPR talk show this afternoon. He had the temerity to call Barack Obama’s stand on abortion “the slaveowners’ position” and to accuse Obama of lying about favoring civil unions over gay marriage. Keyes, one of the most polemical politicians I have ever heard speak, boasted that while others’ political positions are made via assertion, his are made via argument, and then went on to make unargued assertions on every point in his conservative platform. It may have been the fault of the cowed interviewer (who could not stand up to the withering blasts of pompous articulacy from his guest) that he did not justify, explain or argue anything, but I think Keyes is so caught up in the idea of his own brilliance that he is incapable of seeing his absurdity. Let us hope the Illinois voters can tell the difference. (The first poll after he got into the race showed him trailing Obama 67-28%).

Oh, yes, Keyes was asked to justify his carpetbagging entry into the Illinois race from Maryland in light of his oft-quoted condemnation of Hilary Clinton’s run for a Senate seat in New York. In what had to be the most entertaining moment of this galling interview, he actually invoked states’ rights and the protection of sovereignty in explaining the difference — Illinois wanted him, whereas Clinton was not New York’s choice. Uhhh, Alan, it looks like it is going to be precisely the other way around…