Oh Denny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.
And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be.
Irish Folk Song – Oh
Over the weekend, we learned that when Republican former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert finally retires to his suburban Illinois district, he will be represented in Congress by Democrat Bill Foster.
James Kimberly reporting for the Chicago Tribune:
“In a stunning upset Saturday that could be a sign of trouble for Republicans this fall, a little-known Democratic physicist won the special election for a far west suburban congressional seat long held by former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Foster had 53 percent to Oberweis’ 47 percent with all of the unofficial vote counted… As the winner, Foster is set to enjoy some advantages as the sitting congressman: staffers to perform constituent service, the ability to send mail paid for by the public and easier access to campaign contributions… The 14th District historically has been very Republican, re-electing Hastert with 60 percent of the vote in 2006 and giving President Bush 55 percent of the vote in 2004.”
Deanna Bellandi of the Associated Press further notes:
“The district will have a rookie congressmen after years of enjoying Hastert’s clout. During his 21 years in Washington, Hastert funneled millions of dollars to the district that stretches from Chicago’s far western suburbs to almost the Mississippi River.”
There is just so much to see as we watch the slow motion train wreck that is the GOP in 2008. Obama supporter Dick Durban has a predictable explanation for the IL-14 vote – it is all about change: “It tells me that voters are ready for a change. They want new leadership in Washington”.
Another interpretation: The voters of the 14th district are so accustomed to suckling on the federal teat under Denny Hastert’s beneficent reign, they are voting out of simple self interested recognition that they need to switch parties to keep the milk flowing under single party Democratic rule in 2009.
Sticking with our musical theme -If this outcome does not tell my fellow Republicans which way the wind is blowing, then, Bob Dylan not withstanding, they do indeed need a weatherman. Taylor Marsh prefers Barbara Streisand’s cover of “Happy Days are Here Again” as a soundtrack to gloat by. Meanwhile, the laughter you hear is the derision in the left leaning blogosphere over NRCC spokeswoman Karen Hanretty’s statement:
“The one thing 2008 has shown is that one election in one state does not prove a trend. In fact, there has been no national trend this entire election season. The one message coming out of 2008 so far is that what happens today is not a bellwether of what happens this fall. “
I almost feel sorry for her. I mean, what the hell is she going to say? Complete denial may be the only rational reaction when staring into the abyss. Interestingly, the GOP talking points have departed too far from reality for even Michelle Malkin to parrot. She devotes a blog post to pondering whether the communication from the NRCC is “wishful thinking or hopeless spin?”.
Personally I am ready to move on. There is no longer any point in beating this dead elephant. We need to move on to the next phase, which will be even more entertaining – Assigning Blame…
Continued at Divided We Stand United We Fall