The Long Arm of Palin…

…has reached into Illinois.

A moderate Illinois Republican candidate for the Senate, Mark Kirk, has apparently reached out to Sarah Palin to help his campaign — within limits.  And he (thinks he) gets to set the limits.

Excuse me while I snicker.  I’ve been reading the Alaska blogs long enough that I can’t help snickering.

Remember, I said that Kirk is a moderate Republican — the kind that Palin scared out of a New York campaign for the House, causing a Democrat to win in that district for the first time since the Civil War era.  Local thought has it that Kirk is courting Palin to keep her from ousting him from the Senate campaign here in Illinois for not being conservative enough, just as the scared-off House candidate in New York was.

He’s not stupid.  He knows how stupid she is.  He knows how ruthless she is.  He knows that she doesn’t really believe in and is not interested in anything but Sarah.  He knows how she does run on.  He knows that he is only doing this to avoid becoming her target.

What he does not know, apparently, is that she cannot be controlled. 

In his desperate attempt to save his own ass, Kirk has turned this deranged reptile on himself  — but like I said, he does not seem to realize it.  He will, though, when she grabs the opportunity and uses it as a podium.  What could be better, after all — what a feather in her cap to send a Republican senator to fill the seat vacated by Obama.  I’ll wager she won’t be able to resist.  But she won’t be able to shut her mouth, either.  The stupid will be flowing everywhere, and Kirk himself will be drenched, and possibly drowned, in it.

She won’t go over well in most of the urbanized areas of northern Illinois, but what will happen down south is anybody’s guess.  Then again, almost the whole state elected Obama to that seat partially because the Illinois Republican Party was dumb enough to…well, you’ll read about that in a few paragraphs.

It’s not even up to the Democrats to send somebody worthy up against Kirk  — it can even be somebody from the Daley machine in Chicago.  (At least one of the possible candidates may as well have that taint painted on her face.)  So this could go well for Palin, but only in her estimation.  It will not go well for Kirk, even if he wins.

The main way this can backfire on Kirk is the same way it did when the hapless Illinois Republican Party ran Alan Keyes, a hyper-conservative radio shouter from another state who didn’t even appear to know where the capitol of Illinois was, against Obama during Obama’s Senate bid.  Why did they choose him?  Two reasons: (1) Because Obama is black and so is Keyes; (2) Obama is moderately liberal and Keyes is off on a permanent trip in wild-and-crazy wingnut-land.  This, to the Illinois Republican Party, represented a winning ticket.

The Democrats had a field day with that gaffe, and Obama won by a landslide and then some.  And then to make matters worse, Keyes refused to leave the state for quite a while afterward, insisting that the Illinois Republican Party needed him to hang around to teach them how to do things.  (He had, I assume, found Springfield by that time — or maybe he just thought he saw it from his campaign bus window.)

We’re still laughing.  And I don’t think that’s what Kirk is looking for.  As I said previously, it’s much more likely he’s just doing this for survival, and apparently to survive in today’s Republican party you have to pander to the uber-crazies or else.  Or at least, that’s what Kirk appears to think.

But you can’t pander and dictate at the same time, especially not with Palin.  Kirk has done nothing but open up a Pandora’s box for himself.  He’d have done much better ignoring her and standing up to her if she tried to interfere.

As it is, though, I’m rather glad we found out about his poor judgement this far in advance.  It makes our choice much easier, even if it does turn out to be Ms. Machine from Chicago.  Palin could possibly make Kirk look bad enough where a Democratic machine candidate will look like a deity.  After all, look what happened the last time.

So here’s my message for Mark Kirk: I know you are just doing this as an SYA maneuver, but I’m sorry to say that you’re getting the Stupid of the Day Award for it — and while you’re at it, you just may as well apply for the political Darwin Award as well.  In other parts of the country, Ms. Palin can bully candidates she deems not acceptably wingnut.  In Illinois, however, you win points for standing up to her and lose them for seeking shelter from her grabby little mitts.

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