Thursday, September 30, 2004


At what point will WQAD figure out that we all know how to pronounce Barack Obama?
CHICAGO A panel of high school students today grilled U-S Senate candidates Alan Keyes and Barack Obama (ber-AHK' oh-BAH'-muh) on gun control, drug use and gay marriage.

One Supporter at Northwestern

Lone student supports Keyes when others won't from the Daily Northwestern
If Weinberg freshman Ryan Morton wants help in his effort to elect the Republican candidate for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat, Alan Keyes, he's not going to receive any from the leaders and members of Northwestern's College Republicans. They're so disappointed in Keyes' campaign that the club isn't even putting up his sign in their booth, said group President Henry Bowles. But Morton is not disappointed. A "Keyes for U.S. Senate" sign hangs on his door in Public Affairs Residential College. He said although he admits Keyes is in a tough spot, he is excited by Keyes and his experience in politics.

Personifying things doesn't help

In case you've forgotten that personifying issues doesn't change Keyes' mind, here's this about gun control from the same CBS 2 article:
Silvia Lopez, a 17-year-old senior at Roberto Clemente High School who said she was shot in the thigh last year, asked how she and other victims of gun violence could possibly feel safer with guns available on the streets. ``I think, unhappily, it was not the gun that shot you,'' Keyes responded. ``The problem in our community is not with weapons, it is with people.''

The Great Illinois Desert

It may just be because I haven't slept in awhile, but I don't really understand this from Crain's:
Responding to queries about where he stands on O’Hare expansion and building a third regional airport in Peotone, Mr. KEYES said, “It’s not just a transportation problem. The biggest problem is a reflection of the larger political problems of the state. Illinois is in danger of becoming Chicago and the great Illinois desert.”
So is this just a upstate/downstate comment? Or an environmental one?

So I guess I'll weigh in...

I wrote this two days ago, but I'll finally post it, especially in light of the comments yesterday (or whenever (little confused about the days of the week, since I've been at work for about 3 days straight--seriously)), namely this from CBS2, via Modern Vertebrate, via Chillinois:
Asked Wednesday if he would support a family member who was gay and wanted to get married, Keyes responded: ``I couldn't.'' ``You're asking me a personal question, right, in terms of what I'd say to a family member. And that has to be governed by my personal conscience, and my personal conscience is shaped by my faith, and my faith is very clear: That homosexual relationships are sinful and wrong, and I will not not facilitate my children, whom I love, in going down a path that, according to my faith, leads to a kind of death that's worse than physical death,'' Keyes said.
And my original comments: So, here's my thoughts on the lesbian daughter rumor/news/whatever it is. I don't think it matters. Keyes has told us that it doesn't matter if it's his own daughter. So, if doesn't really matter if she is. Chillinois reminded us long ago some people get "tripped up" by the personalizing of issues, as Dan Quayle was with the abortion question. But Keyes isn't one of them, remember this quote from his party of the President:
Now, I want to tell you. If my daughter or anybody else engages in behavior that put them under that descriptive label, I will not consent to lie about it, and I will not tell the American people that I support a plank that requires this logic and then exempt my daughter from the logic that it requires. It may be hard. It may require sacrifice for me to stand before you and make it clear that my selfish desire to maintain good relations with my children will never be the basis for a sacrifice of the best interests of our whole society--indeed, of our whole civilization.
He doesn't care. It wouldn't (or doesn't) change his mind if his daughter was (or is) a lesbian, so I don't think it should matter to us either. Finally, as for the "out" status. I think it's important to remember that there are different levels of "out." I know a number of people who might be out to close friends, some family, but not work. I know we think the Internet is truly "out" but I'm not sure that's true. The Internet has offered a safe haven to many people struggling with coming to terms with their sexuality for years. Let's try not to upset that too much. That's it from me.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Another God quote

From Keyes' trip to Lincoln, Illinois: "God has put me in the midst of my present situation," Keyes declared at Lincoln Christian College in Lincoln. "I do not intend to retreat," said Keyes, insisting he will not bend on his core issues to get votes. Hmmm. What does that say about God? Or maybe, in the words of that great theologist, Garth Brooks, maybe Keyes is planning to thank God for "unanswered prayers." And these kids look bored to me.

Cool. I'm a leftist...

The Rockford Files called me a "leftist." I've never been called one before. I'm kind of excited. In other news, Chillinois is linking to me as "Truth Babe" with no further information or much indication about what the site is about. More visitors than I've had in awhile stopped by as a result of the link. So I want to know, what does that say about Chillinois' readership? What is one anticipating from a website entitled "Truth Babe"--I'm not sure I want to know.

Now for even worse name-calling...

I've never been one who was good at word play, so I'm glad Eric Zorn figured out this nefarious chant by Keyes and his crowd.
Senior writer Doug Wilson's story in today's Quincy Herald-Whig about Illinois Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes' weekend appearances in and around Quincy contains this eye-opening passage:
Keyes later led the crowd in a series of chants where they answered his questions with the refrain "Obama been lyin'."
Hmmm. Obama been lyin'. Obama been lyin'. What does that sound like to you? I called Wilson, who listened to this chanting first hand: "Are they going for an Obama been lyin' / Osama bin Laden thing?" I asked. "I'm certain that's what they're doing," he said. "They're trying to equate (Obama) to a really, really bad man."
Utterly despicable. Let's hope that the call to the Keyes campaign by the Trib folks results in a rapid apology.

Obama in Maryland

This story cracks me up. AP Wire, via Miami-Herald:
Obama raises money in Keyes' home state GRETCHEN PARKER Associated Press BALTIMORE - Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama's fund-raising efforts brought him to his opponent's home state Monday, where he was welcomed by fellow Democrats familiar with running campaigns against Alan Keyes. "We've had experience in the past with your opponent," Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley told Obama before the breakfast fund-raiser. "So we felt an obligation to do something here." Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, invited Obama to the state from which Keyes ran two failed campaigns for U.S. Senate. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, who defeated Keyes in 1988, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who beat Keyes in 1992, also welcomed Obama to the event at a hotel conference room high above Baltimore's waterfront. Maryland voters want to contribute to Obama's campaign as well as "be a part of history," Cummings said.


Call me chicken, (although I prefer lazy), but I think I'm avoiding the lastest news for now.

Not quite

Alvin Williams, of BAMPAC, had this editorial which appeared in the Milwaukee Journal:
Blacks don't vote as a monolith, as Illinois race shows By ALVIN WILLIAMS
The article goes to state how Keyes and Obama are very different. So, I'll give him that point. But I'm not sure the headline is backed up by the article--he doesn't really discuss how black voters in Illinois are going to vote. For good reason. Black voters in the Senate race are pretty much all voting for the same candidate-Obama. Oh wait, pretty much everyone in Illinois is voting as a monolith--for Obama. Anyway, the first Chicago Tribune poll broke down the numbers by race and reported:
Though blacks are a traditional Democratic constituency, GOP leaders were hoping that the selection of Keyes could help them make inroads into that community. But black crowds cheered Obama and widely jeered Keyes as they marched in the annual Bud Billiken Day parade on the South Side recently, and the poll indicates that the reactions were hardly a fluke. Ninety-six percent of black voters said they backed the election of Obama and 90 percent said they held a favorable opinion of the Democrat. By contrast, only 3 percent of black voters said they viewed Keyes favorably, while 65 percent did not view him favorably and 24 percent had no opinion. Despite the controversy that led Ryan to drop off the ballot, black voters still had a far higher opinion of him than Keyes, with 25 percent saying they viewed the former GOP candidate favorably.

Remember how?

Remember how Keyes was supposed to keep Obama in the state and not be able to go around and help the Democratic party all over the nation? Apparently that hasn't quite happened. (An AP story via
Barack Obama, the Senate candidate from Illinois who made a splash at the Democratic National Convention, may soon be coming to a town near you. Since giving the keynote address at the DNC in July, Obama has become a sought-after commodity at national party functions and fund-raisers. With polls showing him well ahead in his race against Republican Alan Keyes, the young, Harvard-educated state senator is using his star status to lend a hand to other Democrats.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Let's try this again...

I'm reading my comments about jobs, abortion and What's the Matter with Kansas, and I'm not sure I understand them. So, let me try again. I think once you have people convinced that abortion and gay rights are the most important issues, you can convince them that jobs don't matter, that the economy doesn't matter. That's the essence of single-issue voting (or I guess now with gay rights/gay marriage in play, it's dual-issue voting). And that's Keyes' point. Who cares about jobs, when "babies are being killed." And frankly, phrased that way, it sounds somewhat reasonable. So, in my opinion, the problem with Thomas Frank's book is two-fold. First, I don't actually think he does a good enough job of explaining how Republican economic policies are bad for the average Kansan. Second, although I think he recognizes that for many voters, abortion trumps everything, he fails to explain "why." And until we get to the heart of "why" and "how" conservatives have convinced voters that abortion should trump everything else, we will continue to lose those voters. To come back from Kansas to Illinois, here's two interesting statistics from today's Trib poll of GOPers.
Only 44 percent of self-identified GOP voters said they intended to support Keyes
and this
"44 percent of those surveyed said they supported activities of conservative political organizations, such as the Christian Coalition, that are strongly influenced by religious beliefs."
Is the similarity in numbers coincidence? I'd love to see if those are mostly the same people. (If someone knows, or if I'm missing something in reading the poll numbers, let me know.) So, to those people that Keyes is speaking to, he knows them and he knows that they don't care about the economy near as much as they care about stopping abortion. My own thoughts on the "how" and "why" evangelicals got to the extreme right--the Keyesian right--and what can be done to correct the trend in an upcoming post.

Over 50%!!

The Trib today has the latest numbers. It's now a 51% Obama lead. Whoo-hoo. But people of Illinois--don't think you don't need to vote. Let's make sure the numbers come in at 50% or better for Obama. But, as for those polling trends which is apparently what everyone is talking about this year:
Keyes ... was trailing Democrat Barack Obama in a Tribune/WGN-TV poll last month by 41 percentage points. But Obama's already commanding lead has now grown to 51 points, according to another Tribune poll that surveyed a cross-section of all Illinois voters.
In case you are wondering, that is only 17% of likely voters backing Keyes. I know, I know, there's some of you wondering how even 17% of people can vote for Keyes, but remember that number is less than the percentage of registered Republicans in the state. The numbers appear in an article on the general state of disarray of the state Republicans. And that gives rise to what is second favorite statistic in the article (after the 51% lead one):
Only 44 percent of self-identified GOP voters said they intended to support Keyes, and 35 percent said they planned to vote for Obama.
Wait, I take that back, this might be my second favorite statistic:
Meanwhile, 39 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of Obama while just 31 percent think favorably of Keyes.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Keyes declines an opportunity to debate

So, Friday Keyes was in Charleston, Illinois complaining about Obama not debating him as much as Keyes wants:
Using the site of the one of the most famous political debates in history, U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes attacked his opponent Friday for the number of face-to-face meetings planned for their campaign.
From the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier Meanwhile Obama was talking to the Chicago Tribune about real issues. Keyes declined to attend.
Invitations were extended to both Obama and Keyes several weeks ago to appear before the Tribune editorial board in a debate-style setting. Obama accepted and Keyes did not, even though the Republican has accused his rival of ducking debates and has declared a desire to take on Obama in any venue. "How can I be any clearer about this?" Keyes said in an Aug. 10 news conference. "I don't care what the format is. I don't care what the topics are. ... I am ready to go to any forum put together in any way that is in the best interests of the people of Illinois." A Keyes aide said the Republican would not appear because the session was not a public forum that could be covered by media other than the Tribune. Obama and Keyes have agreed to three public debates in October, though Keyes had sought more.

Friday, September 24, 2004

is it my imagination or does this not make sense?

Alan Keyes Visits Central Illinois Posted: September 24, 2004
The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate says he's focusing on the issues that matter most to voters. Keyes made his way through East Central Illinois today saying he'll won't focus on the popular issues such as creating jobs in his campaign. He says he'll focus on issues that are important to him like ending abortion and not allowing gay marriage. Friday Keyes spread his message with stops in Effingham and Charleston. Keyes told the crowd in Effingham that Central Illinois is critical to his campaign. He says if he's elected he'll represent all of the people of Illinois.
O.K. so let's get this straight: the popular issues are jobs. Yet, Keyes will represent all of Illinois, but concentrate on the issues that are important to him (and possibly him alone), that is abortion and gay marriage. So I never wrote a book review of Thomas Frank's book, What's the Matter with Kansas, but my critique is: Conservatives can continue to say: "Jobs don't matter, only abortion and gay marriage do", as long as they have people convinced that "future of the nation" depends on abortion and gay marriage. So, what I think Frank's book ignores is: how did people become convinced such things about about abortion in the first place and how do we (liberals/progressives) ever change their mind? Until then, conservatives will continue to be of the mindset that jobs don't matter, only abortion does. As I've said before, with all apologies to Howard Dean, Alan Keyes represents the "Republican wing of the Republican party."

Quotes about Keyes

From Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs: In the Belleville News-Democrat:
"I think why Mr. Keyes is fairing so poorly in this election is because he would rather attack other people than attack the problems people face in Illinois," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "All we seem to get is a steady stream of name-calling and a tryout for his next TV or radio show." ... "When you look at Alan Keyes' positions, he's not in the mainstream of Illinois," Gibbs said. "He's not even in the mainstream of the Republican party."
and in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"This is not about expanding a national political base that Keyes may have from two unsuccessful runs for the presidency," Gibbs said, "but about representing Illinois providing help to the people of Illinois. Referring to Keyes' home state, Gibbs added: "Illinois is not looking for a national senator, and Maryland is not looking for a third senator."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

From the Baltimore Sun

This article from Keyes' home newspaper, the Baltimore Sun:
"TV cameras are like oxygen to him, and he's breathing heavily," said David Axelrod, a Chicago media consultant working for Obama. "If anybody in Maryland is despairing, tell them we hope to dispatch him back there as soon as possible."
With Keyes far behind in early polls in Illinois, Morrill said he expected Keyes to "lob bombshells" during the race there, but he doubted they would damage anyone other than Keyes. "Obama must look up every night and say, 'Thank you for sending me Alan Keyes,'" he said.

Women Supporters

The Archpundit has already mocked the Minuteman plan sufficiently, but was struck me was the lack of gender-neutral terms. But then I remembered: there aren't any women voting for Keyes anyway. By way of comparison, the Obama women's luncheon to held today sold out.

Help unload a truck

From a letter to Keyes' "volunteers" or other people who may have just signed up to get the emails:
To all supporters and volunteers: You are urgently needed tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Keyes 2004 Campaign Headquarters. Semi-trucks full of campaign materials will be arriving, and we need everyone who can to help us unload. We'll be unloading the trucks between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
I guess I missed the opportunity to help out. This just seems like an odd request to me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

In good news...

Fortunately, actually acting like a resident of Illinois hasn't taken priority for Keyes:
Keyes, a Maryland resident who has rented an apartment in Calumet City to qualify for the Illinois ballot, said he has registered to vote here, but other residency issues have had to wait. "I've been too busy moving around," Keyes said during a campaign stop Monday at The Pantagraph. "I have not had the time. I barely have time to do my laundry." According to the Illinois secretary of state's office, Keyes has 90 days to get an Illinois driver's license if he intends to stay in the state. That means he'll have to get one sometime in early November, unless he loses the race and returns to the East Coast. "We keep talking about it," he said. "But every time we think we've found a window, something comes up." "I haven't even opened a bank account," Keyes said.
From the Pantagraph.

Once again, the polls are phony

From the Pantagraph:
They (polls) are manipulative and degrading and damaging to our political system, and they should not be allowed when it comes to the actual time frame in which people are making up their minds," Keyes said during a meeting with The Pantagraph's editorial board. ... But Keyes dismissed the poll results as the work of a biased media. "I would suggest that what would be appropriate is a complete ban on all polling activity and all publication of such polling activity within a certain time frame," said Keyes. "All of the polls taken at this stage of the game are phony anyway."
A complete ban on ALL polling activity? Even internal? Well, in Keyes' case, I guess that would be wise. And, as I've said before, I just love his talk about small government, then a desire to pass a law to prohibit polling and its publication.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Polling Numbers

So, this is the type of poll that apparently Keyes thinks should not be published b/c it biases voters:
The poll of 800 likely voters puts Obama, currently a state senator from Chicago, ahead of Keyes, a nationally known conservative commentator from Maryland, 68 percent to 23 percent. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
So, I thought that this was a big deal, but here's someone else saying that:
I can't remember the last time you had a gap like this between two newcomers," said Del Ali, head of Research 2000, the Maryland-based polling firm that conducted the poll last week. "Usually, when you have this kind of gap, it's the popular incumbent against a sacrificial lamb. This may be unprecedented."
And here's the true "truth about Keyes": most people don't like him:
But even more respondents - well over half - simply don't like Keyes. In fact, the percentage of respondents who have a "favorable" view of Keyes (22 percent) was smaller than the percentage who said they hold "no opinion" about him.

Poll Results

From WHOI's website:
“My strong belief that government should be limited and that the real engine for developing our society and its hopes is the real genius of our people,” says Keyes. “Alan Keyes is pro-life, he's pro-marriage between man and a woman. These are things that frankly people in our county believe in,” says Demetra DeMonte, Chairperson of the Tazewell County Republicans. Recent polls across Illinois show Keyes opponent, Democrat Barack Obama, in the lead. But Keyes and his supporters say polls are inaccurate. “He is (so) close to winning our state. Because of Central Illinois and Tazewell County, it will be a big part of that win,” says DeMonte.
None of that really seems new. More delusional people who refuse to believe the polls. And then the "small government" speech from Keyes. Except, of course, Keyes is willing to favor government involvement and pass laws when he thinks they would benefit him:
Keyes also says that if he does get elected into the U.S. Senate, he would push for legislation to prohibit the publication of poll results within a certain period of time before every election. That's because he says they can influence elections.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I'm Back

I apologize for the week's absence. Unfortunately, the paying job took me out of town. Ever the optimist, I hoped that I would have time to post. Unfortunately, working 80 hours in 5 days meant very little sleep, and certainly not time for posting. But all in all, it appears that I just missed more of the same. Obama still has a gigantic lead. Keyes still thinks that Jesus wouldn't vote for Obama. And when even World Net Daily is running anti-Keyes editorials, you know it's bad for Keyes.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

A change in tone

The emails to the Keyes' volunteers have definitely changed in tone. In the past they have arrived from Jeremy Rose, the volunteer coordinator. They are now coming from Bill Pascoe and what was once a positive tone (even if Keyes was not) has disappeared.
Is this the kind of man you want representing you in the United States Senate? A man who tries to be all things to all people … and in the process, reveals himself to be nothing to anyone? Not for me. If you agree with me that we can kill two birds with one stone – elect Alan Keyes while simultaneously preventing the election of radical liberal extremist Barack Obama – then we need your help. Today.
And this apparently their secret plan to win the election:
We must register 300,000 new Alan Keyes voters before the registration deadline on October 5. You read that right: it is our goal to register 300,000 new Alan Keyes voters in Illinois in 25 days – a staggering 12,000 per day.
Which raises the question, are there even 300,000 Alan Keyes voters in Illinois? Much less 300,000 new ones?

Not just crazy, delusional too...

Keyes made appearances in Marion and Mount Vernon to rally downstate support in his race against Democratic candidate Barack Obama. During both stops Keyes said Democrats are in for a surprise on Nov. 2. "I don't care what the pundits say. This state on election day is going to go Republican up and down the ticket," Keyes predicted.
And Keyes certainly isn't backing down from the Jesus comments:
Q: You recently made a statement that raised a few eyebrows when you said that Jesus would not vote for Barack Obama. Clarify that statement and explain exactly the context in which it was made. A: I actually think that statement is a self-evident truth that Christ could not vote for Barack Obama.
And in the "I represent the Republican wing of the Republican party" category, there's this (in reference to gay marriage):
I was just trying to give a truthful, intelligent justification for the Republican plank and for the stand the president takes by the way.
In the "delusional statement", part two category is:
I think we have to destroy their infrastructure and topple the governments that are willing to aid and abet them and possibly give them weapons of mass destruction that could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. That's what President Bush did and that's what he did in Iraq.


From the Peoria Journal Star
HWJV Thanks to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes, we have a new term to add to the political vocabulary: HWJV. That's How Would Jesus Vote, in case you notice it on a bracelet somewhere. Not surprisingly, Keyes has an answer for HWJV. He has determined that Jesus would not vote for Democrat Barack Obama, specifically because Obama voted against a bill that would force doctors to save viable fetuses. "Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to behave," Keyes said. It is not clear whether Keyes learned of Jesus' ballot preference through direct conversation or by some other means. It is also not clear if Keyes is in line for Jesus' vote or whether it might be directed to Libertarian candidate Jerry Kohn or Independent Albert Franzen, neither of whom has a voting record in the General Assembly that might upset Christ. Further muddying the issue is that as a former carpenter, Jesus might have pro-union tendencies that could bring him more toward the Obama camp. Unless, of course, he's an open shop, free-trade sort of guy, which would push him back to Keyes. Perhaps the smart thing is not to presume to know how any religious figure would vote.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Jesus and Religion from Daily Kos

This post and comments from Daily Kos are entertaining.

How would Jesus vote?

Keyes can't presume to know, by Cathleen Falsani, Sun-Times I must have a simple mind (or at least a pop-culture focused one), because my favorite part is this:
At the risk of comparing Christianity with fast food, Keyes' wrongheaded verbal posturing for Christ is the theological equivalent of "Mr. Wendy." You know the guy on the commercials who runs around singing the praises of Wendy's junior bacon cheeseburger and spicy chicken sandwich and the evils of other lesser fast-food options. "Do you work for Wendy's?" someone inevitably asks. "Not officially," Mr. Wendy says

Love thy neighbor

Some nice quotes from Obama in the Pantagraph:
I think issues of morality and faith legitimately inform our public debate. But at least in how I approach it, I don't presume to question another person's faith because I think none of us are qualified to do that," Obama said during a campaign stop. "In my Bible, at least, there are passages like 'Love thy neighbor as thyself,' you know, 'Don't concern yourself with the mote in your neighbor's eye when you've got a log in your own.' Those are passages that I try to live by," Obama said. ... "I leave it up to God to judge how good of a Christian I'm going to be. I leave it up to the voters to judge how good of a U.S. senator I'm going to be. I don't concern myself too much with Mr. Keyes' judgment on either matter," said Obama.

The Tar Heels

Tipped off by a Daily Kos diary, it looks like Keyes may be visiting the campus of UNC, for the bargain price of $8,000 ($7,000 paid for by student fees). From the Daily Tar Heel:
With only two abstentions, Student Congress' Finance Committee passed an amendment Tuesday night allotting $7,000 in student fees to the UNC Federalist Society to bring speaker Alan Keyes to campus. Keyes is a Republican candidate for senator in Illinois and ran for president in the 2000 election. Although the Federalist Society had confirmed Keyes' speech for Sept. 23, one of his campaign workers canceled that date about an hour after the conclusion of the Finance Committee meeting. He's still coming," said David Rutledge, president of UNC's Federalist Society. "We're definitely going to have him come in the fall semester." Rutledge said he expects Keyes to come to campus during the same week as the original date. If this is not possible, Keyes is expected to visit soon after the election in November. "The date's fluctuating right now because of the campaign," Rutledge said. "We will talk to the campaign manager (this) morning to reschedule."
Nice cancellation move by the Keyes campaign. The poor Federalist society thought they were going to get Keyes while he was mildly relevant. Instead they will be a minor stop on his drift back to obscurity.
Keyes is expected to speak about federalism, judicial activism, the definition of marriage and race relations. "We're not out to cause trouble," Rutledge said. "He (Keyes) specifically can address, in a scholarly manner, federalist issues."
Do conservatives never learn? And it's worth noting that the federalists are getting a "discount" from Keyes list rate. Although I think Keyes list price may be like buying a new car--you're an idiot if you pay list.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

What does this mean?

On a Salt Lake City radio show, Keyes said:
DRASCHIL: We've had a number of people express disappointment that we didn't hear from Alan Keyes at the Republican convention. Can you kind of tell us what went on there? KEYES: Well, I guess I was surprised at that. As I've often told people, the people who were planning the convention were really aiming to try to do the best they could for G.W. Bush. I have my own race here in Illinois to run, and was effectively working at the convention, getting in touch with people around the country who are eager to support what I am doing here, communicating to voters back in Illinois.
What does that even mean? Is he hinting that he wasn't offered a spot? Remember, he was and turned it down, to spend time effectively communicating with the Illinois voters.

Right to Privacy

The following statement may be the most shocking one that I've ever heard from Keyes. Again from WGCI:
MCGEE: Dr. Keyes, what are your thoughts on gays? KEYES: Well, I think that the issue that's confronting us is really not about gays or not gays. It's about whether or not we're going to defend marriage and the right understanding that underlies marriage. I believe that everybody has a right to their privacy, and invading that sphere is not something government ought to be doing.
It appears that Keyes has stated his support of the right to privacy (that is, beyond the right to privacy that informs his opposition to the income tax) before:
One final point, though, about sodomy laws. I have a serious problem with them. I do. Because I have a serious problem with any laws that can't be enforced without destroying privacy. And I don't see how sodomy laws can be enforced without destroying privacy. What is going on in private between consenting adults--even if I believe it is deeply immoral--if it does not have consequences that affect the public weal, then I don't think should be in the business of going in and interrupting people's privacy to enforce laws against what they do. C-Span, 2000
But Texas v. Lawrence (pdf), the case that struck down the Texas sodomy law, was based on the right to privacy:
The present case does not involve minors. It does not involve persons who might be injured or coerced or who are situated in relationships where consent might not easily be refused. It does not involve public conduct or prostitution. It does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter. The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. “It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.” Casey, supra, at 847. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual.
But, of course, perhaps knowing his constituency, Keyes has spoken out again Texas v. Lawrence:
I wonder how many of you folks who are fighting that battle understand that if you read Lawrence [vs. Texas] and other decisions here, but guess what they are based on? That same notion that it is not legitimate to apply the moral convictions and consequences of faith to law and politics. "You can't do this! The fact that this religion or that one says that homosexuality is a sin doesn't mean you can legislate against it!" that's what we are told. April 3, 2004
KEYES: . . . That is actually a signal, as well, that these courts are in a complete assault against the God-given, natural basis of family life in this country. They mean to destroy it--and that is what their decisions have portended, with Lawrence [vs. Texas] and other things like this. April 7, 2001
HANNITY: You know, Ambassador, you've got to give liberals credit. They're not total fools. I mean, one of the things you see happening with this gay marriage issue, there was a reason why they went to a court in Massachusetts--the timing of the marriages that took place in San Francisco, in my mind were not coincidental. It was all part of a strategy. You tell me if you think I'm wrong, but . . . KEYES: Oh, no. Absolutely. They're moving nationwide on a number of fronts. First, they moved with the ACLU to undermine the idea that you could reflect the moral and institutional belief that is a part of our Judeo-Christian heritage in the law. You'll notice that in Lawrence [vs. Texas] arguments were made that it's inappropriate now to apply a biblical understanding of marriage, and so forth and so on. That was part of it, it's been going on for decades, and now we're seeing the consummation of it, the wholesale assault throughout the country, on traditional marriage that will get rid of monogamous marriage, that will introduce polygamy. We're opening the floodgates to the destruction of our basic institution of the family. March 30, 2004
And during the Ten Commandments debate:
KEYES: And I don't think it's an accident that this is happening on the eve of this battle over homosexual marriage. Because they want to establish in the public square the notion that any reference to God, any reference to morality grounded in faith, is inappropriate and irrelevant to political discussion. And they know full well that, historically, that assumption of the nature of our culture and of our moral and religious roots, has in fact been the bulwark of our legislation on marriage, of our legislation against adultery, of our legislation with respect to sodomy, and so forth. Once they get rid of that moral foundation, they will be able to say, "Well, it's inappropriate to apply these moral standards in the political arena. That's not allowed here because of separation." August 25, 2003
So, I wonder which it is? Does Keyes support the holding in Texas v. Lawrence? Or does Keyes think, given his theory that should not be a separation of church and state, that the state can regulate what goes on in the bedroom? Update: By constituency, I meant Keyes' media constituency, not his voter constitutency. He has no idea what his voter constitutency thinks.

a little more stretching the truth

From WGCI yesterday:
Somebody asked me--and that's where this came from--how I would look at that situation, and I said, "I have to look at it according to my conscience." And my conscience is shaped by my faith, and my faith is shaped by the standard of Christ. And so, I have to ask myself, "What would Christ do with that child in His arms? What would He do?"
Just a reminder: Alan Keyes volunteered, without any prompting two week ago in the Tavis Smiley show, that Jesus would not vote for Obama. The media did NOT trick him into this one. They just happened to remember what he said, which is apparently more than Keyes can do.

The tent keeps growing.

So, immediately after the "selfish hedonist" comment broke, I pointed out how many other people that were also "selfish hedonists" under Keyes' theology. But leave it to the Illinois Leader to point some people I missed:
Rather than cause an uproar, this statement should have caused a yawn. It is a statement of the human condition. We are all selfish hedonists. If you dine at Gibson's, when a baloney sandwich will satisfy your hunger, you’re a selfish hedonist. If you drive a $70,000 Jaguar, when an $18,000 Chevy will easily get you where you need to go, you’re a selfish hedonist. When I order a pizza, because that sounds better than going out and running the two miles I should, I’m a selfish hedonist. And if, in the pursuit of your own intimate pleasures, you choose to demand that the rest of us be willing to change the definition of marriage to fit your personal needs, you’re a selfish hedonist. Mary Cheney is in a great big club of selfish hedonists from all walks of life, but her name makes headlines.
Yes, so add to list anyone who's ever eaten at Gibson's, drives a Jaguar, or orders a pizza. Of course, given Illinois' drop in median income, the cost of all of the above might prevent too many more people from joining the tent. And, not to state the obvious, but I haven't heard Keyes call for the outlawing of Jaguars or steak (particularly given his low-carb diet), but he did reply to Scott Thomas's statement about Jaguars on WYLL with:
KEYES: Couldn't it be, though, that part of the reason why that phrase kind of makes people uncomfortable is because it reminds us of the fact that the decision we're taking in this area of marriage actually reflects a larger problem that exists in this society as a whole, where we need to start asking ourselves--and there are large problems, like deficits and other things like this, where we would look around saying, "Are we sacrificing the future for our own short-term interest? Are we putting a burden on our future generations because we want to indulge ourselves today?" I think that that problem of selfishness is one of the key challenges on a lot of these public policy issues in our time, and maybe it's one we're uncomfortable with.
You mean that budget deficit that's the largest in U.S. history? That one presided over by the Bush Administration, besting the old record set by Keyes' old boss, Reagan? Add Reagan and Bush to the selfish hedonist list.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

How was this not expected?

For conservatives now turning on Keyes' campaign style, I must say: you are getting precisely what you asked for. Look at this interview on the O'Reilly factor in January, 2004. It is precisely the same conversation that occured on Sirius OutQ, it's just that they took it the next step and added a name. It should have been obvious to all Illinois conservatives that they were going to get an argumentative, name calling, selfish candidate who would spend his time arguing with other conservatives:
KEYES: Well, I'm not sure. If the president understood the issue of terrorism, then he would have mentioned the issue of abortion last night. What distinguishes . . . O'REILLY: He's not going deal with the issue, Ambassador. Naw. KEYES: But what distinguishes terrorism from normal warfare is disregard for the claims of innocent human life. That's what a terrorist is: somebody who fights their war without respect for innocent life. . . .
On gay rights
O'REILLY: Look, you know honest and good gay Americans, I'm sure. Don't you? KEYES: But this is irrelevant. Why anybody . . . O'REILLY: No, whoa, whoa, whoa. But here . . . KEYES: Bill, why would anybody want the state . . . O'REILLY: You have to stair-step it. Wait a minute. You have to stair-step it and look at their point of view. KEYES: No, we don't. No, we don't. O'REILLY: Yeah, you do. To be fair, you do. . . . O'REILLY: OK. I agree with you, but what I'm going to say is that the other side says, "I'm a good person, I'm a good American, I'm a loyal person. I want to be recognize the same way that a heterosexual is," and when you appeal to that kind of an emotional argument--and, by the way, I want to reiterate that I agree with you. The stabilizing force of marriage is the cornerstone on which civilization is based. But when you hear somebody say, "I can raise a child. I'm responsible. I shouldn't have to be a second-class citizen," you say to them . . . ? KEYES: "You're not a second-class citizen. You have the same rights as anybody else who is not a male or female engaged in the business of procreation." But marriage wasn't instituted in order to cater to individual and selfish needs. It was actually instituted in order to make sure that the obligations that we have as parents and as people who are responsible for the institution that is fundamental to the society would be met and would be enforced and respected by the society.
While I'm at on this interview, I'll just point out a Bill O'Reilly comment:
O'REILLY: But really, you have a divide, though. I mean, we just talked to Senator Lieberman. I mean, he certainly is like a moderate Democrat, maybe even a conservative one--and John Edwards is certainly not a raving left-wing guy.

Illinois Leader opens up can of whup ass on Keyes

This in from the Illinois Leader: Is the Keyes Candidacy Disintegrating? by Lee Newcom, the 2004 Republican nominee for McLean County Recorder. He is a director and immediate past president of the United Republican Fund.
OPINION -- I am voting for Alan Keyes, trying to persuade others to do so, and want him to win and take the floor of the U.S. Senate to mightily defend our state and our republic. The problem is, the Alan Keyes candidacy for U.S. Senate is self-destructing. Despite the bum rap that some in the media have given him, Keyes himself has become the issue. It is time, for his good and ours, to call him to fulfill his primary responsibilities as a candidate and as the Republican standard-bearer for Illinois ... Keyes defends himself saying the media is responsible for making all of these sideshows the main show. To quote Keyes, “bunk!” A candidate is responsible for his agenda and keeping his message on the agenda. Keyes has failed to do so and once baited will apparently talk ad infinitum about the issue the “media” raised. ... Remarkably, Keyes is pursuing the same agenda that we fight: radical individualism. In refusing to work in a collegial manner with the Party and long time conservative leaders, he is pursuing his private agenda alone. No one can or will listen when you have them by the throat and are hitting them in the nose. And the last time I checked, the Biblical values he purports to represent did not include belligerence and rudeness. ... Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Ambassador Keyes at some length. He was intelligent, persuasive and reasonable. A few minutes later at a microphone, he was belligerent again, rejecting the sound advice a few conservative leaders were trying to give him. The Alan Keyes in the conversation is very electable. The Alan Keyes shouting behind the microphone may not be. I want Alan Keyes to be a great candidate, to beat Barack Obama, and to be the next U.S. senator from Illinois. But to accomplish that and be a great United States senator, he first must be a humble servant of the people.
I'm not sure why Newcom is even encouraging to people to vote for Keyes, even as he rips him to shreds. Imagine, horror of horrors, that Keyes ever won an election. What makes anyone think that he would be a better elected official than he is a candidate? He alienates even those who once supported him; therefore, he would be lonelier in his own party than Zell Miller. He has shown no ability to engage in the dialogue or consensus building that are required of a Senator. His name calling would mean that no one would never want their name tied to a bill that he sponsored. Keyes would be no better an elected official than he is a candidate and would do nothing more to advance the conservative cause than he is now. Conservatives should jump ship--vote libertarian, vote democratic, or don't vote at all. But don't vote for Alan Keyes. Update: To clarify, I don't think Keyes has any chance of winning. But I think that when you vote, you are voting for the person that you think will be the best Senator. There is no way that anyone can think that Keyes would be a good Senator. His candidacy has shown that.

This isn't the media's fault

While I was off-line (now I understand why everyone whines about Blogger), I posted portions of this to the comments at Archpundit: It looks like Keyes is trying to say that the media put words in his mouth this time, too. See an interview where Keyes says:
One fellow asked me, by the way, a question about whether or not I had actually said that Jesus Christ would not vote for Obama. OK? . . . And so, this fellow asked me, "Well does this mean that Jesus Christ wouldn't vote for Barack Obama?" and I had to allow as how I think, as a conscientious Christian, no, Christ would not vote for such a person. And then they tried to get me to say, "Well, does that mean that Christ would vote for you?" and I said, look, that's not what I'm saying. You know, because I think that that's something that other people would have to judge, based on where I stand and how they feel in conscience about what I offer.
But that's just not true. Keyes invoked the name of Jesus first. In his Tavis Smiley interview, he specifically mentioned Jesus (and Catholicism) completely uninvited:
SMILEY: Glad to have you on. Let me start with a question that I'm sure you have not been asked, and the question is simply this: is there anything in all these interviews that you have done that you have wanted somebody to ask you that you have not been asked? KEYES: Actually, there is. I've been very curious about it, because Illinois is a state that, among other things, is heavily Roman Catholic, and no interviewer has asked me yet how I plan to get the Roman Catholic vote. . . . KEYES: I think I plan to get it by appealing to the clear conscience of Catholics, and Christians, as well, in general, because the stands I take on the issues are the stands that are in fact required by the moral conscience that is shaped by the precepts of Christianity. I think that that's a really important element of this election that everybody's overlooking. ... I think that it behooves someone of the Christian faith to ask themselves, would Jesus allow Himself to be represented in that action? A matter of fact, we know He wouldn't, because we know that when we're thinking the way we're supposed to think, and we're asking ourselves, "What would Jesus do?" we know that Jesus would not let a helpless child die, simply because somebody else wanted to take its life.

Sorry to be late to the party...

I was so irritated at Blogger or SBC or Dell---whoever's fault it was--last night. I come home from a Cubs game to find out that Keyes has, once again, said that Jesus wouldn't vote for Obama. But I couldn't get on to post about it. And to top it off, the Cubs lost. Anyway, via Austin Mayor is the CBS story where Keyes says that Jesus wouldn't vote for Obama. The same story is on the Trib this morninig:
"Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved," Keyes said. ... Keyes' assessment of Jesus' voting intent was only partial. He declined to say whether he thought Jesus would vote for him or some third party candidate if he had the chance. "People will have to make that judgment for themselves," Keyes said.
To begin with, I'm repeating a few of my comments from the Tavis Smiley interview. On CNN on August 15, 2004 Keyes said:
I have never based my public and political views on any claim to "speak for God."
So, yet another Keyes change of opinion, or, dare, I say flip-flop? Then, I wonder, can my Jewish friends still vote for Obama? As a Christian this comment makes me so unbelievably livid. I just can't believe that someone would be so arrogant as to say who Jesus would, or wouldn't, vote for. Or maybe Keyes is truly crazy and hearing voices these days--that he thinks is God's voice. I can't believe that someone like Keyes is around pretending to represent Christianity. I grew up a part of the religious right, but even I knew that Christianity was about compassion, grace, kindness, forgiveness. Or let's check out the "fruits of the spirit" in Galatians 5:20: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." That's what Christianity is supposed to represent--not a crazy, judgmental man telling me who, or who wouldn't, Jesus vote for. So, now I know, I'm getting close to pulling a Keyes and getting pretty judgmental. But I'm just angry and I'm not happy with this hijacking of Christianity and the use of Jesus' name to attempt to further one man's political, or media, career. The Bible in my house has tells stories of Jesus eating with the sinners, even when ridiculed for it. Stories of Jesus caring for the poor. Stories of Jesus healing the sick. Why does Keyes not care about any of those things politically? So, to come off the soapbox for a moment, there are some pretty serious differences in the interaction of religion and politics to be discussed here. I've been intending to address them, as the historical and theological differences are fascinating. In other words, what should the interaction between personal religion and public life be? Or should religion just be "personal" or is it intended to provide public guidelines? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Alan Keyes teachs a Sex Education Lesson

I really want to leave the topic of "selfish hedonism," but some people don't make it easy. From the American Daily:
Alan Keyes Teaches Sex Education Lesson To Homosexual Interviewer By Mary Mostert (09/07/04)
It begins with another defense of what Keyes really said, which is to say that Keyes didn't mention Mary Cheney first. And which reading the transcript, doesn't persuade one that the media has misinterpreted the interview. It concludes with:
Keyes’ sex education lesson to a confused homosexual ought to be required reading in every sex education class in the country. It might begin scaling back the flood of misery, disease and early death that await those who chose to get involved in homosexual and lesbian life styles.
I feel wrong even cutting and pasting that. I've said before that have Keyes as a candidate does nothing except hurt people. And less there's any question that Keyes isn't encouraging the notion that gay sex leads to death, he's now posted to this article on his website. And remember he said in 2000 that AIDS is a "rooted in a moral crisis." And for what it's worth (from the BBC), Women who are exclusively lesbian are at low risk of sexually transmitted infections, but sex with men puts her at the same risk as all other women."

Naperville Parade

The Tribune covered the Naperville parade:
Marching in a parade in Republican-flush Naperville, Keyes said he was trying to fire up the "intensely committed" to support his candidacy. As about 200 supporters marched behind him, Keyes waved to onlookers, many of whom cheered him. Some, however, were not favorably struck by his candidacy, shouting Obama's name and advising Keyes to return to Maryland--sometimes not very politely. . . . Although many along the parade route appeared to be supporting Keyes, applause for him was intermittent, and Obama supporters voiced their opposition in almost every block. Some said they were applauding Keyes and his supporters as a courtesy, simply because his supporters made the effort to come out on a day of mixed sunshine and rain.
OneMan covers the parade here.

Historical Voting

The Archpundit does some historical analysis to help us guess how bad (or, I guess good, from my perspective) the Keyes' results could be.

It's real people...

From Eric Zorn:
Perhaps inadvertently, Keyes' candor reminds us of another truth that can be spoken: When you rail against homosexuals, you're not railing against faceless beings whose sole attribute is that they "use the organs intended for procreation for purposes of pleasure," as Keyes is known to say disapprovingly. You're railing against real people--daughters, sons, friends, colleagues, neighbors--who are really hurt by scornful rhetoric that trivializes their relationships.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Keyes on Latin America

For background on the the next round of comments, with thanks to Trillbe in the comments, see this discussion of the role of politics and religion from Larry King Live (unfortunately, you have to scroll almost to the end to get this the full conversation):
[Jorge Ramos, the anchor for "UNIVISION NEWS]: What's interesting is that the comparison between the United States and other countries. I get to talk to a lot of people in Latin America and they are always surprised when our politicians here in the United States mention the word God and when they talk about their religious values and even when presidents at the end of their speeches and many politicians talk about and say "God Bless America." Those kind of expressions would be unthinkable in many countries. KING: Really? RAMOS: Yes. I still can remember that in Mexico, presidents were not allowed to be seen in public going to mass. KING: Really? RAMOS: I don't remember presidents mentioning the name of God in public, so maybe we're so used to this kind of language but in other countries the separation of church and state is very clear.
Here's Keyes' response at the Party for the President:
One of my aides told me that there was a discussion on Larry King last night, and it was the idea that a politician would say such a thing from a platform and was criticized, again, as they often do. And Larry King told everybody from his enormous store of constitutional knowledge . . . [audience laughs] He told everyone that there is no mention of God in the Constitution, and that the Declaration of Independence doesn't matter. Apparently, somebody on the panel--it might have been him--actually enjoined folks that we should take a look at South American countries, where the heads of state aren't even seen to go to church in public. I wonder if he looks at what goes on in a lot of those countries. Maybe if they started going to church, the governments wouldn't change so often. Maybe if they started respecting God, there wouldn't be so many times when the military goes out of control and starts brutalizing the population, and so forth and so on. You never know. But the wonderful saving grace of America that I have found here in the heart of the people of Illinois is that we are not ashamed of our faith. We are not ashamed to profess our respect for the God from Whom our rights have come!
I don't know what to say. It just makes me think about what a simple world that Keyes lives in. All it takes is for people to go to church and all problems, economic, political and social, just disappear. And perhaps apropos of nothing, it is worth noting that Reagan, who Keyes seems to think he has posthumous blessing, did not attend church while President and Bush's regular attendence seems to be in question.

Alan Keyes & Paul Bremer

Some readers the Illinois Leader are standing behind Keyes with my favorite letter being:
Alan Keyes may get tagged with the carpetbagger label, but he's like the original Yankee carpetbaggers, there to enforce the terms of surrender and help with reconstruction until the southern states were ready to govern themselves again. A good modern analogy is Paul Bremer's interim administration in Iraq.
A few aren't so supportive, if you can call comparing Illinois to Iraq, supportive:
Illinois will never welcome Mr. Keyes, nor does Mr. Keyes desire to be welcomed by Illinois. He is simply the alter ego of Howard Stern.
His recent comments regarding Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter Mary being a hedonist was sin in itself. I actually agree with most of Dr. Keyes' social concerns, but as a religious person I also understand that Dr. Keyes has committed one of the greatest sins of them all. He is sitting in judgment, and we all know that man cannot judge man, only God can judge man. Dr. Keyes has found a way to sink the Illinois Republican Party even lower.

Transcript from Party for the President

Transcript is up from Keyes' Party now. Since I didn't take a tape recorder, I want to post the transcript of sections that have been referred on this blog, for accuracy:
Now, I want to tell you. If my daughter or anybody else engages in behavior that put them under that descriptive label, I will not consent to lie about it, and I will not tell the American people that I support a plank that requires this logic and then exempt my daughter from the logic that it requires. It may be hard. It may require sacrifice for me to stand before you and make it clear that my selfish desire to maintain good relations with my children will never be the basis for a sacrifice of the best interests of our whole society--indeed, of our whole civilization.
I'm taking the comments on Latin America to the next post.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

More on Keyes' Religion

One more article from the Trib this morning entitled "Keyes puts his faith in politics." Not sure that there could be less surprising headline to an article. And with what strikes as a bit of an understatement is the following from John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron, who studies the role of evangelicals in politics:
John Green, ... said Keyes sometimes appears to argue that opposition to his viewpoints is tantamount to defying God's will. Keyes "personifies the campaign with traditional beliefs, and traditional beliefs are that God intervenes in things like elections," Green said. "But there is a danger ... it can create intolerance, manifest itself in hatred [and a] failure to reach a consensus."

The Sunday commentators

A few editorials in the Trib this morning. From Clarence Page:
Marriage is for those seeking "procreation," Keyes said, not merely "pleasure." That automatically excludes homosexuals, he says, since they cannot procreate. To which I responded with wonder, does this mean regular heterosexual marriages are no longer valid if they don't produce offspring? How about a special waiver for adoption? And, if adoption is OK, could marriage be allowed for the tens of thousands of gay and lesbian couples who, despite Keyes' personal horror, have successfully raised adopted children? Just asking.
And on the nature of the campaign:
There's a larger lesson here for President Bush's campaign. His chief political adviser Karl Rove is widely reported to have urged Bush to motivate the estimated 4 million evangelical voters who stayed home in 2000. Smart politicians always rally their base. But, as Keyes' misadventures illustrate, running too hard to your party's extreme wing can cost you plenty in the middle.
From John Kass:
Mr. Keyes is not my cup of chai. He's always the smartest guy in the room and something in his nature compels him to prove it, with long-winded, reedy lectures. But his position opposing gay marriage, and the reasons for it, are held by many millions and grounded firmly in Judeo-Christian teaching. And I'm not willing to condemn millions of Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, and Jews for their faith simply because his delivery is angry, caustic and selfish, causing him to forget something else in the Bible, that part spoken by a gentle and perfect spirit, about loving thy neighbor. I am willing, though, to condemn him for something--he's a selfish loon.
And one more:
If anything, the carpetbagger issue is the least of Keyes' worries. His bombastic statements, often revealing little local knowledge and no desire to learn, go to the heart of his candidacy. Alan Keyes is not in the race to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate. He's in the race to represent himself, whether for a talk radio or television job or some high-paying speaking engagements once Nov. 3 rolls around.

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Via So-Called Austin Mayor, there's this article:
[Keyes] accused Obama, a state senator, of softening his positions to make them more palatable to voters. "His record is the record of a hard-line, academic, Marxist socialist, who wants a government takeover of health care, who voted for infanticide because of his position on taking innocent human life and so forth," Keyes said. Asked for examples that would support that claim concerning Obama's record, Keyes cited legislation introduced by the South Side senator that would have guaranteed all Illinois residents access to adequate health care.
I just have a few questions for Mr. Keyes. What would God Want? What would Jesus do? Those are the questions that Mr. Keyes has asked voters to ask themselves this election. I just would like to ask if it's possible that God could also care about things other than abortion and gay marriage. Isn't it possible that God also cares about access to adequate health care? Or maybe God doesn't care about politics at all. But if Mr. Keyes is so willing to invoke the words "God" and "Jesus," I think it is worth asking why that faith doesn't also include a little compassion or responsibility for poor and sick.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Party for the President

I think I'm haunted by the in-person sighting, because I keep remembering additional things about Keyes' Party for the President. But, at the party for the President, I never heard one mention of Bush. (But I admit, I was late.) This was not particularly surprising, given Keyes' past opinion of the President (see the Archpundit for the quotes). There was; however, the tackiest cut-out of Bush that I've ever seen. I wonder if Keyes posed for a picture next to the cut-out, like you can do on the streets of D.C. It is, afterall, the closest to a Bush photo-op he's going to get this year.

From the comments

This person may have just made my point in two paragraphs, when it took me 5:
Eric is wrong on this. In the short run, someone like Keyes is so extreme that he opens our eyes to the bigotry of social conservatives. But in the long run, giving Keyes legitimacy by allowing him to be the nominee of a major party in a big state like Illinois moves the goal posts of political discourse. (Yeah, I know it's a bad metaphor; so what?) All his candidacy does is clear the path for a another person who thinks like he does, but maybe is a bit more diplomatic. (Yeah, so I mixed a metaphor.) That's why I wouldn't mind seeing Keyes ride off into the sunrise. (He's heading east to Maryland, so he can't ride into the sunset.) # posted by Anonymous : 1:46 AM

Why I want Keyes to go away...

So, I disagree with Eric Zorn that having Keyes has "long-term benefits in the public's exposure to the cartoonish quality of this ideology and its harsh implications." Someone as crazy as Keyes does nothing to improve dialogue about these sort of social issues. In fact, that's why I tried to avoid them for the first few weeks of this blog--it's darn near impossible to change someone's mind on them. People like Keyes do nothing more than solidify people's opinion: the extreme religious right is inspired that someone is speaking for them (see the letter that Zorn received); more "moderate" social conservatives can distance themselves from Keyes by saying things like
You can be pro-life without comparing women who get one to terrorists. You can be pro-Second Amendment without sounding like you want to have everyone walking through the streets armed with machine guns. You can be anti-gay marriage without referring to the Vice President's daughter as a "selfish hedonist."
from Illinois Leader via Archpundit. And liberals just get pissed off and hate social conservatives more. All of this accomplishes little in the way of public discourse. But perhaps it isn't just the harshness of conservative ideology that Keyes gives public exposure to, possibly he also exposes the flaws in moderate ideology on gay marriage as well. Moderates tend to downplay what is implicit in the "Defense of Marriage" assertion that traditional marriage is better that same-gender marriage i.e. we (straights) are better than you (gays). What Keyes does is bluntly set that proposition at the fore. He boils the DOM position down to its ugly essence. Unfortunately, I think the anger of Keyes is just too extreme; no moderate is ever going to look at him and say "hey, that's my position, too." But the real truth is that I'm just skeptical about the point of public discourse in these areas. Speaking personally here, no amount of rhetoric ever made me come around on gay rights or abortion. Ultimately on gay rights, it took almost ten years of friendship with gay and lesbians for me to change my mind. Seeing them struggle with their sexuality convinced me more than any study that they weren't "choosing to be gay." Seeing them in loving relationships made me question why they couldn't have the same benefits and privileges that heterosexual marriage provides. So, although rhetoric and media has its place, I think the far better way to explore the fallacies in Keyes' ideology is not to argue with him or even keep him around, but rather to start introducing your conservative straight friends to your liberal gay friends.

The agony of defeat...

I almost forgot a part of Keyes' speech tonight. While talking about gay rights (what else?), Keyes said that many, including those in his own party, want him to quit talking about these issues. But he then said (I think this is the correct wording, but I'll verify if he posts the transcript on his website), "I'd rather follow my conscience and lose than not follow it and win." So finally, the possibility of defeat has crept in Mr. Keyes' mind.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Republican Platform

So, although the prime-time Republican speakers are trying to make us forget it, the Republican adopted a socially conservative platform. Fortunately, Keyes won't let anyone forget. He said it earlier tonight--he's proud of the platform. And here's what he apparently said in a fundraising letter:
So why do liberals of all party stripes fear my candidacy? Because, perhaps more than in any other Senate race this year, I embody the principles of the Republican Party Platform.

I feel so sorry for his children...

So I infilitrated the Party for the President. And what amused me most? I wasn't the only one. I ran into other women who were giggling as they left--they even took their picture with Keyes. I don't think I could have gotten that close to him without some form of profanity leaving my mouth. Unfortunately, I was late and missed the opportunity for mingling, but I arrived for the good parts. I walked into to hear him say that this election is about "What would God want?" and "What would Jesus do?" And then launched into the same lies about abortion as usual. (So, I'm not repeating it again.) Then, the anti-gay speech. He re-stated his defense of marriage as being because "sex is procreational, not recreational." (The applause was slightly less on that...and even prompted a few snickers around me.) He then rambled about the media, of course. Then, he said that he was proud of the Republican platform and said that his rationale for opposing gay marriage is the best one. He said "there are other reasons, but it's the best one." Then, he called out Dick Cheney. He said that if it were his daughter that was a lesbian, he would not say that he supported the platform, and then make an exception for his daughter. Rather, he said, he would rather sacrifice his relationship with his daughter, than make an exception for her that will lead to the destruction of this country. He then said a bunch more of the same...but concluded with his thoughts that he hopes that this race ends up being about two things: saving babies and saving the family. And then, "What would God Want? What would Jesus do?" And something about "Go forth and vote your conscience." And so, I will, Alan Keyes. I won't pretend to speak for God like you do, but I will say this: my conscience tells me to vote for Barack Obama.

Zorn's response

Eric Zorn noted my comments in which I wished Keyes kicked off the ballot in his blog this morning:
I delight in this sort of prudish fulmination, but Truth Girl accuses me and other journalists and bloggers of being
selfish to want to keep (Keyes)around for entertainment value when it's real women who have abortions and deal with the lifelong ramifications. They, too, are hurt when Keyes calls them terrorists. It's real men and women who struggle with coming out to their families, caring for life partners without benefits and facing discrimination. They, too, are hurt when Keyes calls them Nazis or selfish hedonists.
In the short term, maybe so. But I see long-term benefits in the public's exposure to the cartoonish quality of this ideology and its harsh implications.
Although I clearly have thoughts in response, my paying job is requiring my attendance for the next 12-18 hours or so, so you will have to wait a bit for my reply.

The "Selfish Hedonist" Big Tent

At breakfast yesterday, someone asked Keyes about one of the other people who can't procreate:
After his eight-minute speech, Keyes was asked if heterosexual couples who don't or can't have children are hedonists. "The heterosexual relationship is haunted by the possibility of the child, which means you have to commit yourself somewhere to your head to the possibility of a lifelong commitment that involves not only selfish pleasure but sometimes sacrifice."
Update: Sorry for the missing link. From the Sun-times.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

May the force be with you, Mr. DeClue

I know that I'm at odds with the Archpundit and Eric Zorn on this, but I hope Leonard DeClue wins, even if he stands no chance. First, for me personally, I'm tired. Keyes is keeping me up at night. Following his crazy antics is wearing me out. Then, I just get so worked up I can't sleep. I can't believe that anyone is saying that kind of stuff on a daily basis. I know I could quit blogging, but it wouldn't help. I would lose my outlet for expressing my anger and my blood pressure would only go up more. But more importantly, I want this hate-filled man to disappear from public life. I want him to quit having a platform to espouse his vitriole. I know we're all worked up today, because someone finally got him to tag a name to one of his ideas, but the problem is that even without a specific name his ideas still hurt nameless people. Frankly, with apologies to all the bloggers, it's just selfish to want to keep him around for entertainment value when... It's real women who have abortions and deal with the lifelong ramifications. They, too, are hurt when Keyes calls them terrorists. It's real men and women who struggle with coming out to their families, caring for life partners without benefits and facing discrimination. They, too, are hurt when Keyes calls them Nazis or selfish hedonists. So, yes, Mr. DeClue continue your legal battle. Let's get Keyes back to Maryland sooner rather than later. Update: So, yeah, it's a quack. But that doesn't mean I couldn't hope for it to happen!

The great debater?

So, remember how we were all supposed to be awaiting seeing that great debater and orator come to Illinois and take on Obama? Now, even Keyes admits that he was bested by a radio talk show host:
Keyes told a New York radio station Monday that homosexuality is "sexual hedonism." In response, the show's host asked if Mary Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, was a "sexual hedonist." Keyes replied: "Of course she is." ... Keyes blamed the media for personalizing his comments about Mary Cheney. "Do I know whether or not the daughter of the Cheneys is engaging in such acts? It is not for me to know," Keyes said. "I only know the argument I have made. It is for others to draw the conclusion."
Well, O.K. Keyes doesn't really admit it. But we all know it. He was bested with a simple syllogism: All Homosexuals are sinful hedonists Mary Cheney is a homosexual Therefore, Mary Cheney is a sinful hedonist. Great debate skills, Mr. Keyes... Update: Is it sinful hedonist or sexual hedonist? The Trib article has it both ways?

Will They Mention Keyes?

Sojourners wrote that Rev. Jim Wallis and Rev. Jerry Falwell will be on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight at 7 p.m. EST. It should be interesting to see if Keyes is discussed.