Sunday, October 23, 2005

Will Coach Hastert Bench Judy?

I'm quipping, of course. I just wanted to use that headline. Sniffs Carol Marin in today's column:
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"Who speaks for the Republican Party in Illinois? Who is its leading voice? Moral force? Who's the coach of this team? I would submit that J. Dennis Hastert, an actual coach by profession, needs to be but isn't."
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Okay. So getting (almost) every congressional GOP incumbent in Illinois re-elected just wasn't enough? She adds, "How is it that Illinois has the extraordinary distinction of having Hastert, one of its homegrown Republicans, as speaker of the U.S. House, yet it also has the distinction of having one of the most embarrassing GOPs in the nation?" So, what was Speaker Hastert supposed to do about it? Run himself? I don't think so. What seems to evade Marin is that the gentleman from Illinois 14th has mastered the all-important trait of knowing when lassiez faire leadership is good. In many respects, Hastert is the antithesis of Illinois's other "home grown" DC powerbroker: the brash and unremittingly egotestical Rahm.

It seems that Marin is adopting a pretty subjective definition of "success." She carefully avoids the subject of the numerous state legislative victories enjoyed by the state GOP in the last cycle-and Judge Karmeier's pioneering success in the 5th judicial district. Has she forgotten so soon? Or, is she selectively avoiding evidence of the GOP's resurgence-and the fact that it invovles (gasp!) people and happenings south of route 80?

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