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Health Care Sat Nov 14 2009

Kirk Still Your Average Conservative at Heart

Mark Kirk is trying to walk a thin line here. He doesn't want to be Scozzafavaed, but he doesn't want to come off as too conservative either. Take this excellent piece by Mike O'Brien (a former classmate of mine) in The Hill. O'Brien reports that Kirk is criticizing the "Pelosi healthcare bill" on its policy, not its ideology. That's enough to make a moderate Democrat in Illinois pause. A Republican who's actually criticizing the bill because of what it does and not because of who proposed it? Well, maybe I'll take a listen. Kirk also keeps his conservative cred by criticizing the bill at all. Problem is, Kirk's criticism is so ridiculous, what he's really doing is just pandering to the base:

Kirk outlined core elements of Republicans' health reform proposals in the address, arguing that the healthcare bill passed a week ago by the House would do little to reform the system, and result in higher taxes.

What about reducing prices? What about insuring millions of Americans? What about stopping insurers from rejecting consumers based on preconditions? That's all nothing?


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ardecila / November 14, 2009 2:19 PM

He won't be Scozzafavaed, because NY-23 was an epic fail for the RNC. It proved that when the RNC throws support behind more extreme Republican candidates, they lose all the moderates that would have voted Republican otherwise. Mark Kirk is running for the Senate for the entire state of IL, not just a small congressional district. Illinois is rather diverse politically, as opposed to, say, Montana or California, so anybody leaning too far to the right or to the left will lose.

Daniel / November 14, 2009 2:25 PM

Well I'm not sure if he's not worrying about that and you can certainly see a national push to the right for the GOP. Kirk's recent attempt to get an endorsement by Sarah Palin is a good example of how interested he is in shedding his famous identity as a moderate (at least among the GOP). And I think he has some reason to worry. The GOP is moving farther to the right. A good example of this would be with what's going on with Charlie Crist in Florida.

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