Friday, August 19, 2016

GOP down-ticket candidates run from Trump, but not Trump-ism.

IL Senators, Durbin (left) and Kirk. 
Down-ticket Republicans are understandably swimming faster than Ryan Lochte to get away from Trump's sinking ship. But not necessarily away from Trump-ism.

In IL we have several of this type. There's our union-busting, budget hostage-taking Gov. Bruce Rauner for one,  and our faux-moderate Sen. Mark Kirk for another.

SJR reports,
 Kirk is quick to tout himself as a maverick for breaking with his Republican Party on several issues, including his decision earlier this summer to "de-endorse" GOP nominee Donald Trump... But ask Kirk where he goes from here, and things get more murky.
 For instance, if he truly believes Trump is unfit to be president, it's fair to ask what he's doing to prevent him being elected. If Kirk believes that the Senate ought to consider Garland's nomination, he must actively lobby his leadership to do so.”
Kirk un-endorsed Trump in June and said he would instead write in Gen. Petraeus, who resigned in 2012 and later pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information.

But after facing criticism for his Petraeus choice, Kirk reversed course and backed former Secretary of State Colin Powell for president.

Last week, Kirk said on CNN he could not vote for Hillary Clinton because he "can't support someone who is for the Iran agreement."

Turns out, Powell endorsed the Iran agreement, describing it as a "pretty good deal."

So now Kirk is back to supporting Petraeus.

Remember, Kirk was the one who outdid Trump in calling for the mass incarceration of 18,000 young black men, alleged "gang-bangers", without and trials or due process. If this sounds like Trump's proposal to round up immigrants from Mexico and the Middle East, you're on to something.

Where would Kirk put 18,000 new prisoners?
Back in 2013, Kirk and Democrat Dick Durbin, approached Zachary Fardon, the nominee for U.S. Attorney in Chicago, and urged Fardon to begin rounding up every member of the Gangster Disciples street gang. Kirk wanted the Senate Appropriations Committee to give him $30 million “to go after gangs like the GDs . . . and pick the biggest and baddest for a federal effort.”

Where did Kirk and Durbin think they were going to put 18,000 more prisoners? Cook County jail was already stuffed to overflowing, mainly with young black and Latino men. The court system was so backed up, some prisoners have been held for up to 10 years without  trial.

Chicago's Guantanamo?

The answer wasn't forthcoming but worth considering, especially in light of Pres. Obama's recent announcement that private prisons would be phased out by the Justice Dept. Democrats have long attacked the Homeland Security Department's use of privately run facilities, particularly the detention centers that have housed thousands of immigrant families.

At the time, Congressman Bobby Rush lit into the Kirk-Durbin plan, calling it  “ a sensational, headline-grabbing, empty, simplistic, unworkable approach.” If there is $30 million for Congress to spend, better most of it be allocated for “job creation and job training,” to address the gang problem, Rush said. Rush said an arrest sweep “is not going to work. . . . It is not a law and order, lock ‘em up solution.”

Kirk also outdid Trump on union bashing. He claimed that SEIU and other "big unions are already running the state."

Now Durbin is planning to run for governor and Kirk is playing Trump keep-away to retain his senate seat and maintain the GOP senate majority. Not happening.

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