A Tea Party Test in Illinois

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010 at 10:07 am

Ben Smith has a smart preview of today’s primaries in Illinois, and an analysis of which candidates voter anger will help. One storyline that looks likely to be written tonight: the defeat, two weeks after Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts, of “Tea Party” candidates challenging establishment Republicans. Senate candidate Pat Hughes, heavily backed by Tea Party activists ever since Republican frontrunner Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted for cap-and-trade legislation, is trailing by at least 20 points.

But gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski is the more compelling Tea Party candidate, and the one whose final vote total will be watched for some metric of hype versus on-the-ground support. Under the radar, Andrzejewski has capitalized on his good looks, ethnic base and conservative rhetoric to become a Tea Party rock star. “There’s a particular candidate that’s being described as the Scott Brown of this contest,” said Rush Limbaugh of Andrzejewski on the Friday episode of his show. Jim Hoft, the influential Gateway Pundit blogger, has played a key role in convincing the conservative blogosphere that Andrzejwski had a chance and that polls showed him surging.

The most uniquely Tea Party-ish aspect of Andrzejwski’s bid has been his courting of, and endorsement by, Lech Walesa, the former Polish rebel-turned-president, a hero of the Cold War who was memorably dismissive when President Barack Obama joined him as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Picture 4

The Walesa endorsement was a slightly surreal affair.

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mantis
Comment posted February 2, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

Scott Brown isn't a teabagger, he's a liberal northeastern Republican. If Brown's victory gives the teabaggers confidence about candidates like Andrzejewski in places like Illinois, they are delusional. We don't like teabaggers here in Illinois. If they manage to push one through a primary, he'll suffer the same fate Alan Keyes did against Obama in 2004.

Btw, I live in Illinois, am politically engaged, and I'd never heard of Andrzejewski before yesterday.


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Pingback posted February 2, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

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coco
Comment posted February 2, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

Listen carefully around 7:25. It's muddled through the stuttering translation, but it sure sounds to me like Lech Walesa endorses a government role in health care.


vabelle
Comment posted February 2, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

Yup; absolutely right you are :) Something along the lines of “certainly, you have to take care of people. Health service and other things, too. But you have to be very careful about (govt) bureaucracy and the wasting of money”. Ties right into his earlier thingie about private managers being more careful with money, using it more wisely.
But you have to remember that Walesa grew up in a system where universal public health care access was the standard. Still , mostly, is. For him, it's difficult to even imagine what the situation is here. Particularly since he's never been the sharpest crayon in the box; he was our version of Sarah Palin — good looking, charismatic, but not much “upstairs”. He lies like Palin, too; he was never skinny; even in the early years he was kinda beefy :)

I must say I'm sorry to see so many Polish names among those involved with the Teabaggers and other Repub fringes; I had hoped that, eventually, we'd live down the “dumb Polack” reputation…


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ClayBarham
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

The Tea Party movement is a threat even bigger than the John Birchers some years ago, when average men and women discovered their nation was being buried in bureaucracy and Marx, even without knowing all the facts. It is a danger to the modern Democrat following Rousseau and Marx because it pulls the rug out from under them, making it possible for people to rediscover the libertarian 19th century Democrats who followed Jefferson and Madison, cited in The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon and claysamerica.com


coco
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

and what's most amazing is they do it by losing every election they touch


ClayBarham
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

The Tea Party movement is a threat even bigger than the John Birchers some years ago, when average men and women discovered their nation was being buried in bureaucracy and Marx, even without knowing all the facts. It is a danger to the modern Democrat following Rousseau and Marx because it pulls the rug out from under them, making it possible for people to rediscover the libertarian 19th century Democrats who followed Jefferson and Madison, cited in The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon and claysamerica.com


coco
Comment posted February 3, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

and what's most amazing is they do it by losing every election they touch


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