Several people have asked when I'm going to rip Alan Keyes up, seeing as he is running for Senate in the Great State of Illinois. The thing is, Keyes is just too easy. He's, like, self-mocking. He comes with the mocking module pre-installed. You just have to let him talk and sooner or later, most people start giggling.
For starters, the gentleman from Maryland is a carpetbagger, which is a rather fun accusation to make for a northern state to begin with, but I guess carpetbagging has become regionally equal-opportunity. But not only is he a carpetbagger, he's a carpetbagger without principles: "And I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it," quoth Alan Keyes, prior to ... um, doing just that. And the man says Democrats can't stand by their principles. The only justification I've heard from Keyes or the Illinois GOP is that Obama has garnered so much attention that the Illinois race is actually a national race and therefore they need not run an Illinois citizen so much as someone who can garner national attention. Um, okay. So in the future, all races with celebrities or shock jocks of one kind or another are fair game for anybody to jump in? At least Hilary was chosen in the primary. I understand the GOP considers Jim Oberweis some kind of embarassment because of his views on immigrants, but at least he was the state party rank-and-file's second choice after Jack Ryan. Oberweis should have been given the nod when Ryan bowed out (plus, he might give us free ice cream to buy our votes!). And it raises one big question - who exactly in the state GOP offices looks at Oberweis and Keyes (and Ryan, for that matter) and says, "Boy, Keyes is definitely the least embarassing candidate here, who says the least-embarassing things." I mean, have they ever listened to the man? But of course, the crucial thing for the Illinois GOP seems to be that Keyes is black, a selection criterion that even Kathleen Parker (whom I detest 99% of the time), called "racist in the nicest possible way." (Lovely turn of phrase, that.)
Twice already this election Keyes has accused Obama of using "slaveholder" language or "slaveholder" views. Mr. Keyes, I must inform you: It didn't play in Peoria the first time, and it played even less well the second. The first time was in reference to Obama's views on abortion (which I disagree with): Keyes accused Obama of having "slaveholder" views. Now, if you follow out the logic of his thought, there's something vaguely resembling a parallel, in that slaves were not treated as humans with rights and, Keyes believes, those who abort fetuses are not treating them as humans with rights. Unfortunately, Keyes leaps right to the "slaveholder" accusations, which might be sorta rabble-rousing if he were running against a white candidate. But when he accuses Obama of being a "slaveholder," it just kinda comes across as funny.
The second "slaveholder" comment was when Obama expressed a desire to "spank" his opponent in the election, to show Washington and Keyes that the people in Illinois disapprove of Keyes's style of scorched-earth campaigning. Keyes accused Obama of using "slaveholder" language of the master disciplining the slave. Um, okay. But Mr. Keyes, I think there are an unfortunate number of people in this state who really, really want to spank you, slap you, or otherwise knock some sense into you. Sorry about that.
But I was most pleased to hear that Keyes has a direct line to Jesus: "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." (full quote here.) Phew. Thank GOD that Keyes cleared up Jesus's voting preferences for me. Otherwise I might have been under the impression that Jesus gave to Caesar what was Caesar's, or that Jesus was worried about all human beings, not just the unborn ones. Even pastors couldn't resist a little giggle at that one, with Rev. James Demus remarking that he "didn't get the memo" from his boss (Jesus) on who to vote for.
I'm sure that Keyes's staff has gotten him up to speed on state birds, state flowers, and so forth, the types of things that for some reason are supposed to show that candidates know our great state inside and out. (Dude - what about having him memorize county-by-county unemployment statistics and information on the exodus of manufacturing jobs from Illinois?) But since Keyes never passes up a chance to cite Lincoln (and never mentions Reagan), the one thing I am dying to do is ask Keyes about presidents born in Illinois. (For you out-of-staters: Lincoln wasn't. Reagan was.)
I know Keyes has positions on issues (though his website only asks for money, it doesn't discuss issues). The thing is, other than abortion, he never mentions what they are. I'm very, very clear now that Keyes really, really hates abortion, and Jesus does too, and that Obama is in league with Satan. And that's about all I've gotten from Keyes's campaign. Well, that and a great deal of amusement.