Updated: March 2, 2013 7:08AM
A look at the other debate taking place on gay marriage in Illinois
The debate over gay marriage in our state is being overshadowed by an even bigger debate involving the direction of the Republican Party in Illinois. For anyone who does not know by now, Jim Oberweis and Joe Walsh are trying to generate a political coup in the Illinois Republican Party by ousting their party chairman, Pat Brady, over his support for gay marriage in our state. They are dividing their party into those who support Brady and those who do not.
As a Democrat, I must admit I hope they succeed. We can all stand back and watch the Republican Party in Illinois destroy itself from within. Legislation giving gays and lesbians the right to marriage is going to pass eventually anyway. It is the right thing to do. You should not treat gays and lesbians as second-class citizens just because of whom they end up loving in life.
Brady knows where the people of Illinois stand on this issue and that fighting it will only lead to the loss of future elections for his party. He also knows that major Republican donors are not going to keep giving money to a party of losers. Americans in the last election cycle said overwhelmingly “no” to the social issues as prescribed by Reagan conservatism. There is a new generation in this country like me who was not alive during Reagan’s presidency and did not drink the Kool-Aid. We do not want to go backward and instead want progress in promoting freedom for all and protecting people’s rights.
Brady knows that to get his party back into relevance, Republicans cannot get bogged down in meaningless social debates and instead need to promote what they think they are strong on, such as the economy. I must acknowledge that Democrats would win that debate, too, but that is for another day.
So yes, Republicans, I really think you should listen to Oberweis and Walsh on this. They really seem to be the best experts you have to offer in your party — and wouldn’t just be following their self-interests, would they?
I only ask that at the end of this drama, the Republicans put forth sensible leaders instead of crazies so we can truly fix the issues we need to address in our state together.
Bad-shooting group taking aim at another immigration reform plan
Look out. The gang that can’t shoot straight, albeit with some new members, is back with another immigration reform plan.
Back in 1986, the gang convinced us that the solution to an estimated 3 million illegals was to grant them legal status. They told us that their plan would end the problem of illegals in the future by enacting tougher penalties on businesses that hire or recruit unauthorized immigrants and by increasing border security.
Their plan was so successful that by 2012, there were an estimated 11-12 million illegals and visa overstays. At this rate, there should be about 36 million illegals by 2040. Despite the monumental failure of their 1986 plan to control the borders and reduce number of illegals and visa overstays, the gang the can’t shoot straight is back again with another immigration reform act.
It appears that a new immigration plan will pass this year, because Republicans who have generally opposed granting legal status to illegals now seem to be on board with the Democrats as they hope to increase their base in the Hispanic community.
Enforcement and implementation of the new immigration plan will require additional new funding and agencies to oversee the program. Yes, just what we need with the country already sinking in sea of debt.
Anyone who believes that a new immigration reform plan will be any more successful than the disastrous 1986 plan probably also believe that the Cubs will win the World Series in 2013. The gang is back, so take cover and hold on to your wallets.