In a blistering editorial, The Southern Illinoisan newspaper’s editorial board crushed Republican Senator Mark Kirk’s moderate reputation, by calling him out as a ”loud-mouthed radical who’s hoping to overrun the party of Lincoln with anger and spin.” The editorial was unsparing in its criticism of Illinois’ Junior Senator, lashing out at him for his “irresponsible drivel” on the Iran deal.
Kirk, who is already under fire for a series of racist and sexist remarks made earlier this year, has sunken to a new low according to The Southern Illinoisan editorial board, for equating Obama’s multilateral Iran agreement with appeasing Hitler. Kirk has engaged in reckless hyperbole, claiming Obama wants to give Iran nukes. He argues implausibly that the president will be responsible for “tens of thousands” of deaths in the Middle East when the deal ends ”with a mushroom cloud somewhere near Teheran.”
Raising the specter of nuclear war is a favorite GOP scare tactic. In the run up to the Iraq War, then GOP President George W. Bush warned we must invade Iraq, arguing:
America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
Mark Kirk, however, is supposed to be a different kind of Republican. The mainstream media loves to attach the “moderate” label to Kirk, and he was all too happy to portray himself as a reasonable centrist during his 2010 campaign in traditionally left-leaning Illinois. He has been afforded the courtesy of being called a moderate for over a decade, even though his voting record hardly suggests he deserves that label. After all, even in 2002, as a member of the U.S. House, he fully supported George W. Bush’s Iraq War resolution.
Fortunately, as the Illinois Senator descends deeper and deeper into nihilistic Tea Party madness, even the press is turning on him and discarding the inappropriate moderate tag. The Southern Illinoisan has clearly lost patience with their Republican Senator, as evidenced by this searing but accurate paragraph:
This, folks, is what Illinois has sent to the U.S. Senate. Illinoisans thought they elected a center-right fiscal conservative. They instead got the love child of Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz, a man more concerned with making a name within his party’s fringe than representing his constituents. And Kirk’s erratic, self-isolating behavior only hurts the state he’s supposed to represent.
Mark Kirk has been exposed for being the right-wing fraud that he is. However, his fall from grace follows a familiar pattern of Republican candidates running as “moderates” in blue states and swing states, only to transform into right-wing radicals the minute they are given a taste of power. Kirk, like Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Ohio Governor John Kasich and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, is anything but moderate. His recent unhinged and apocalyptic rhetoric on the Iran agreement merely underscores just how dangerously radical he and the entire Republican Party has become. Thank goodness people are finally paying attention.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.