Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Right-wing Republicans need to look in the mirror

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By Ray Hanania

In order to understand what happened in Illinois on Tuesday, Nov. 8, you have to understand the surprise election events in DuPage County.

For years, DuPage County was the Republican antithesis of the Democratic Cook County. But as Cook County shifted its concerns from protecting law-abiding citizens to protecting the “rights” of criminals and undermining police, many packed up and left for DuPage County.

Over the years, the growth of conservative Democratic voters has increased in DuPage County; and most conservative Democrats voted for moderate Republicans as much as they voted for moderate Democrats — people who are the polar opposites of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney and criminal advocate Kim Foxx.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

But as the Republican Party moved more and more to the far right under people like Keith Pekau, fake newspapers with anonymous writers, and a new brand of hate and name-calling driven political strategies, conservative Democrats started to wane.

The Republican Party in Cook County is a total disaster, run by a man who defended a sex predator (who happened to be his employee). Cook County GOP Chairman Sean Morrison abandoned the moderate Republican movement to hug the far right, believing that was the future.

It is a far right driven by the worst aspects of former President Donald Trump.

Trump had some good ideas and he certainly was better than Hillary Clinton. But he put most of his emphasis, while in office, on pettiness and stupid name-calling bursts, aggravating how the news media portrayed him.

Trump has done a terrible job of trying to lead the Republican Party, and the election Nov. 8 shows how his influence has diminished significantly. People like Morrison, who only cares about himself and not the Republican Party or political principles, ran to the far extremist right.

Of course, the Democrats nationally are no better with President Joe Biden, who is covering up the corruption of his son, Hunter, and can’t seem to get himself focused to do anything during his first two years.

But you can’t close your eyes to the failed Republican leadership by pointing to Biden’s failed leadership. But you can’t ignore what Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker did, using his billions to buy elections. Pritzker spent $24 million to help Darren Bailey beat Jesse Sullivan, a stronger Republican contender. There should be a law that prevents that kind of PAC spending to deceive voters.

Pritzker, one of Illinois’ worst governors, should resign.

In the six DuPage County Board districts (three elected from each), Democrats won 10 of 18 seats, and a Democrat received the highest vote total in each.

The Democrat surge in DuPage undermined Republican expectations especially in two Congressional Districts that expected strong Republican votes.

In the ugly battle led by Orland Park Mayor and Republican Keith Pekau in the 6th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Sean Casten received a massive boost in DuPage County of some 20,000 votes to defeat Pekau: Casten, 73,256, and Pekau, 52,659.

It was the same in the 11th Congressional District, where Republican Catalina Lauf challenged incumbent Democrat Bill Foster. Foster beat Lauf by nearly 25,000 votes in DuPage County: Foster 49,107, Lauf, 29,216.

Other statewide Democrats also won the DuPage County vote, giving them even greater margins over their Republican rivals.

Many Republicans are in a daze about what happened on Nov. 8 as pundits predicted a “red surge” that just didn’t happen.

Clearly the Republican leadership in Illinois, starting with Cook County and DuPage County, needs a massive change.

Morrison, truly a despicable person who should never be allowed to sit on the Cook County Board let alone lead the Republican Party, should resign. His “slate” of candidates did terrible, of course.

It’s ironic that Republicans claimed to be the law-and-order candidates while Democrats focused mainly on the issue of abortion rights. In a state where abortion rights are solid and despite the national trend will not change, crime and safety are the top concerns of law-abiding citizens. Inflation is another.

Rather than offer solutions, Republicans like Morrison and Pekau fear-mongered to generate votes. It didn’t work. The turnout of voters in DuPage County wasn’t that low, either. More than 54% of voters went to the polls, a number higher than most other areas.

If Republicans want to understand what happened, they need to look inside their own party and replace the losers that led them by supporting moderates.

It’s not enough to complain about crime. You need smart leaders with commonsense to stop Foxx and Lightfoot.

The Nov. 8 election failures clearly show the GOP strategy of fear-mongering doesn’t work.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

2 Comments

  1. Joseph A Murzanski on November 12, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Can’t forgive Il.GOP when 15 of them joined Democrats to override Rauners budget veto in 2016. Told Bailey to compromise on abortion, let the state legislature decide and sign off on whatever is decided. By the people, for the people! Separate church and state! Bailey would not listen. Pound on crime, loss of congressional seats since 1950. Had 26 then, have 17 now. Right to work states attracting billions from chipmakers! When Boeing was HQ in Chicago, built plant in S. Carolina. Whew!



  2. A.Rivera on November 13, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    You’re so full of crap. You’re Democrats are so extreme and dangerous tropes are more Republicans gaslighting. You claim that your way would much better. In reality your way is let people with money just do whatever they want and all others be damner



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