|KIRK: Taking a stance|
Let’s not forget that a lot of the conservative types who live in our state held their noses at the thought of casting a ballot for the Congressman from the North Shore to serve in the Senate because he wasn’t really one of them.
AS IN A hard-liner who was more than willing to use his authority to impose his alleged morals on everybody else.
These people voted for Kirk because they were absolutely convinced that picking his opponent (former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias) would merely add to the strength of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate.
Perhaps these ideologues thought they could put pressure on a Republican in the Senate from Illinois to “go along” and do things their way.
Not that I sympathize with these people who feel betrayed. If anything, I gain a bit of respect for Kirk for not letting himself get bullied by his caucus leadership when it comes to this particular issue.
BECAUSE, BY AND large, it is the Republican faction in Congress that will fight this issue to the death – although I am aware that some Democrats also will chime in for various reasons.
I don’t doubt that those black preachers and Catholic priests who are taking up this cause and trying to sway politicians from supporting marriage for all people will have some effect. (It wouldn’t be the first time that something abhorrent was done in the name of God and religious dogma).
All of which is to say that I don’t doubt that Kirk will feel some backlash in coming weeks and months (and probably, to some degree, for the rest of his political life) – all because he felt compelled to use his website to post a two-paragraph statement saying that, “same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage.”
Kirk, of course, is the member of the Senate who missed the bulk of 2012 after suffering a stroke. He cited that experience as part of his reason for deciding to go against the bulk of his GOP Senate colleagues. Kirk and Ron Portman of Ohio are the only two who have publicly spoken out in favor of the gay marriage issue.
“I PROMISED MYSELF that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others,” Kirk said, adding later, “Our time on this Earth is limited, I know that better than most.”
A nice sentiment, albeit one that will be ignored by the ideologically-inclined.
Personally, I already have stumbled across several nasty (and many anonymous) comments about Kirk on the Internet. Losing their votes in future elections is the least of it.
One crackpot has gone so far as to publicly proclaim that Kirk will “rot in Hell” for becoming a “liberal.” I’d like to think THAT person is the one who will really rot.
ALTHOUGH THE MISERY they’re putting themselves through over this issue by persisting with attitudes that reek of the Dark Ages is sufficient punishment for now!
Personally, I suspect this is an issue whose time has come (although it can be argued that waiting for “the right time” allows some awful things to happen up to that point). Although I’d rather see it get done at the state level than the federal.
Because if it occurs state-by-state, eventually those backwards places of our nation will be so isolated that they will be shamed into doing the right thing. If it gets imposed from up high in Washington, you just know that some crackpots are going to take that as some sort of justification that their backward thought is proper and worthy of an ongoing fight!
Just like the cowardly types who are now going to be dinging Kirk for having a sense of compassion.