Sunday, March 09, 2008

Emperor of Ice Cream Loses in Chicagoland 

It is pretty incredible that Dennis Hastert's seat in Congress went to a Democrat last night, even if the whole election will have to be redone in November. I grew up in this district. It is very conservative. When Hastert was our representative, photos of him ran on the front page of the paper virtually every week and prayers were offered for him and his perpetually ill wife, Jean, in every church. And this was years ago, long before Hastert became speaker, back when he was just an anonymous lump who accomplished nothing in Washington.

IL-14 was and still is a district where wealthy (and very wealthy) suburbanites live in a virtually crime-free environment, yet the town where I lived overwhelmingly voted to authorize the ever-expanding police force to carry automatic 9-mm firearms. There was a black family living in our town from, I believe, around 1986 to 1990, but then they moved away. And the Republican candidate in yesterday's election, Jim Oberweis, wasn't just some rich blowhard but a local milk and ice cream parlor magnate.

If you are a conservative Republican in IL-14 -- and what's more, if you're deeply associated in the minds of the electorate with fucking ice cream -- and you still manage to lose, that is simply amazing.


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