Tuesday, March 4, 2008
It appears I must, once again, boycott Oberweis Dairy products. Just on the principle of the whole thing. For those who don’t live in Illinois, Oberweis Dairy products are good stuff. They make top quality ice cream and milk and whatnot, mostly because they’re in full control of the product from the cows all the way to the counter. Unfortunately, Jim Oberweis decided many years ago that the next step from “successful businessman” is “politician” (and, probably, “statesman”). It comes up like clockwork. Every time there’s a possible opening for a Republican candidate for any office, it’s only a matter or time before Oberweis throws his hat in to the ring. From then on the Chicagoland area is bombarded with hilariously misguided political ads that reveal an inept politician with more money than sense and some really, really bad ideas. 2004 was the most memorable of all his ill-fated campaigns. The Republican Party in Illinois was in disarray. Democrats held the Governor’s office, one of the two Senate seats, and the mayor’s office in Chicago. Peter Fitzgerald, the only Republican in state wide office, was stepping down after one term in the Senate. The Republican candidate to replace him was Jack Ryan, but he was set to be pitted against a charismatic rising star named Barack Obama. Then in June, Ryan dropped out of the race following a sex scandal. The Republicans engaged in a free-for-all. Oberweis showed up with a one-plank platform and embarrassed the hell out of himself, calling for an end to illegal immigration with a bizarre ad that involved him flying over Soldier Field and blaming things on the immigants. It’s their fault, I tells ya. Then, when he realized that everyone else running had much better ideas than he did, he proceeded to steal everyone else’s plank. The helicopter ad was replaced by one of him talking up the prescription drug/Canada thing. It was in a white room with a line down the middle. On one side of the line was a mountie and a maple leaf and on the other side an American flag and, um, mom, baseball, Chevy, and apple pie or something. He hopped back and forth over the line and talked about drug costs. Then he proceeded to lose to Alan Keyes. Alan friggin’ Keyes, a ringer from New York who lost to Obama 70 to 27 in the general election. And, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how he got 27% of the vote. In 2006 Oberweis ran for Governor. He lost in the primary to Judy Baar Topinka, who lost to incumbent Rod Blagojevich, who I think has an approval rating to rival George W. Bush at the moment. Also, he’s “Public Official A” in the Rezko corruption case and will probably be the second Illinois governor in a row to end up in prison on corruption charges (although in that Illinois is equal opportunity, as George Ryan was a Republican). So, when Dennis Hastert abruptly resigned back at the end of last year, it was a given that Oberweis would be showing up again. And show up he did. Sadly, this time around he won the primary and is up against Bill Foster for the actual seat. Up until yesterday, Oberweis’s ads were just run of the mill stupid. It was a lot of the tin-eared, “I support the troops,” nonsense that equates staying in Iraq forever with supporting the troops and questions the integrity of people who seem to think that getting soldiers to a place where they won’t get shot might just be a form of support, too. Then, yesterday, he went all the way to crazy town (at least in my presence). I heard an ad in which Oberweis attempted to set himself up as the change candidate. Foster, you see, just wants more of the same. If it were up to Foster, we’d keep spending money on health care. Because, as we all know, the government is currently spending way too much on healthcare and we’re all dealing with the crisis of having too much insurance and not enough time to decide between all of our wonderful options in case we get sick. Wait, that’s what the healthcare crisis is, right? We’ve got one of those paradox of plenty situations that’s ruining us by indecision. I’m glad Jim Oberweis is going to solve my problems by making sure the government stops paying for health coverage. I was getting worried there. And, really, when you think about it, Iraq has been around for a really, really long time. Especially if we take Mesopotamia as a sort of continuous thing and go all the way back to Babylon, then Sumer and Ur, we’ve been in Iraq for 5 years, which isn’t all that much time compared to the 8000 years or so we could have been there. And that jerk Foster wants to take us back to the status quo of not being in Iraq. So maybe Jim “I supported almost everything George W. Bush has done” Oberweis really is the change candidate. See, you can make anything make sense if you just try really, really hard to find the right perspective... Either way, I’m not in the 14th Congressional District, so I can’t vote in the March 8 Special Election. If anybody is reading this and in said district, consider this my vote: Vote Bill Foster. The alternative is scary.