How can this guy not have a primary opponent?


There will be a primary election on March 20 to select Republican and Democratic candidates to vie for congressional seats in Illinois and the third district has drawn some interest. On the Republican side, only one person has filed to run in this election, guaranteeing that he will be the party’s candidate. Not having a rival in primaries is not unusual. What is unusual is that this unopposed person has the most appalling views.

Arthur Jones — an outspoken Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite and white supremacist — is poised to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat representing parts of Chicago and nearby suburbs.

“Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany. All right. To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket,” Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Jones told the Sun-Times he is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and now heads a group called the America First Committee. “Membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent,” he said.

Why is he unopposed? Because the Republican party felt that they had no chance of winning in this strong Democratic seat and so did not bother to field a better candidate. But even if that were the case, surely it would have been in their interest to make sure that the party is not represented by an outright bigot like Jones since this will only further cement the impression that neo-Nazis see the Republican party as their home? Even if they felt that they were certain to lose and did not want to waste resources on this election, surely there was someone in the party who was willing to take one for the team and run in the primary and then be prepared to lose in the general election?

The Democratic party primary pits the incumbent Dan Lipinski, a hack Republican-lite politician who ‘inherited’ the seat from his father who stepped aside to make room for him, versus a progressive alternative Marie Newman, as Ryan Grim and Alex Emmons report.

In Illinois, Marie Newman, challenging incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski, outraised one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, pulling in $260,000 to his $228,000 (though she did so with the help of a $100,000 loan to herself). Lipinski has an enormous amount of cash in the bank, having been in office since 2004 and facing little opposition, but his opponent’s fourth quarter fundraising signals that his re-election is far from guaranteed.

Campa-Najjar, King, and Newman have all rejected the notion that Democrats need to moderate their messages to win the support of Trump voters, and instead are focused on energizing a different kind of voter.

Newman has the backing of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Human Rights Campaign, immigrant rights groups, and a host of national progressive organizations. Lipinski has traditionally had the backing of the state machine and its labor unions, but cracks in that wall may be forming. The Illinois Federation of Teachers plans to make its endorsement decision this weekend and the national AFT will follow the locals lead, a spokesperson said. That it is even an open question given Lipinski’s longtime relationship with labor suggests Newman has a real chance of winning the endorsement. EMILY’s List announced Friday it is endorsing Newman.

The endorsement came after news that the SEIU, which has thousands of members in the district, was breaking with Lipinski, who recently came out against the union’s signature $15 per hour minimum wage. Politico’s Illinois newsletter reported this morning that the union would be endorsing Newman, which was confirmed by The Intercept.

More than 50 percent of Lipinski’s campaign dollars last quarter came from political action committees, largely from corporation interests such as the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group for oil companies; insurance giant Aflac; Chevron; and American Airlines. PACs aligned with the Democratic Party also funneled cash to Lipinski. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Rep. Linda Sanchez, and the Blue Dog PAC contributed to Lipinski’s reelection effort.

I hope Newman defeats Lipinski. The usual argument used against primary challengers when they take on incumbents, that the incumbent has a better chance of retaining the seat for the party, does not apply in this case now that Jones will be the Republican nominee and certainly lose. A Newman-Jones contest would provide a stark contrast between a progressive and a racist, anti-Semitic reactionary.

Comments

  1. sonofrojblake says

    Jones will be the Republican nominee and certainly lose

    They did say that about Trump. Right up to Election Day, almost everyone said that about Trump.

  2. Dunc says

    But even if that were the case, surely it would have been in their interest to make sure that the party is not represented by an outright bigot like Jones since this will only further cement the impression that neo-Nazis see the Republican party as their home?

    Why? There’s a pretty good chance that it could be a net vote winner for them. It’s not like it’s going to alienate any of their core supporters.

  3. says

    @1 sonofrojblake:

    Yes, but I would hope you realize congressional districts work differently than at the national level. (Also, let us not forget Trump lost the popular vote.)

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    @2 Dunc:

    I know a good number of people who are more liberal who still like to not only call themselves “independents,” but paint Republicans as if they are people who care about the general well-being of people, but just have different ideas about how to achieve such goals than Democrats. Surely you can see how spreading such falsehoods about Republicans helps them with those not part of their core? This can then lend support to the idea, as presented in South Park, that elections are all choices between a douche and a turd sandwich which, in turn, discourages people from voting at all. These people are finally, but still slowly, coming to the realization that they’ve been wrong about Republicans. Having people who openly identify as Nazis be their candidates is only bound to speed up this process, hurting the Republican brand and leading to the realization that, no, elections are not necessarily choices between a douche and a turd sandwich. Hopefully that will lead to better voter turnout against Republicans. So, no, I don’t see this being a “net vote winner” for them.

  4. Dunc says

    Leo Buzalsky @ #4: Yeah, but you’re forgetting about all the people who don’t normally vote because they currently regard the Republicans as part of the globalist / Jewish / Illuminati elite, but could be persuaded to vote for an out-and-out anti-Semite / white supremacist.

  5. invivoMark says

    @Reginald Selkirk #3

    If we need someone to run them off a bridge at a campaign rally, I will happily volunteer!

  6. says

    You’ll note that he wears the insignia of a full colonel, and a combat infantryman’s badge. So he’s pulling military cred and rank cred. I.e.: he’s a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear. Some veteran ought to beat the shit out of him, but apparently they’re not very good at policing their own, anymore.

  7. file thirteen says

    @5 Dunc:

    Extremists don’t get disenchanted. White supremacists already vote, and vote Republican. However an undisguised candidate is a victory for them that will do wonders for their recruitment drive. It will be moderates that are disenchanted, which will in turn drive the Republicans further to the (extreme) right, so it’s a double win for the Nazi party.

    In a sane world, moderates might switch to the Democrats. However the smear campaign against the Democrats has been thoroughly successful. I know people who believe the Clintons should be literally behind bars.

    Incidently, it tires me to read comments about how Trump didn’t win the popular vote, as if he has no mandate. He won enough votes to become president; that’s a shitload of votes, and he absolutely is president. Denying the reality never helps.

  8. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Campa-Najjar, King, and Newman have all rejected the notion that Democrats need to moderate their messages to win the support of Trump voters, and instead are focused on energizing a different kind of voter.

    Well its about goddamn time! How long until the rest of the Dems figure this out?

  9. KG says

    They did say that about Trump. Right up to Election Day, almost everyone said that about Trump. – sonofrojblake@1

    No, they didn’t. FiveThirtyEight gave Trump about a 30% chance of winning. Most pollsters didn’t give such a percentage chance, focusing on percentage lead in their polls. Clinton’s lead was never enough for anyone with any sense to declare that Trump was certain to lose, although it was entirely reasonable to expect him to do so – and of course in the popular vote, he did. Contrast Macron vs Le Pen in France, where it was rightly declared certain that Macron would win, given his 2:1 advantage in the polls; and the UK general election of 2017, where the consensus among commentators that May was certain to get a clear majoritywas badly wrong.

  10. jrkrideau says

    @ 11 chigau
    I guess one must be an American.
    I was thinking that too.

    The money was/is incredible.

    I just googled MPs and pulled up Navdeep Bains. The entire campaign cost $207,082.35. And Bains was the second spender at $103,144.90.

    I think Bains got lucky as his most serious opponent (Grewal, $126,893.52) ran into serious problems about his attitude about gays but still, an election with a bit over $200K overall ….

  11. sonofrojblake says

    There should be a law analogous to Godwin’s, formulated something like this:

    “As an online discussion about the 2016 election grows longer, the probability of some bitter leftist whining about the entirely irrelevant popular vote approaches 1”.

    And as with Godwin’s law, it should be accepted that, if you’re that guy – you’ve lost the argument.

    And I say that as someone who would have held my nose and voted Clinton, if I’d got a vote. I’m on and of and from the left, man and boy.

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