Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 18, 2009

ILLINOIS REPUBLICAN LAMENTS 'IDIOTS'.... The prospect of transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to a maximum-security prison in Thomson, Illinois, generated an interesting response from a Republican state lawmaker who represents a neighboring area.

Representative Jim Sacia of the state's 89th District accused Republicans in Washington -- including Senate candidate, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill) -- of risking thousands of local jobs in their demagoguery of the detainee issue.

"My thinking on this is extremely positive," Sacia told the Huffington Post. "If we lose this opportunity. All I can think of is we literally are idiots. I mean that sincerely."

"I understand I'm on different pages of music with others in my party. First of all this should not be a partisan issue in anyway. If President Obama brings the detainees on U.S. soil and we sit here with a brand new state-of-the-art, max security prison, sitting vacant for the last eight years, and pass on an opportunity to sell it to the federal government, which we would fill it with 1,500 regular prisoners and 800 detainees, what is the problem? The building was designed to do that.

"The only reason we have rhetoric now is because of the closing of Gitmo," Sacia concluded. "It makes no sense at all. This is a tremendous opportunity and we would be idiots to waste it."

As Sacia, a former law enforcement official, sees it, the proposal could bring thousands of jobs to an area that has "suffered unbelievable economic hardship."

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), meanwhile, is taking a different tack. Kirk, hoping to generate support for his 2010 Senate campaign, is grandstanding on the issue, arguing without evidence that locked up terrorist suspects would endanger Illinois residents.

In other words, as far as Jim Sacia is concerned, Mark Kirk is the "idiot" who wants to waste the economic opportunity.

The congressman's cheap tactics may end up costing him support and credibility. The Chicago Sun-Times editorialized this week, "Kirk's scare talk might do him wonders with the GOP base, but it won't convince a single terrorist that this nation has a backbone."

Steve Benen 10:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Comments

I always get this phrase wrong, "cutting nose to spite face" or something

- but if there is not a better example of this phrase - than the current national Re-puke-lican behavior, I just do not know. sigh

Posted by: sduffys on November 18, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Like Brian said a few posts ago - my favorite phrase of the day "Bed Wetting Cowards"

Posted by: john R on November 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), meanwhile, is taking a different tack. Kirk, hoping to generate support for his 2010 Senate campaign, is grandstanding on the issue, arguing without evidence that locked up terrorist suspects would endanger Illinois residents.*******************

I see, so Kirk, you're too scared to bring prisoners here. You have no faith in our prison system and it's employees to do their jobs. You don't have the stomach to punish terrorists here, only somewhere else, and Not in YOUR backyard, that's for sure. Push that scary job onto else, someone you can trust more. Republicans- all talk, no action. Republicans- no faith in their fellow citizens. Republicans- talking tough, but running scared. What a big, bad, republican, macho man. Hypocrite. Fearmonger. Coward.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on November 18, 2009 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Poor Mark Kirk! Everyone's picking on him! Even Sarah Palin refuses to be his friend! Wah!

Maybe Kirk will start to recognize at some point that being an unprincipled jerk has consequences. Unfortunately for the people of his district he probably won't learn soon enough.

Posted by: karen marie on November 18, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

I'm completely confused by this whole debate. Republicans are saying that American-made and operated prisons can't possibly hold a terrorist, right? But keeping them at Gitmo makes sense because nobody — NOBODY — has ever managed to get from Cuba to Florida on their own. EVER! Right?

Posted by: chrenson on November 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Picked up a coupon for Depends in HEB the other day that I intend to send to my esteemed Senator, John Cornyn, who is also wetting his pants over the thought of these evil terrorists with their super powers getting loose on the mainland and destroying the whole midwest with their pocket nuclear bombs that they've been hiding all this time.

As I am about to retire, I had the thought that maybe in the Thomsen area there might be a farmer who buys into the right wing fearfulness and is willing to sell his land at a loss just to get away. I could trade him a house in Texas where he and his family would be protected by the extremely powerful bed wetters now running the state.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on November 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

You'd think Illinoisans would love the chance to be prison guards at a hospital that harbors proven terrorists. I'd kind of enjoy it for a few days myself.

Posted by: beejeez on November 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

bejeez, you left out the word "unemployed."

Posted by: benjoya on November 18, 2009 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Se. Durbin just noted, during the questioning of AG Holder, that Kirk claimed the detainees would be allowed up to 10 visitors and so there would be thousands of "jihadists" traipsing through O'Hare on their way to the prison. Holder stated that the detainees are NOT permitted visitors except for counsel and that Rep. Kirk is full of shit. Okay, Durbin didn't use that phrase but that was the drift.

Posted by: Tom M on November 18, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't quite the same issue as where to lock up convicted terrorists (and the death penalty is being sought for the worst, isn't it?), but related and relevant:
Don't lots of you suspect that a main (but not admitted) reason many Repubs don't want terror trials in NYC, is that would reveal lots of Bush MisAdmin mistakes?

Posted by: neil b♪ on November 18, 2009 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

there would be thousands of "jihadists" traipsing through O'Hare on their way to the prison.

Like this would change the tone and feel of O'Hare in the least.

Posted by: shortstop on November 18, 2009 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Neil: Of course. In fact, some have been stupid enough to admit it, accusing Obama and Holder of having a "hidden agenda" to put the Bush administration on trial. Of course, as people kept telling us about warrantless wiretaps and such, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear . . .

Posted by: T-Rex on November 18, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

as an illinois resident for 58 of my not-quite 63 years, i'd have to agree: illinois republicans ARE idiots.

Posted by: mellowjohn on November 18, 2009 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Er, in case it wasn't clear my comment at 12:43 was not about Muslims at O'Hare, but referred to the general pan- and non-religious jihadi feel of the place. Previously, I'd have put my money on the TSA as the most savage of the various warriors, but they've been pretty cool lately.

Posted by: shortstop on November 18, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Lost in an earlier post: Send Depends coupons to your favorite Repub & Blue Dog Dem for their use. They could even be "fake" coupons. Also, make sure you include their staff in the offer. Most of the mail will never be read by the addressee, so make sure the reader has to see the disgust in which their bosses are held.

If I were in an area where a prison might be filled with "detainees" and I were unemployed, I might consider this an opportunity. But, I'm one who is suspicious of anyone who holds a position of "correctional officer" in our prison system. Same attitudes as fundamentalist authoritarians; not particularly liberal or progressive in their thinking.

Send the Depends. Stem the flow of yellow water.

Posted by: st john on November 18, 2009 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK
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