By DOUG IBENDAHL • January 10, 2013
Samuel Johnson famously declared that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” That was in 1775. He was clearly talking about the charlatans who try to cloak their bad acts under the guise of something else.
Today we have Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady attempting to wrap himself in the legacy of Abraham Lincoln after Brady was caught lobbying against the GOP Platform without telling Republicans first.
In response to widespread Republican outrage, Brady now says, “If people want to throw me out because I took a stand on an issue of discrimination as the chairman of the Republican Party, the party founded by Abraham Lincoln, then that’s – that’s up to them and they’re free to do it.”
Well I’ve got news for you Pat – no one will ever confuse you with Honest Abe.
Lincoln once observed, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Well now we’ve got Pat Brady, one of the most divisive officials in our party’s history. And just as Lincoln warned, the Illinois GOP has crumbled under Brady’s chairmanship.
Brady claims he’s long felt that it was wrong, on both moral and political grounds, for the Republican Party to oppose same-sex marriage.
But does anyone honestly believe that if Mitt Romney had won in November that Brady would be taking this position now? The same Mitt Romney who ran on the position that marriage only exists between one man and one woman, and the same Mitt Romney who Brady supported without question?
Similarly, would Brady be siding with Barack Obama and the Democrats now on gay marriage if the Illinois GOP hadn’t lost nearly every race there was to lose in November?
Of course not.
Brady is merely trying to distract from the fact the November election catastrophe was a direct result of his mismanagement. Brady hopes a gullible press corps will provide cover and help divert blame to the GOP base.
If Brady has truly felt strongly about gay marriage for a long time as he claims, the place for him to have made his case was in Tinley Park at the Republican State Convention back in June. That’s when Illinois Republicans were assembled and that’s when the Platform was drafted and approved.
But Brady never said a peep on gay marriage or any other social issue at the State Convention, which only comes around every four years.
Instead, Brady’s only concern in June was overseeing a rigged affair to ensure that rank-and-file Republicans remained voteless and voiceless in their own party. Brady expects us to believe he’s really upset that same sex couples are prevented from getting married. Meanwhile if a gay person does join the Republican Party in Illinois, he or she shouldn’t have a vote according to Pat Brady.
Like Andy McKenna before him, Brady spent most of his tenure as chairman trying to keep Republicans from voting. Then when Republicans don’t vote or volunteer he wonders why and looks for excuses.
There are many reasons why Pat Brady must go. His sneaking around behind Republicans’ backs and pushing the Democrats’ agenda is only the most recent offense.
Pat Brady is a man who doesn’t even believe in equality when it comes to his own party. His pathetic attempt to hide behind Lincoln, a true leader who actually understood civil rights and equality, is Brady’s most disgusting act to date.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.