On Clowns, Nazis, and a Fringe Movement Called the Chicago GOP - NBC Chicago
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On Clowns, Nazis, and a Fringe Movement Called the Chicago GOP



     Like the Cubs, the Chicago Republican Party has been having a bad century.

    The photo of a bare-breasted woman on ChicagoGOP.com was just more evidence that, within the city limits, Republicanism is as much of a fringe movement as the Green Party, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, or those cute folks who think the world is flat.

    Chicago’s last Republican mayor was Big Bill Thompson, who was elected with the help of Al Capone, and set such a high standard for corruption that he is now considered the worst big-city mayor in American history.

    The Republicans’ last-ever mayoral candidate was Ray Wardingley, who had a part-time job entertaining children as “Spanky the Clown.” Wardingley lost decisively to Mayor Daley in 1995. After that, the state legislature put the GOP out of its misery, ending partisan elections for mayor.

    Wardingley, however, did not go away. He ran for Congress against Bobby Rush in 2000, and Dan Lipinski in 2006. (Wardingley’s primary opponent that year was a former member of the Illinois Nazi Party, which caused one local activist to sigh, “we have such a lack of Republican leadership in the 3rd District that we have a clown versus a Nazi.”)

    The Chicago Republican Party’s latest embarrassment is Lumi Boldovici, who posted the bare-breasted photo atop an article about John Edwards’s mistress, Rielle Hunter.

    Boldovici is described on the ChicagoGOP website as “an incredible person with a fantastic story to tell. She grew up in Communist Romania. She saw the destructive policies and grinding poverty caused by socialism. She immigrated to the US with great personal expense because she sought freedom. She is the most strident free-market advocate I have met. She is truly concerned the US is devolving into a socialist state.”

    There is only one Republican on the City Council: Brian Doherty, whose 41st Ward can’t quite decide whether it’s a Chicago neighborhood or a suburb. And even the 41st Ward voted for Barack Obama for president. There are cells of young Republicans on the lakefront, but most of them brought their politics from the suburbs where they grew up, and will take those politics right back to the suburbs as soon as they get married.

    After they move away, there’s nothing left to represent the GOP but clowns and Nazis. And now boobs.