Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois is not letting the outrage over the Planned Parenthood videos get in the way of his being a good GOP centrist. He has no plans to “cut access to basic health care and contraception for women, the majority of whom have on other resources.” That means he will not support any conservative efforts to defund PP on the hill. Apparently, his moderate bi-partisan stance assures, or at least provides a fighting chance, that the GOP will retain the senate seat in an arguably blue, but possibly red, state. And that’s what counts, as Republican party fundraiser Ron Gidwitz found out this week when he had to do a 180 degree turn after criticizing Kirk for some of his comments. Gidwitz was concerned that “misstatements” by senator Kirk could cause “collateral damage” to other GOP candidates on the ballot.

Whether Gidwitz was also concerned about Kirk’s lack of conservative credentials is doubtful. Back in May of 2013, Gidwitz lashed out at conservative state GOP members’ ousting of Pat Brady, then Illinois Republican Chairman. The issue was Brady’s advocacy of policies that ran directly against the GOP platform. So, Gidwitz – who has managed a fistful of failed gubernatorial campaigns – is firmly GOP establishment and his fuss over Kirk has to do with Kirk’s recent Trump-like comments. Not with the actual principles behind the pro-life versus pro-choice debate. It’s all about not being conservative – and not too too Republican either – in order to retain or gain seats in Illinois. Gidwitz is establishment – but local establishment – who angered the beltway establishment who have a Kirk or bust attitude to the senate seat that Mark Kirk now holds rather precariously. So whether Kirk is still senator in 2017 or a Democrat ends up winning the seat, you can be sure that whoever holds the seat, they will not vote for de-funding of Planned Parenthood.