IF THIS IS THEIR IDEA OF A MODERATE…. Rep. Mark Kirk (R), currently running for the Senate in Illinois, has come under some fire from the right for his alleged moderation. His decision to vote for a cap-and-trade bill in June, for example, led to widespread outrage in conservative circles. (Kirk has since changed his mind and now opposes the bill he voted for.)

The Illinois Republican is also known for moderation on social issues, most notably gay rights. Kirk, for example, was the lead GOP co-sponsor on an expanded hate-crimes bill, and is on record supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This, of course, is also anathema to the Republican Party’s base.

So, as his Senate campaign gets underway, Kirk feels it’s necessary to abandon the moderate image he worked hard to cultivate. (thanks to reader G.K. for the tip)

He supports continuing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays serving in the military.

“I think it’s worked out well,” he said. “Keeping that all out of the workplace makes common sense.”

I have no idea what this means. For one thing, as Matt Finkelstein explained, DADT hasn’t “worked out well” at all. Just the opposite is true — it’s become an inexplicable embarrassment.

For another, for someone who’s endorsed ENDA to say it’s “common sense” to “keep that all out of the workplace” is truly ridiculous.

By the way, in the same interview, Kirk endorsed sending tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan because Illinois is home to “the tallest building in North America.”

As far as the House Republican caucus is concerned, Mark Kirk is a “moderate”?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.