THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE MARK KIRK…. There are plenty of conservative Republican lawmakers I find perplexing, but that’s generally because I struggle to relate to their worldview and the way in which they process information. When it comes to Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois, however, I just don’t understand what he’s thinking.

Here’s Kirk on Monday

Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk says he’s inclined to vote for a $26 billion jobs bill that Democrats are pushing.

Kirk is a congressman from Chicago’s northern suburbs. He was headed back to Washington for Tuesday’s vote on the bill, which is expected to keep teachers as well as state and local government workers from losing their jobs.

On Monday, Kirk called the measure deficit neutral and said it would keep teachers in the classroom.

…and here’s Kirk literally one day later.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk voted against a $26 billion jobs bill Tuesday, a day after signaling he would vote for it.

On Monday, Kirk told reporters in Chicago that he was “inclined” to support the Democratic-backed legislation that provides aid to schools and states because it included cuts that made it “deficit-neutral and would keep teachers in the classroom.”

But the five-term North Shore congressman said upon closer inspection, he decided to vote against it because he thinks it will increase the federal deficit.

Look, this isn’t complicated. The Congressional Budget Office found that the state-aid jobs bill would reduce the deficit — that’s not a typo; reduce the deficit — by $1.4 billion over the next decade. Voting against it because of deficit concerns doesn’t make any sense.

And on Monday, Kirk seemed to understand this. The bill didn’t change, and those teachers’ jobs still needed saving. Citing deficit concerns doesn’t make any sense when voting on a bill that, as Kirk noted the day before, doesn’t increase the deficit.

It’s enough to make one wonder if there’s just something wrong with Mark Kirk. I don’t necessarily mean that to be snarky; it’s just that the things he says and does are so odd, his decisions seem inexplicable.

When describing his own background, Kirk seems to tell falsehoods almost uncontrollably. When it comes to his personal life, Kirk’s ex-wife recently argued that the congressman is being controlled by a right-wing “Svengali figure” who was responsible for breaking up their marriage.

It’s not unreasonable for voters to wonder if Kirk would be better off in therapy than in the Senate.

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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.