Buyers remorse is a fascinating phenomenon in that it only occurs when the purchaser places the premise for their happiness on the shiny new item they’re about to acquire.
But instead of finally concluding the emotional rush generated by a material object will always be ephemeral, our intrepid buyer will inevitably decide that, like any other addiction, the next big ticket item will provide the panacea.
If they only realized that no single thing, person or situation will ever provide the path to nirvana, they’d already be there.
And so it is with the bloom rapidly fading from Bruce Rauner’s formerly deep red Republican rose.
You see, those GOP folks who thought Bruce was going to bring Scott Walker sexy back to Illinois, are a little more than miffed over his sudden TV commercial left turn. And my terse response to them would be, “But Bruce Rauner’s never been the raging conservative you so desperately need him to be.”
Just like our aforementioned shopaholic, this process starts with the conservative notion that this will finally be the candidate to bring balance to the force! Why! They’re gonna be the bleepin’ next Ronald Reagan!
But because no one can come close to that biblical savior equivalent, conservatives insist upon changing “it” candidates faster than CNN changes Flight 307 theories. Think about it. Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindahl, John McCain, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and I could go on.
Rand Paul is the only one showing signs of “getting it” and all that “moderating” got him was a rather chilly Texas reception. For god’s sake! Ronald Reagan wasn’t even Ronald Reagan.
So we’ve go two problems.
The first is, since disavowing conservatives of their epic mythology notion never works out too well, we will always have candidates like Rauner who happily play to the desperate GOP primary crowd. It’s so easy to say the “magic words” that even someone of his vast arrogance can pull it off.
Simply spout something like you don’t believe in evolution and you’re in! Saying you’ll “shake up” Springfield really isn’t a plan!
Which brings us to our second quandary. Per that Romney camp “etch-a-sketch” quip, with the general election in plain sight, these nominees suddenly have to come flying back to the center to win. But it’s awfully hard to do that when you’ve already said some really stupid shit to energize your base who’s gettin’ ready to pounce on you at that first perceived slight.
So when Rauner started running commercials extolling his capacity to play well with Illinois Democrats, not the least of which is his lovely wife, the echo chamber dove deep into a buyer remorse depression from which they won’t likely recover.
What they utterly refuse to see is the stark reality that no Illinois Republican will win a statewide race without that crossover vote because you can’t gerrymander a state! And this right wing disappointment feedback loop is making it impossible for reasonable conservatives to win and start the recovery process.
No! They want it all right now and they won’t settle for anything less!
So until and unless conservatives realize that politics, just like that sacred pursuit of happiness, is a journey in which political progress is always measured in small steps, Illinois will stay as blue as that bright summer Springfield sky.
With Rutherford knocked out of the race, State Sen. Kirk Dillard would’ve been a much better choice. He knows the personalities, he understands how the game is played, he realizes that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and he can actually spell the word “compromise.” Not to mention he could actually win.
But he wasn’t pure enough! He didn’t cling to those conservative tenets with a death grip, he didn’t cater to the wingnuts, and he’s one of those dreaded “career politicians.” But sometimes it takes a career politician to unravel a decades long mess.
And now they’re stuck with Bruce who’s chances of a November victory are sinking even faster than those hapless spring Chicago Cubs.
The moral of our story? It’s Illinois voters – not the politicians – who’ve created the current mess because as long as conservatives think someone will come along and save us from ourselves, nothing will change.
Especially the governor.