Quick Hits – February 24, 2016

It ain’t all on the Republicans

After reading the Febuary 22nd edition of Quick Hits, a conservative friend of mine charged me with letting those Springfield supermajority Democrats completely off the dismal state of the State hook. While I certainly understand his contention, I did remind him that, especially in my generally non-ideological writing case, it’s important to take my entire body of work into account before formulating such an opinion.

He may be correct when he says I’m a little harder on Rauner these days, but just as Republicans insist upon holding the President’s feet to the fire, the blame for a failed policy ultimately lies with the Governor, not with the minions. And Governors Edgar and Thompson seem to agree.

But that hard truth in no way absolves the Democrats from their role in shoving the State of Illinois to the brink of the fiscal abyss. So let’s discuss!

 

Illinois Pensions

 

The Sith Lord still reigns!

I may fault Rauner for his lack of unravelling a mess understanding, but if there’s one person responsible for all the “raveling,” it’s Darth Madigan. Springfield Democrats don’t get elected without his blessing, nothing hits the floor without his express written consent, and he’s certainly not admired for his magnanimous and forgiving nature.

He isn’t about to change anytime soon because there’s no reason for him to change. If anyone truly thinks Jason Gonzales is going to unseat the Speaker, I would entreat their significant other to lock up the liquor cabinet.

So yes! There is an intractable object in Illinois that’s making real change a ifficult proposition.

 

Just because you can take advantage of a situation doesn’t mean you should

My favorite TV judge, Marilyn Milian, likes to interject that thought into cases and it certainly fits here.

Darth Madigan didn’t have to turn the dark side. He didn’t have to game a system that not only lets him write the property tax laws, but head a law firm that fights those assessments. No one knows exactly what his net worth it, but I’m sure he’s not brown bagging it.

So when is enough money enough? When do you realize that there will come a time when all you have left is your legacy? Can an ego be so massive that leaving a scorched and burnt state is more important than making an effort to solve some serious problems?

Other than because he can, there’s no good reason for the Speaker to continue to go down this destructive path.

 

Ends meet

 

It ain’t just Madigan either

As much as I blame the Republicans for failing to provide the antidote to the Springfield supermajority, the Democrats are equally complicit. This Boss Madigan phenomenon didn’t develop overnight which makes it hard to believe that some adult in some room somewhere didn’t have the foresight to say, “This much power in one man’s hands cannot be good for the party.”

And now it’s too late to say it as State Rep Ken Dunkin just discovered. Duncan, the man who singlehandedly denied the Speaker’s autumn veto override attempts, may have a lot of Rauner money behind him, but given what Madigan’s crew is doing to him, I wouldn’t be counting on his reelection anytime soon.

The fact that the Governor’s strong arm tactics make Democratic dissent even more difficult notwithstanding, Illinois needs a significant group of Democratic legislators to come forward and say, “The State of Illinois is more important than my job.”

I’d bet dollars to donuts that the disenchantment with the Speaker runs far deeper than folks like McHenry State Rep Jack Franks and Mr. Duncan. The fact that Rauner makes it harder to speak out is ultimately no excuse when the time comes to do the reasonable and right thing.

Quick Hits

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