Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chi Trib leads editorial cheer for Rauner . . .

. . . in full throat, and to good effect.
Dear Gov. Rauner: You may be the last, best chance to protect Illinois' future. . . . . The spring session has been Madigan and Cullerton's time. Now it's your time. You come across as a patient man who knows he was elected to govern for four years, not just the first five months. You also come across as a focused man. A governor who won't flinch.
 This must gall the hell out of Dems. In his town hall sessions in 2013, the heart of a book I am putting together about Blue Illinois as argued by Ruling Party minions, Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park took early shots at the Trib as having "bashed the heart out of us."

Now here the once self-proclaimed "world's greatest newspaper" (WGN was its sister radio and later TV stations), does a great job of taking the fight to the Dems.
Madigan and Cullerton thrive when their foes are playing their game — striving for popularity, arm-twisting for votes, fussing over who wins the news cycle. They do skirmishes well. They haven't faced a governor who does wars.
They "scold you for pitting your demands for . . . reforms against their demands for high spending. Their minions keep whining that the budget process is sacrosanct — you shouldn't use it as a tool."

Perish the thought.
The paradox is that, for decades, they've used the budget as their tool for rewarding and punishing and getting their way. But, as of 2015, a budget can't be leveraged? Is that so.
It can, Trib says, with veto amendatory or complete, even in the face of summer-long resistance or state-employee strike.
We aren't spoiling for a long, hot summer or a strike. But if they come, we trust you'll use the campaign funds you control to explain to the people of Illinois that there aren't enough taxpayers, or enough stupid employers, to stay in Illinois and fund its governments' enormous overhead. Other states offer better cost-benefit ratios — and without all the politicians' relatives on the payroll.
Whoa. Hardball with money. Let 'em read and hear about it. Voters can be persuaded. Pressure can be pumped up. The stakes are high enough.
The Madigan-Cullerton strategy here couldn't be clearer: to obstruct any and all reforms, to vilify you for four years, and to install some malleable flunky in the governor's office.
Rauner is free to sit and watch, "keep calm and stand pat." He didn't take the job to horse around, "but to revive the moribund Illinois of Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and ... their followers."

That's not quite a St. Crispin's Day speech, but it's not bad either. "And their followers" is good. I've watched and listened to some of them barely making sense in meeting after meeting, Impossible, I've told myself. Incredible. The nonsense of it. About which more later.