I’m seeing a lot of opinion pieces chortling over a moribund Republican Party, identifying Republicans as the root of all evil, and the like. I have frequently been taken to task by other Democrats by not being as anti-Republican as they.

I believe that if they were sitting where I am, in the state with the lowest credit rating, in the city with the lowest credit rating, with the school system with the lowest credit rating, they might see things more as I do. Here in Illinois in Chicago whatever problems the Republican Party has are largely irrelevant to our problems. The Illinois Republican Party has been supine and, frankly, nuts for the last 20 years but they have practically no role in Illinois’s problems. Even when Bruce Rauner captured the governor’s mansion it didn’t mark a resurgence of Republicans—he did it under his own steam.

If there weren’t a single Republican in Illinois, we’d have all the same problems we do now, just without Republicans to blame for them. A string of incompetent, corrupt, criminal, or all three Democratic governors, mayors, and legislative leadership have driven Illinois one rating agency downgrade from being unable to borrow at all, forced to limit spending to actual revenues in a state with a dwindling tax base.

People talk about the Californication of the United States but before that happens we’ll probably be Illinoised.

4 comments… add one
  • steve Link

    We need a party to balance the Democrats. I always split my ticket between the two parties when I vote. Having an unopposed party in charge is a danger regardless of which party is in charge.

    I really do not understand this cult of personality thing with the Republicans. I just cant bring myself to believe that any politician is indispensable. Anyway, maybe the few Republicans who actually believe in smaller govt will someday embrace the idea that taxes and revenue out to pretty much match each other. I could be a Republican again, maybe.


  • Grey Shambler Link

    On the other hand, you’d be hard pressed to find a Democrat running on a balanced budget agenda.
    The social justice measures promised by Democrats have pretty much been accomplished in Chicago. Equal rights, inclusiveness, political correctness, Black power at city hall and at the P.D.
    Their racist Republican enemies have been routed completely.
    If power is success, they have it in spades. That’s politics.
    Mere money is the province of the heartless, greedy Republicans, that’s the narrative. Never let go of the narrative.
    IOW, these are only growing pains on the path towards the perfect society, a little financial speedbump.

  • Andy Link

    Anti-partisanship is a concept that I identify with. I have never liked either party, still don’t, and really can’t see myself changing in that regard.

    But I’m also a realist and understand that for a variety of historical and systemic reasons, we will be saddled with these two parties whether I like it or not. So I want them both to be the best that they can be, to have the biggest coalitions they can with room for real viewpoint diversity.

    The reality has been the opposite. The GoP, in particular, is augering-in spectacularly with the current civil war between the Trumpist faction and everyone else. I tend to think the Democrats are going to follow them down that path, especially now that Trump is no longer President.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    “Anti-partisanship ”

    But if you’re in the business, and politics is a business, you have to play to win. There is another way, but it takes more talent.
    Our past Governor and Senator, Ben Nelson, knew how to play the middle. I used to enjoy his weekly radio call-in program. He would always politely listen, then proclaim that the caller was absolutely right. After flattering them he went on to explain where they were wrong. Worked every time.
    One of several democrats who were successful in a red state.

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