How Bruce Rauner could “Shake up Springfield”

raunerCongratulations, Governor Rauner. Having gained barely 50% of the vote, you are about to become Illinois’ first Republican Governor in more than a decade. That’s the good news for the Illinois GOP…all of it. Here’s the rest of the picture.

You were the only Republican to win statewide. Democrats retained their veto-proof majority in the State Assembly. You have no political leverage, no established constituency in either party or in any geography, and no experience in Springfield.

Investing heavily in an effort to gain a foothold in Chicago’s black neighborhoods was a great idea for the 2014 campaign, but it failed. Your support in the black wards was about as close to zero as it is possible to get in politics. Remember Rev. Meeks? You won 3% in his home ward. Earning black votes will take more than showing up. To be credible, you will have to change the Republican narrative in a meaningful way.

Your opponent in the last election was astoundingly unpopular and ineffective. As the second most vulnerable Republican Governor in the country (that guy in Maryland is out in front by a mile), you can be certain to draw a strong challenger in 2018. Unless you can figure out what failed in Chicago, and do it soon, it is difficult to imagine how you can hope to influence Illinois politics in the slightest manner before prematurely returning to private life in 2019.

Perhaps what Illinois Republicans need is a man with nothing to lose.

What if there was one move that might fix what failed in your 2014 campaign? What if that move could also scramble the poles of Illinois’ partisan alignments so dramatically that the whole structure might crack? What if that one move cost $0 and bypassed Madigan and Cullerton entirely, requiring no action by the State Assembly? Would you be willing to do something honest, courageous and impossibly bold that might change everything for Illinois, reshape partisan politics, and brighten your fortunes in Chicago and Springfield while costing you nothing?

Gov. Rauner, do I have your attention?

Within a few weeks of the inauguration and prior to the debut of your legislative agenda, go to Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood. Stand up in front of the cameras and tell the truth about what happened to that neighborhood. Speak honestly about blockbusting, redlining, the Contract Buyers League, and the institutional racism that looted an entire generation of black wealth, turned working class whites into suburban refugees, and transformed a thriving Chicago neighborhood into a war zone.

That’s all. No need to use that platform to announce a policy initiative or donate money to a credit union. No need for an awkward apology. You did not commit the acts that ruined Lawndale and you can’t change what happened. Just say what everyone in Chicago already knows but no Republican, and few white Democrats, will openly acknowledge.

It sounds like a small thing, but if it was a small thing the idea wouldn’t make you so uneasy. In fact, such a move would be huge, so huge that it could recast everything you propose to do in Springfield and change the basic premise that defines partisan alignments in Illinois.

Republican orthodoxy states that Chicago’s black wards are poor because of government anti-poverty programs and a “culture” that “traps” them in poverty. This is convenient, false and insulting. It is convenient because it implies a policy response that fits wider Republican priorities. It is insulting because it blames the victims for conditions we placed them in. It is false because only a lie can shield us from confronting a shameful history.

Needless to say, it is a dead appeal and standing next to Rev. Meeks will not cover its odor. Whether you embrace that ideology or not, it will hang around your neck next to your Republican label unless you reject it explicitly.

Any plan you may have to impose fiscal discipline in Springfield will require you to weaken the power of public employee unions. Any plan you may have to bring hope and economic progress to Chicago will force you to confront an entrenched city bureaucracy that traps Chicago’s low income families in permanently under-performing schools.

In both battles you will be cast as the disinterested wealthy tourist threatening to destroy institutions that protect the livelihoods of working class union households. Fail to change the narrative and you will accomplish nothing and return promptly to the private sector.

Unions provide workers with higher incomes and job security. They impose costs not only in wages, but in inertia, making it difficult for a unionized industry to adapt to changing conditions and serve its customers Traditionally the costs of a union are born by wealthy capital owners and the benefits flow to lower income workers who otherwise have little access to power and limited opportunities to support their families.

Now turn those conditions around. What happens when the beneficiaries of the union are college educated, sophisticated white collar workers and the people bearing the cost of unionization are politically powerless and economically exploited? What happens now is what happened then. African-Americans and other low-income, under-represented constituencies find themselves on the losing end of the bargain.

Telling the truth about what happened in Lawndale and elsewhere across Chicago in the age of blockbusting opens the door to a very different narrative about the challenges Chicago faces now. Back then African-Americans with no reliable access to justice were systematically looted by cynical realtors and lenders. Working white families with little money and little access to justice were victimized right along with them as their racist fears were exploited and their neighborhoods torn apart.

The culprit back then was conventional racism, aided by laws and institutions that blocked African-Americans from gaining access to justice. Talking about what happened in Lawndale half a century ago opens the door to understanding one of the most miserably frustrating political and economic problems of our time – racism without racists.

What traps minority students in underperforming Chicago public schools is best understood as institutional racism. There might not be one person in the entire Chicago bureaucracy who possesses a deliberate intention to victimize black students, yet those students are smothered under the weight of institutions that devalue and disenfranchise them for their race while serving the interests of others.

Every family in Chicago’s collar counties takes for granted the influence they possess over their local schools. They can select and replace school board members from their neighborhoods. A Chicago family has no similar influence over their schools. Board members are all appointed by the Mayor of America’s third-largest city. No ordinary Chicago family is going to influence a board member’s replacement by hosting a candidate coffee in their living room as their suburban peers regularly do.

Black families in Lawndale in the Fifties and Sixties had their capital and power drained away to serve the interests of real estate speculators. Black families in Lawndale today have their access to the lowest rungs of our economic ladder lifted away from them to protect the interests of bureaucratic institutions that feed on their disenfranchisement. What happened in Lawndale then is what’s happening in Lawndale now. So why do Republicans find this so difficult to discuss?

Comedian Chris Rock once said that black Americans have a very complex relationship to patriotism. America for them is like the uncle who paid their way through college, but molested them. For too many years Republicans have been like the family who invites the rapist to Thanksgiving while hushing up what happened. It helps everyone avoid an ugly confrontation, but the truth seethes and the victims continue to suffer.

Republicans do not need this legacy. Democrats bear far more direct responsibility for discrimination and its aftermath. Here in Illinois they still benefit from that heritage. Tell the truth and break the cycle.

Let’s be clear, you need not mention unions or CPS or any specific policy position in your Lawndale speech. It is better that you don’t. The theme of that speech can be both historical and forward looking without tying it to a specific agenda. The gravity of the moment will come from seeing a wealthy white Republican finally stand up in broad daylight and acknowledge that systematic looting, not welfare or rap music, decimated Chicago’s old black middle class.

When Reagan visited the Berlin Wall he didn’t introduce any radical new policy positions or make any threats. The simple observations he shared were only remarkable for the refusal of so many others in power to candidly acknowledge them.

Let others connect the dots. Such a speech could gain national attention while laying the groundwork for a new narrative. In a State Assembly over which you have no influence and lack the power to even carry a veto, you could effectively challenge Speaker Madigan to “tear down this wall.” In so doing, you might open up new avenues for credible Republican urban policy and transform the political relationship between minority groups and the dense, unaccountable bureaucracies that “serve” them.

Governor Rauner, in your campaign you promised to “Shake up Springfield.” You earned your shot, just barely. Go big or go home.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Civil Rights, Race, Republican Party, Welfare State
66 comments on “How Bruce Rauner could “Shake up Springfield”
  1. Some Fool In Illinois says:

    Why don’t you go terrorize public universities in some other state or just pass out the cyanide pills? Every few years it’s the same damn drill. I have a job that pays very close to the average salary. Everyone concerned agrees I’m good at it. Some of you probably hate the fact that I like it. Not everyone here is tenured or has seniority rights. I hope Governor Goon comes for your job next. And stop pretending that your state taxes are so high and do a honest comparison.

  2. cjfarls says:

    Thanks Lifer. As a former GOP supporter who can’t stomach where the party has gone the past 10-20 years, its nice to know there are some folks remaining on the “right” with some empathy for others, appreciation for facts and history, and rational thought. I look forward to the day when GOP leaders take actions, symbolic as it may be, such as the one you propose here… they might just get me coming back if they do. Sadly I’m not holding my breath while waiting for that to happen, as it doesn’t seem to be anytime soon.

  3. briandrush says:

    Lifer has recognized something in this blog that few others in either party will recognize: that the Democrats and Republicans changed places in the 20th century, beginning in the 1930s, accelerating in the 1940s and 1960s (the Eisenhower administration retarded the process in the 1950s but the effect didn’t last), completing its main elements in the 1980s, and resulting in a GOP death spiral today.

    From the end of the Civil War until the onset of the Depression, Democrats were the party of the South. They had some appeal to immigrants in the northeast, but seldom enough to win a presidential election. The Democrats were also the party of racism, while the GOP was out in front on issues of civil rights, racial equality, women’s rights and suffrage, and even workers’ rights. The Republicans consistently won the Northeast, the upper Midwest, the mountain states, and the West Coast.

    During these years, with 16 presidential elections, the Dems won 4. And two of those (1912 and 1916) they should have lost. 1912 went to Woodrow Wilson only because Theodore Roosevelt ran on a third party ticket and spoiled things. If Wilson had lost in 1912, he’d have lost in 1916, too (if he even ran again). But every one of those elections saw the Democrats win the south big time — even when (as usually happened) they lost the election.

    In the 1930s and 1940s, the Democrats switched position on racial equality. Harry Truman desegregated the armed forces and provoked outrage in his own party. In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act and the Democratic South felt betrayed. (Lest anyone resurrect the misleading observation that more Republicans in Congress voted for the CRA than Democrats, note that the Democrats who voted against it were Southerners; exclude them, on the grounds that today they would be Republicans, and many more Democrats than Republicans supported it. Nonetheless, it’s true that a majority of Republicans voted for it — which shows how much the party has changed since then.)

    In the 1970s, Richard Nixon inaugurated the “Southern strategy” that aimed at taking the South away from the Democrats. It worked, but amounted to a poisoned dinner. Today, the GOP is in the same position as the Democrats were in the late 19th century w/r/t presidential elections: barring an electoral miracle, they can’t win.

    What’s worse is that the South is becoming less and less Southern. The Republican base, reduced to angry Southern white men who want to “take their country back” (which means resurrecting their old race-based privileges), is getting smaller and smaller. Either the GOP will return to its Lincoln/Roosevelt roots, updated to modern times and issues, or it will go the way of the Whigs.

    Lifer is clearly hoping for the first outcome. I would, too. If the second one happens, though, we won’t end up with a one-party state for long. The Democrats will split, and the conservatives among them (real conservatives, not misnamed loony wackos) will become a new party, or else the progressive Democrats will do so. Either way, we’ll have, eventually, a healthy progressive/conservative dialogue, and the angry Southern white males who currently make up the GOP base will find themselves denied any significant representation in the national government, as they approach the end of their lives with no one to replace them.

    Until then, we have a paralyzed government at the national level, and the only significant reform and progress is happening at the state level or internationally. That can’t last, and hopefully we’ll survive the journey.

  4. BigWilly says:

    The WI GOP is a closed kingdom for me. In general the GOP is closed to me, and people like me.

    I really have no interest in being told “You’re the fuckin’ problem with this country.” Kubrick fans go back to your closets. The GOP will have none of it.

    What can I say? You’ve got your highly credentialed pseudo intellectuals to tell you the lies you long to hear. Go to hell. Don’t let me get in the way.

  5. CaptSternn says:

    Well, you are really obsessed with all of this, Lifer. I have no real interest in Illinois politics, but your hatred of white people runs far deeper than I had ever imagined, and your view of black people is really twisted. You push your “white guilt” beyond any level of sanity or reality. It appears that you have some real deep seated racist feelings and issues and you project them on everybody else.

    Here is a bit of reality, there are people that don’t care about their neighborhoods, their property, and it all goes to trash. There are people that do care, and their neighborhoods are clean and well kept, even if they are older neighborhoods with no HOAs. Skin color does not dictate which is which.

    Stop trying to oppress “minorities” and viewing them as inferior. And stop excusing people based on the color of their skin, or blaming people based on the color of their skin. Only racists are obsessed with skin color or ethnicity.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Ok, trying to read through all this mess and make replies, but the depth of deliberate ignorance and racism is just a bit too much for me to digest and deal with tonight.

      These people vote and that is why we have what we have now. Vote based on emotion and whatever they make up as they go.

      I still have some hope. Republicans take control about a month from now, and I have hope that they will understand what the tea party movement has granted them and that they will government in that manner.

      If they do so over the next 12 to 18 months, they have a really good chance in 2016 of gaining the oval office and more seats in the house and senate. If that happens, the nation as a whole will be better off. If they tack left again and side with democrats and stand against the tea party movement, the democrats will win and more damage will be done.

      The scary thing is that Lifer is actually reaching people, making a statement. And that statement is, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” And that white people are bad.

      Meh.

      • johngalt says:

        “…the depth of deliberate ignorance…”

        Well, you would be an expert in that.

      • Crogged says:

        Resolved: addressing race is racism, unless you are accusing someone else of addressing the issue of race. Next on Meet the Press, Tea Party Candidate Ted Cruz discusses the Marxism behind city utility services.

      • texan5142 says:

        Crogged says:
        December 3, 2014 at 7:26 am
        “Next on Meet the Press, Tea Party Candidate Ted Cruz discusses the Marxism behind city utility services.”

        This.

    • goplifer says:

      Word of advice Captn, adapted from Tropic Thunder. Never go full racist.

  6. Manhattan says:

    That was a good talk goplifer, hopefully he’ll go by his word and not talk like a wingnut and maybe win re-election.

  7. rightonrush says:

    I get so sick and tired of the ignorant racism. “It’s a very un-Christmas like Facebook post.

    An image of a Klu Klux Klan member standing with hands folded. The words, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” emblazoned on the image”

    What may be even more disturbing, is the post was sent out by Hooks Independent School District board member Chris Harris.
    http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/story/d/story/hooks-isd-board-member-in-trouble-over-racial/10940/z10cBCqVoU6oXNDrkTB_zA

    • Crogged says:

      Let’s say the KKK started on January 1, 1865 (according to Wikipedia there are 3 separate movements constituting the “klan”): which was 149 years, 11 months, 1 day ago.

      149 years later……

    • CaptSternn says:

      David Duke, Grand Wizard of the KKK, Democrat.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        David Duke, Republican since 1989, according to Wikepedia.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Wikipedia. Please excuse the misspelling.

      • CaptSternn says:

        As late as 2012 Duke was endorsing democrats. But most likely due to their anti-Zionist views.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        When all is said and done, political labels or affiliations don’t mean much anyway. Just as you say we focus too much on skin color, I say we focus too much on political labels. I would go by the actions of the politician.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “I would go by the actions of the politician.”

        And party platform.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…your party platform has been a pretty scary document for a long, long time.

        I thought the general narrative was that the GOP/TP platform was a bunch of red meat to the base, but now it seems that it is something you believe.

      • johngalt says:

        Damn, Sternn, even Tutt isn’t buying it. That ought to be a wake up call.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, John, that is the typical misogynistic view that the left usually displays. Looking down on women and “minorities” as inferior. I don’t share those views of yours. But you, Lifer, HT and others fall right in line with those ideas. That is what separates us, among other things.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I was living in Louisiana in 1989 when David Duke was a REPUBLICAN State Representative from Metairie ( a White suburb of New Orleans) and when he was campaigning for Governor in 1991 as a REPUBLICAN and won the majority of the White vote. David Duke was a Republican courting the core Republican constituency in the South. He just decided to wear a traditional blue suit instead of a traditional hooded white suit.

        You were wrong again Cappy and no amount of your weasally crabbing to never admit you’re wrong only verifies yet again you have no credibility whatsoever. But keep spewing your nonsensical and embarrassingly pathetic crap Cap. It is at your expense.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, Bubba, I was wrong. Duke did run as a republican, though as of 2012 he stands united with democrats.

        But I was really wrong about the person I was actually talking about. You see, I named David Duke, but I was thinking and talking about Robert Byrd. My mistake caused confusion. There is no excuse. I apologize.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        “I wuz wrong, BUT…

        Jeez Cap you really are THAT pathetically insecure?

      • CaptSternn says:

        I really did confuse David Duke with Robert Byrd, Bubba. I admitted my mistake and apologized, and I don’t even make an excuse for making that mistake.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Sounds like abject mealy mouthed equivocation to me:

        CaptSternn says:
        December 3, 2014 at 7:49 am
        “Yes, Bubba, I was wrong. Duke did run as a republican, though as of 2012 he stands united with democrats [sic].”

        Still pathetically crabbing Cappy. Your dishonesty knows no bounds.

  8. Crogged says:

    It’s funny, the author is in a state where the ‘union’ is a problem with regards to education, and the only complaints regarding ‘unions’ I had with Walker in Wisconsin is the way the police and fire fighter unions were exempt from some of the changes he was able to get done (still think he is mostly an ideologue, but, this may be prejudice more than truth). Big W can weigh in on this.

    Texas has toothless teacher unions–and managed a small victory recently because just a few people cared enough to get organized, remained persistent and faced reality.

    http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/crash-test

  9. stephen says:

    I do not follow Illinois politics. But this post brings to mind Jeb Bush’s public statement that illegal immigration was an act of love. Of course he was attacked immediately and he knew that would happen. But he told an truth so often rejected and ignored. That people come here to feed their family keeping them from starvation. Any man worth his salt will do the same law or no law. And anyone with even the rudiment understanding of economics knows that these people grow the economy and produce more jobs overall.

    We need leaders that will tell us that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny does not exists as real people but are mythology. The white working class myth of the welfare queen does not exist. And the boogie man of the illegal immigrate overwhelming our welfare system and tilting our culture is a myth. These people are here to work. And they are rapidly assimilating and want that. They do not try to vote as they want to keep a low profile as possible to avoid detection and deportation.So all the uproar about voting fraud is nonsense.

    No one is fooled.This is mainly to stop people who vote mainly Democrat from voting. This has alienated that growing block of voters. A more productive strategy would be to win these people over. The GOP used to be a big tent but now are composed of religious zealots, fringe frighten older working class whites (mainly rural southerns or westerners all in decline) , and crony capitalist. No other need apply and are denounced as RINOs. This block of voters are in a demographic down spiral.This is recipe for becoming a regional party that nationally is in permanent minority status.

    I really hope Jeb runs in 2016. But to have a chance he must be able to stick to his common sense positions and make it through our Primary system. If Romney had been able to stick to his winning strategy he used running for the Governor of Massachusetts he would of won the presidency. But he got derailed winning the primary. No one could trust him with the social safety net or the treatment of minorities. I had a big problem with his ability to enact real fiscally conservatism with the House controlled by the radical right. I think he would of capitulated to them. Our party has been a complete failure at that. The Democrats have to our shame done a better job with this issue. Like Mr. Ladd I do not care if I offend our fringe. I too refuse to salute as the bus is driven off the cliff.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      An illegal immigrant has to break the law coming into the country then commit two felonies to get a license and SS# to work. YOU try getting and using a stolen ID and see what you get.

      We do not know if the illegal has any alligience to this country. We do not know if the illegal is healthy. We do not know if this illegal has a criminal past. We do not know anything about the illegal.

      Come into the country legally, like my Grandparents did and they are thoroughly vetted. Which, if you remove the liberal emotion, makes sense.

      And if you think illegals do not overwhelm our safety net systems, you one crazy dude.

      • Crogged says:

        Like your grandparents did–via executive order or legislation conceived to protect soup from spices………..

        http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120438/personal-history-immigration-and-executive-action-america

      • stephen says:

        My home town Orlando Florida has plenty of legal and illegal immigrates. Indeed many of the legal were for a time illegal. So I know from first hand experience what actually happens. My family both sides has been here pre Revolutionary War. But one of the most recent arrivals over a hundred years ago was fleeing justice from Germany. Funny he become a law man here with the reputation of getting his man dead or alive preferably dead. He had the reputation as being one nasty dude. So don’t give me nonsense about the quality of modern immigrates. They are on the whole higher than old native born families immigrates like mine. Georgia was originally a penal colony. As for the last sentence, if an illegal shows up for welfare they are caught and deported. No I am not crazy. But you need to stop believing in myths.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz, please describe, with some degree of narrative detail, this supposed “vetting” that your grandparents received.

        Or is this just more fact-free ranting on your part?

      • Turtles Run says:

        So your grandparents came to this nation when the immigration laws were limited to providing your name, DOB, and country of origin. OK, lets institute that immigration process.

        Seems you are fine with two sets of criteria one in which you benefited and another that keeps those icky people and their spicey foods out.

      • johngalt says:

        ““We do not know if the **illegal** has any alligience [sic] to this country.”

        **Muslim** said Kabuzz in 2001
        **Negro** said Kabuzz’s father in 1960
        **Japanese** said Kabuzz’s grandfather in 1941
        **German** said Kabuzz’s great-grandfather in 1917
        **Pole** said Kabuzz’s great-great-grandfather in 1895
        **Chinese** said Kabuzz’s g-g-g-grandfather in 1881
        **Irish** said Kabuzz’s g-g-g-g-gradfather in 1848

        **white person** said the Native American, staring at one of Kabuzz’s ancestors.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Turtles you haven’t a clue my man.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Lesson 101: How to help the GOP/TP win over the growing group of Hispanic Voters

        Continue to refer to people as “illegals”.

        Sure, many Hispanics (and many non-Hispanics) know acquaintances, friends, relatives, and ancestors (or ancestors of friends and acquaintances) who came to the country illegally. I’m sure no one minds when GOP/TP yahoos dehumanize these acquaintances, friends, and relatives with the term “illegals”.

        I’ve got a few driving tickets on my record, I guess I’m technically an “illegal” too. We have plenty of citizens of the US who are felons, so I guess we need to start calling them “illegals” as well.

        Buzz…I have no doubt you won’t get the concern, but I’m a pudgy lily white middle aged dude, and even I can recognize that some folks might not appreciate the characterization.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Owl – I imagine it went something like this.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Lesson 101: How to help the GOP/TP win over the growing group of Hispanic Voters”

        Continue doing what we are doing. Conservative republicans got almost 50% of the Hispanic vote in 2014.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, Hispanics don’t really have a problem with illegals being called “illegals,” if it’s the truth. Even illegals refer to themselves as such, or as “mojados” (“wet ones”). There’s even a Mexican band.called LOS ILEGALES. There is no particular sensitivity about the word “illegal.” The problem is when anyone with a Hispanic surname is ASSUMED to be or dismissed disdainfully as an “illegal.” And a lot depends on the intent of the speaker.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The problem is not referring to illegals as illegals. The problem is the obsession and incessant focus on them by certain politicians appealing to the baser instincts in some voters — the illegal as bogeyman.

    • rightonrush says:

      I followed the Illinois race mainly because Chris was pulling for Rauner, and because I own a farm in W. Ky just across the Ohio River from Illinois. What impressed me regarding Rauner was his willingness to work with both Dems and Reps. to advance Illinois. Rauner didn’t catered to the crazies of his party, Romney did. Will Jeb? I don’t think he will, however, that remains to be seen.

    • texan5142 says:

      kabuzz61 says:
      December 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm
      “We do not know if the illegal has any alligience to this country. We do not know if the illegal is healthy. We do not know if this illegal has a criminal past. We do not know anything about the illegal.”

      Replace “country” with “state” and one could say the exact same thing about people moving into their state. You moved here from another state, we did not know if you would have any alligience(sic) to this state, or if you were healthy, or had a criminal past.

      • rightonrush says:

        God save us from these wanna be Texans Tex. If you weren’t born here you ain’t a Texan so stop trying to be something you ain’t. Sometimes I think folks like Buzz have to act all up in your face & rhinestone cowboyish because of a smallness determined by his lack of Texas genes (dna if you get my drift) 🙂

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Actually I am proud of Pennsylvania which provided many leaders that determined we should live free and not under rule of a faraway king. But I am also impressed with Texas’ history and since my son and grandson are Texan’s I am quite literally ‘grandfathered in’.

        Texan, your comparison is apples and donuts.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        So Buzz…your son is an “anchor baby” by which you are claiming you are grandfathered in as a Texan?

        I’m going to need to see your papers.

      • rightonrush says:

        I bet Pennsylvania is glad to be shed of Buzz. Maybe Tom Corbett will join Buzz and his band of merry wanna be a cowboy here in Texas. Why not, the IQ level of Texas went down at least 5 points when Buzz “migrated”. Texan5142 you need to come on back to help get the IQ level back up! You too Chris, and bring Stephen with ya!

      • kabuzz61 says:

        RonR, you are in a particularly foul mood my man. What happened? Someone find out you make up half or more of the crap you post?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I think anyone from just across the border, like Louisiana or Mexico, should be considered an honorary Texan.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Criminals using the excuse that they rob banks, shoplift and commit other crimes because they love their families? Really? Here is a clue, if you love your family, do not put your family in jeopardy by committing crimes and breaking laws. By doing that, they are not only putting their own family in jeopardy, they are harming others and the families of others.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, I’m about to start working on a production of Shakespeare’s *Measure for Measure*.

        Perhaps you should have been cast as Angelo.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Welfare queens exist, and they are a burden on the working class.

      Illegal aliens exist, and they are a burden on our economy and they are criminals.

      Romney was the choice of democrats as he could not win the conservative vote, ensuring Obama’s second term.

      Democrats have done the exact opposite of fiscal conservatism as well as having worked to destroy more of our liberty and rights.

      Democrats are the new regional party. Their permanent majority has been defeated because of their actions and policies and the results.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        But can you prove any of that, Sternn my child?

        Of course not. You’re just offering up overwrought emotional rants describing the way that you WISH the world worked, and using evidence gained solely from the right-wing-media knothole to which you have firmly pressed your eye, rather than simply looking over the fence at the whole sweep of reality.

        It’s really become all you’re capable of lately. You have become a self-parody.

  10. Owl of Bellaire says:

    You’re right, Chris: that would be a great move forward, for both the state and the nation.

    Alas, I suspect it would just marginalize Rauner among his own Republican “base”, leaving him with even less support than he has already. But, as you said, he has nothing to lose. (Except, I guess, whatever tidy post-gubernatorial influence-peddling employment packages the special-interest groups put together these days.)

    Speaking of moves forward — Sternn, please enlighten us: in which states from the “blue wall” would a presidential candidate Cruz offer a significant advantage? Or are you going to continue to run away from defending your own wacky dreams, just like kabuzz does?

    • goplifer says:

      Rauner is already as marginalized from the base as he could possibly be. The downstate base already hates him and barely showed up in November. He was foisted on them by the same collar-county Republicans (me) who gave them Mark Kirk.

      Move from statistical 0 to merely a poor performance, around 18%, in black Chicago neighborhoods and you score a net gain of more than 150K votes. Merely being above zero there would make him untouchable. There is no downside whatsoever.

  11. As usual, your words are inspiring and welcome. Thank you for ensuring that conservatism is still relevant. Personally, I have gravitated toward liberal-agenda politics over the years, but I am ever so grateful that you and your vision exist in conservative circles today.

  12. kabuzz61 says:

    My advice for Gov. Rauner.

    Springfield as a whole and Chicago specifically have been used and abused by a corrupt democrat machine who on the outward appearence seemed to care about the citizens but were more interested in their personal special interests. Thank God there is Louisiana which is the only state more corrupt then yours.

    You sought out black support and what they did was to tell you to go screw yourself we’ll stick with the corrupt party.

    The best choice for you is to no you won. You know what you need to do and how to do it. You don’t need to take advice from democrat’s who in reality want you to fail. Take your win and go strong with it. Like when the GOP finally wrested the governorship from decades of democrat rule. They performed well and their party grew and maintained leadership for almost two decades.

    Be mindful that the democrat’s like to set traps in the guise of ‘doing the right thing’. Don’t fall for it. Do what you said you would do. Take your win and be proud.

    • goplifer says:

      And that’s why he won’t do it. Can’t confront the rapist at the Thanksgiving table. It’s just too miserably uncomfortable. That cowardice is why we’ll all remain trapped in this system.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Chris, it is not cowardice. Both parties look out for themselves first and foremost. It is a way to retire wealthy with great benefits. Our system sucks at this point and I haven’t a clue how to fix it as long as uninformed voters have as much of a say as those that take the time to vet condidates.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Gosh, buzzy, maybe you should propose a literacy test for voting.

        Or insist that the franchise be available only to owners of substantial landed property.

        After all, the latter would be the result of the old-fashioned kind of Constitutional curmudgeonry that you and comic-boy practice.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      kabuzz, as usual your “advice” ignores reality, and does more to expose your own ignorance than to further any sort of adult conversation.

      “Thank God there is Louisiana which is the only state more corrupt then yours.”

      Louisiana is blindingly corrupt, sure. But I’ll still take Mississippi over Illinois for corruption, too, just about any day of the week. And even your fellow fringe Republicans agree: see http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/18549-mississippi-is-the-most-corrupt-state-says-a-new-study — which ought to appeal, since the Tea Party is little but the latest reincarnation of the John Birch Society anyway.

      “Take your win and go strong with it.”

      Sure. Right. And how, pray tell, is Gov. Rauner supposed to do that, exactly? Perhaps your reading skills (honed on writing sentences of your own like “The best choice for you is to no you won.”) missed Chris Ladd’s clear statements in this blog entry about Rauner’s political deficiencies. Statements like, “Democrats retained their veto-proof majority in the State Assembly. You have no political leverage, no established constituency in either party or in any geography, and no experience in Springfield.” That’s paragraph 2: I suppose that was too far for your literacy and intellectual endurance.

      It must be easy to pontificate, buzzy, when you don’t actually have to say anything meaningful. But the Tea Party loves to sketch impossible dreams (like Sternn’s paean to legal discrimination, anywhere and everywhere) and then pout when it turns out that they are, in fact, impossible.

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