After reading Gov. Pat Quinn’s State of the State address, I came away with this conclusion: his mission was completed before he was even sworn into office for a full term. But we still have to watch him bumble toward the end of his political career for another three years.
“On the day I became governor three years ago, I promised to restore integrity to Illinois government,” Quinn said. “And we have. Through tough new ethics laws, campaign finance reform, and establishing the ability to recall a corrupt governor, we have made Illinois a more ethical state. But we didn’t stop there. By legalizing civil unions, by raising the standards of nursing home care, by abolishing the death penalty…we have made Illinois a better state.”
No argument there, governor. Those were all laws that needed to be passed, and could only have been passed by a Democrat. But after nine years, one-party Democratic rule in Springfield has run its course. Toward the end of his speech, Quinn said that “reforming our Medicaid and our public pension systems will require political courage.”
No argument there, either. But it’s not the sort of courage that a Democrat, dependent on money and door-knocking by labor unions, can be expected to have. This is why we have two political parties. The Democrats ensure that the entire world isn’t organized entirely for the benefit of greedy old white men; the Republicans ensure the government doesn’t spend Illinois into a state of indebtedness which will take generations to pay off.
Illinois really, really wanted to elect a Republican governor in 2010. But we couldn’t bring ourselves to vote for the Bradysaurus, who made it clear he wanted to roll back our state’s social progress to 1,000,000 B.C. So now we have to wait until 2015. Unfortunately, every budget the Not-So-Mighty Quinn writes may take three Republican governors to undo.
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