Calling Out All Democrats

State of party leaves some blue

In name, Democrats control this state.

The Dems have the governorship, the House and the Senate. They control the state's largest city and largest county. Both U.S. Senators are Dems. Even one of the state's most powerful Republican congressmen is now working for the Illinois-bred Democratic president.

So why so blue, pookie?

Well, it turns out that perhaps no state has as many DINOs - Democrats In Name Only - as Illinois.

There's nary a liberal agenda to be found around here.

"No New Taxes. Smaller Government. Severe Cuts in the Social Safety Net. These are key staples of the Republican Agenda," writes Bored Now at Prairie State Blue. "They also happen to be the central tenets of the state budget pushed through by Speaker Michael Madigan."

That would be Michael Madigan - chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Certainly Illinois Democrats don't stand for reform. Twice they've given up golden opportunities to do what reformers and citizens and civic groups have pleaded with elected officials to do: change the state's sordid political culture.

The federal investigation that forced George Ryan to leave the governor's chair after one term opened the door for a Democrat to clean things up. Instead we got Rod Blagojevich.

The removal of Blagojevich from office gave us a true reformer in Pat Quinn - never a favorite among the party stalwart - and an even more golden opportunity, including a reform commission led by former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins, a man largely responsible for putting Ryan in jail.

Still, we got bupkis.

And no one should forget that Roland Burris, Todd Stroger, and Richard M. Daley are Democrats. So was Rosty. And so are 49 of the 50 members of the city council we malign so much.

Proud, Big Blue?

That's not to give Republicans a pass. They just haven't had as many opportunities to disappoint as the Dems have, although their importation of Alan Keyes as a U.S. Senate candidate to run against Barack Obama is still racking up bonus points.

But when you've just elected one of your own to the White House on a platform of change and you control virtually every lever of power in the state and you are still called out by a governor promising "a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party," you've got more problems than you think.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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