Pat Quinn, in his days before becoming governor, was the master of the Sunday press conference. He’d make some sort of announcement at the end of the weekend, knowing that unless there was some massive murder there would be nothing else for news outlets to cover.
So perhaps that is what the Occupy Wall Street types were thinking when they decided to make their latest statement against Illinois state government. They’re going to the Statehouse in Springfield on Saturday for a massive afternoon rally outside the capitol – using the same Lincoln statue as a background that Quinn used to use.
THEY’RE EVEN DESCRIBING their event as a symbolic “eviction notice” to the politicians who currently work at the Statehouse.
It’s a nice image that I’m sure many people, regardless of political party affiliation, would be sympathetic to. Kick all the bums out.
But seriously. A Saturday?
It’s hard to take the image of an eviction seriously on a day when the capitol will have no one inside it – except for the Secretary of State police officers on duty, and perhaps a few tourists.
I THINK I’D take this protest a little more seriously if they would have had the nerve to do it during the week – particularly since this week is the one in which legislators are back in Springfield for the first week of the fall veto session. Just envision the grimace on Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's face if someone tried waiving a mock eviction notice in his face? Or the sight of rank-and-file legislators trying to sneak into the building without being detected by the activists?
Instead, I can already hear the ideologues who are determined to denounce this movement complaining that these activists don’t even have the nerve to confront the people they are complaining about. It may well be the only thing that the Tea Party types and I would agree upon. Because it’s true.
So to the hundreds, if not thousands, who take the time this weekend to have a Statehouse rally (not far from the spot where I once saw the Ku Klux Klan have a capitol building rally, just to show that they could), have fun. Perhaps they'll exorcise the "stink" the Klan left on the Statehouse grounds all those years ago.
Just don’t be too surprised if few people bother to pay attention. Which may be the reason why the Gallup Organization has a poll showing that while more people sympathize with the Occupy types than oppose it, most don’t have a clue as to what they’re all about.