Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh, be quiet!

It’s pleasing to see that Gov. Pat Quinn is so concerned about the pension funding problems our state government faces, because all too often it seems like our government officials would prefer to ignore the problem for as long as they possibly can.
A new low for state government?

Which is what they basically have been doing for decades.

YET THEN WE get our illustrious governor  acting like a dink, and it almost makes me wish he’d just pipe down on the issue.

For I doubt that anybody is going to be swayed by his, or his office’s, latest actions.

Who else thinks that Squeezy the cartoon python is going to sway anybody to get off their duff and act responsibly? About the only reaction I can envision most of our political people having is adding Squeezy to the list of reasons in their head as to why they think the Mighty Quinn is absurd.

That, and his comments about the new film about Abraham Lincoln, which Quinn has already seen (I haven’t yet).

FOR WHEN QUINN was asked by the Associated Press about his thoughts of the film, he managed to come up with a comparison between the political fight to abolish slavery in this country and to get political people to act on pension reform.

As though Honest Abe was going to be Quinn’s role model for getting the Legislature to act on pension funding shortfalls.

It didn’t come across quite as overbearing and pompous as those people who compare the modern-day Republican Party to the Nazis. But its absurdity level wasn’t that far off.

It’s times like this that we should all wish that Quinn could have an official minder of sorts; someone to give him a tap on the shoulder to let him know when he’s about to say or do something ridiculous that will undermine his efforts to accomplish something of significance.

PERSONALLY, I FIND Quinn’s Lincoln comments more absurd (“You will appreciate the battle to get pension reform if you see the movie and see how hard it was to abolish slavery and get that amendment for the people,” according to the Associated Press) because they came directly from his own mouth.

I think the We Are One coalition is taking it way too seriously when they say they are “shocked and disturbed” by Quinn’s comments. Most people are just snickering – they’re probably more disturbed by the potential loss of Twinkies!

Of course, you could make an argument that some serious tax dollars were spent to create Squeezy the Pension Python and the video that Quinn seriously thinks is going to persuade people to pressure their elected officials to act in a way favorable to the governor’s desires. Squeezy may well be more ridiculous than Toby the Tire who promoted school bus safety!

We should probably be more worked up over this creation than we are at Quinn’s film commentary (nobody ever said he was the next Roger Ebert).

IF THERE IS one serious problem with Quinn’s attempt to jolt a debate on pension funding reform in the week leading up to the return of the General Assembly to Springfield for the fall veto session, it is that the governor is still being vague about what will have to be done to actually resolve the issue.

Quinn has said he’s setting a deadline of early January – he wants the current Legislature to approve something, rather than push the problem off to the newly-elected Legislature.

Yet without putting his neck on the line with a specific solution, he makes it too easy for legislators to ignore him the way they do all too often.

The end result of all this new pension rhetoric with cartoons is that Quinn may well have taken a serious problem and turned it into a laughing matter!


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