Thursday, May 25, 2017

Is government too political?

Sometimes, I think what is most wrong with our government is politics.
PRECKWINKLE: 18 months of caution to get re-elected

Now I know some of you are going to be confused by such a statement; largely because you use the words “government” and “politics” as though they’re inter-changeable.

BUT GOVERNMENT IS the process by which our elected officials create public policy for our benefit – the work that some political observers sarcastically refer to as “the people’s business.”

Politics, meanwhile, is the process by which our government officials get elected, thereby enabling them to do the people’s business for a living. Which causes circumstances by which people focus too much attention on getting themselves elected – and wind up slacking off in the process of operating the government!

Repeatedly this week I have been sensing the equivalent of slaps across the face from government officials behaving in ways meant to ensure they remain in office for many more years – rather than focusing on their current positions.

Take the circumstances of Toni Preckwinkle, the Cook County Board president, who in recent radio appearances has said she’s seeking re-election come November 2018 – which is a year-and-a-half away from now.

BUT SHE’S ALREADY focusing her attention on getting term number Three, which is a potentially-risky spot for a public official to be in.
EMANUEL: Already garnering re-election endorsements

Because the official has to convince the electorate that we really ought to want to have that person return. Many of us may be tired of that face and wish for someone new, and the people who have been building up grudges against Preckwinkle during the past six years will most definitely want to see her gone.

Meaning Preckwinkle will have to be particularly cautious during these next 18 months to ensure she doesn’t do anything to offend – and also has to hope there are no circumstances arising that will create a controversy that could drag her down.

Of course, if she manages to make it past this point, she then becomes such a part of the political scene that people won’t be able to envision a government without her.
TRUMP: Some prefer 4 more years to Rahm?

JUST AS IS the case with Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, who is coming up on 20 years in that post and where Republicans are getting desperate in their tactics to try to depose him.

Of course, it isn’t just Preckwinkle. I was amused by the six aldermen who felt compelled to publicly endorse Rahm Emanuel for re-election to a third term as mayor. The six, who are all black, are pleased to see appointments of African-American persons as city water management commissioner and budget director.

How premature is this? He doesn’t have to worry about running for re-election until 2019, and is hoping that his appearance as the political force who can stand up to Donald Trump’s Chicago-hostile and erratic presidency is sufficient to keep him in office.
CULLERTON: Tried to govern

Although it should be noted there are those who want to believe it will be Emanuel’s own bordering-on-obnoxious persona that will ensure Trump ultimately succeeds. Are there people who despise Rahm so much that it drives them into the Trump Camp? We’ll have to wait and see.

POLITICS ALSO IS managing to intrude its way into the Springfield Scene and the attempts Tuesday by the Illinois state Senate to pass measures that would FINALLY give state government a balanced budget.

Democrats led by state Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago,  banded together to pass a budget, only to have Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, issue a non-committal statement that didn’t reject the plan, but sure didn’t commit to supporting it either.
RAUNER: Prefers politicking

Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner seemed more interested in his 2018 re-election bid, indicating a willingness to reject this budget plan because it doesn’t fit his vision of what the state needs. Which is using the budget and state government operations as a pawn to tout political pot-shots at organized labor’s influence.

We’re likely to see our state’s Legislature finish yet a third session without being able to do a budget to ensure government operations, all because the process of mere governing doesn’t fit into the political visions of our alleged-government officials. Too common a phenomenon these days across government’s multi-layers.


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