Thursday, January 10, 2019

Getting in the ‘last’ word

MADIGAN: Still Mr. Speaker
It will be intriguing to see if soon-to-be former Gov. Bruce Rauner manages to figure out a way to take one final pot shot at Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, before he departs his role come Monday.

For it was quite obvious that Rauner is going to forevermore think that Madigan was the one who spoiled any chance that he could be successful during the one term he got to be Illinois government’s chief executive.
RAUNER: Soon to ride off into sunset

OF COURSE, MADIGAN seems equally determined to think ill of “The Rauner Years” and just how little managed to be accomplished in our state between 2015-18.

For what it’s worth, Rauner engaged in his final official public act as governor by giving a speech summarizing what he thinks he accomplished for Illinois during his gubernatorial term. While also using other moments to make comments that clearly can be interpreted as political pot shots.

The recent criminal complaint filed against long-time Chicago Alderman Edward M. Burke is “long overdue,” with Rauner insisting that Burke is not alone.

“I’m ecstatic they finally indicted him,” Rauner said, even though they didn’t really. “There are others that do the same, and worse. They haven’t been indicted yet. I hope they are.”
BURKE: Rauner pleased w/ predicament

AFTER GOING THROUGH four years of governing and a campaign cycle of constant complaints claiming that Madigan himself is worthy of criminal charges because he would not meekly cooperate with all of Rauner’s anti-organized labor initiatives, it’s disappointing to see that he’s determined to go down to defeat with the same stubborn attitude.

Not that Madigan will meekly let such rhetoric go by without a vociferous response. He used the beginning of the newly-elected General Assembly’s session to dismiss Rauner’s gubernatorial term as one of, “four long years of character assassination, personal vilification and strident negotiation positions.”
PRITZKER: Favorable Lege

He also said he sees the coming of a new Legislature (one with majorities large enough in both chambers for Democrats to overrule the governor’s veto power) as being the chance for government to learn from the errors of its ways.

Or, as Madigan put it, let’s, “take lessons, so we can move on to a new chapter where people work with people.” Rather than thinking they can impose their will on ever-so-many issues upon the masses.

WHICH MEANS THAT Madigan is figuring the truth in the old cliché, “history is written by the winners.” He gets to be the noble creature who fought off the potential tyranny of “The Rauner Years.” Anybody who tries to defend Bruce is going to find themselves seriously diminished – if not outright ridiculed.

It will work, mostly because many of us just won’t care to hear from Rauner any longer. We’d just as soon see him fade off into the sunset.

Which he’ll do as of Monday at Noon. We’ll be more focused on the future success of incoming Gov. J.B, Pritzker – who will have the advantage of a sympathetic Legislature that will have an interest in seeing the governor succeed in overcoming the problems of the state.

Many of which were exasperated by that two-plus year time period during which our state government was on hold because of a lack of a budget – which Rauner tried to defend as being a worthy hit for the state to take if some of his anti-union initiatives could become reality in Illinois.

MOST OF US just remember it as a political headache that made us all seem stupid – similar to how the current federal government shutdown motivated by a partisan battle over immigration policy and border security measures is threatening to make the nation look equally ridiculous.
STAVA-MURRAY: Lone vote of 'present'

It may well be that the national Democrats will take their lead from Madigan when it comes to dealing with Trump. There is a majority of our nation that would love to see the current president fade away in as much ignominy as the current governor.

But then again, there will be those who will turn to new state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, D-Naperville, who insisted on voting “present” instead of “yes” for Madigan to once again be the Illinois House speaker. She was amongst the few who were swayed by all that anti-Madigan trash talk of campaign seasons past.

So who gets the last word? No matter whether it’s Rauner or Madigan, there’s bound to be somebody more than willing to respond, “bull----!”


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