The IL GOP 2010 Team, Rod Blagojevich, and “Hopey Changemas!”

Andy McKenna is still our state party chairman and he still does what state party pay-roller John McGovern tells him to do. The Republican Party’s State Central Committee hasn’t seen much turnover. Tom Cross still heads up the state house caucus. The Republicans in the Illinois state senate are pretty much the same group that has been there for the past several years.

To paraphrase the line about expecting a different result from doing the same thing, it’s questionable that we’re going to see anything different when we keep fielding the very same political players in Illinois.

What’s obvious is that those who occupy those positions of power and influence aren’t there because of a greater ability. If they were such a talented bunch, we’d see evidence of it beyond their ability to hold onto their offices. The only reason they continue to do so is because rank and file Republicans haven’t yet mustered the will and the necessary force to oust them.

A note about expecting a different result. You shouldn’t think this flurry of activity by our state party since Rod Blagojevich’s arrest is anything but McKenna and his people doing more of the same. McKenna’s tenure hasn’t seen any party building or message, and it certainly hasn’t recruited good candidates. Its only game has been to cry about our bad old governor.

Even when Rod does get removed from office, McKenna is on record as saying Republicans will run against him anyway. It worked so well in 2006 and 2008 that Andy wants to stick with the strategy. That sounds like the definition of insanity.

The 2010 election cycle presents another opportunity for Republicans to gain ground – but unless a few key things happen, expect 2010 to look a lot like 2006.

  • McKenna and his staff must be tossed out so a real state party organization can be built.
  • We need the return of direct elections so our GOP state central committee members will have to answer to rank and file Republican voters for their performance.
  • Conservative members of the Illinois General Assembly house and senate caucuses should stop following liberal and ineffective leaders but should instead organize separately and speak out. We called for a “brainwave caucus” quite some time ago.
  • More rank and file Republicans need to step into the fray and help build the party without waiting for their leaders who don’t lead (click here and here to read more).

There are several “political truths” we often hear uttered. Things like –

– nothing moves unless it is pushed; and

– you can’t beat someone with no one.

Let’s add a third that should be heeded by our would-be “leaders” in the General Assembly: you can’t over-throw the current policy if you don’t have a better policy to offer in its place.

We’ve yet to hear how our intrepid GOPers in the state house or senate would balance the books, reform Medicaid, fund needed infrastructure as a state priority (in other words, doing so out of existing revenues so Republican legislators can hold to their platform and reject an expansion of gambling).

A note about our comical governor Rod Blagojevich. A week ago on our radio show I read this quote from a smart friend of mine but I wanted to post it here as well:

“Blago’s Pay to Play scheme only failed due to a lack of subtlety. Insufficient ‘buffers’ between him and his marks. The largest special interest group in the State of Illinois by a factor of 300% is the Public School Teachers Unions; they are lobbying – paying money – to the officials who set their salaries. There is only a slight gradient of difference.”

A lot of people are said to be shocked at the horse-trading or profiteering at the public’s expense that is said to be demonstrated on tapes recorded by the U.S. Attorney’s office. I would remind our readers that both political parties in this state continue to sell out our K-12 school children in much the same manner.

Some do it because they’re receiving a good salary and regular pay increases. Others because they’re going to be enjoying a millionaire’s pension. Others, like our state legislators who take teacher union PAC money, do so because they’re able to ensure their reelection year after year.

Rod was just being foolish by speaking in plain terms. The rest of those who personally benefit while betraying the public trust merely use different language to describe what they’re doing.

Lastly, if you haven’t yet read Mark Steyn’s column from Saturday, let me encourage you to do so – it’s here – we linked it in our Opinion section as well. Steyn takes on the financial straights of Detroit, the Press, the states of California and New York, and closes by wishing us all a “Hopey Changemas” in this last holiday before Obama takes office.

As we close the old year and open the new it’s important that we remember that it’s our governor and our state legislators that are doing foolish, immoral, and often illegal things. It’s our federal government that is bailing out all the wrong people.

“We the People” are the first words of the U.S. Constitution. Like it or not, we the people are the ones who are going to have to straighten things out. The good news is that we still can.

On that note, let me wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!