Sunday, June 12, 2022

The race to lose to J.B. Pritzker


     Look at a map.
     Illinois is an oasis of blue state humanity in a desert of red state neo-fascism. Here, women's rights, immigrants welcome and science respected. There, the Handmaid's Tale, build-the-wall and science is what the most conservative parents in a school say it is.
     So despite the mega-millions pumped into the Illinois gubernatorial race, I haven't really been paying close attention, assuming that whoever the Republicans toss up against him, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has to be re-elected. He battled COVID smartly. He worked with the rebarbative Lori Lightfoot the best anyone could. It hardly matters which Republican neophyte he defeats.
     I do have a particular distaste for Richard Irvin, the Aurora mayor and ventriloquist's dummy sitting on the knee of Ken Griffin, the richest man in Illinois, opening and closing his wooden yap while $50 million worth of advertising spews out. Irvin tarred opponents for voting for Joe Biden without ever revealing who he voted for—not wanting to be outed as a former Democrat, or damned as a MAGA wannabe. Wanting to both lure Southern Illinois's considerable population of MAGA zombies to lope in his direction while not repelling off what old style conservative Republicans remain and aren't really paying attention.
     Then Bailey got on my radar with a single word. He will stop the "indoctrination" of our children. What we used to call "teaching history," but now Republicans are attempting to slur with their dubious practice of attaching a bad word to something unobjectionable, the way gay individuals wanting to marry each other are described as homosexuals pushing "an agenda."
     I'll say it again. No nation is great because everything they did is a chest-swelling jubilee. Part of being a truly great nation is the ability to confront reality, good and ill. Meanwhile, part of being a totalitarian state is fear that the truth will undo you and must be suppressed. Thus, in an undeniable irony, it is the courageous patriot who will stare unashamed at the full, true, sometimes awful history of any country, and the cringing traitor who insists it must be presented as an unbroken triumphal procession, who passes laws trying to ensure that his children pass through the educational system and end up as ignorant as himself. 
      Give Bailey credit: it works. Ya gotta put the slop where the pigs can get at it.
      A Sun-Times/WBEZ poll found Bailey leading Irvin by almost 2-to-1—guess money can't buy everything. Panicking, Irvin rolled out the tagline, “Cut the fat. Clean up Springfield." This is not only a despicable reference to Pritzker's girth, but a sign of typical Republican oblivious, since after years of austerity budgets, there really isn't much fat left to cut. What are they going to take the old meat cleaver to? Social services? Ah, hahahahahahahaha. 
      I don't want to minimize the importance of a Democratic governor. As the Republican Party becomes the party of sedition, state governors play a key role in either preserving or traducing free elections and a safe vote. Whether the GOP elephant, ravaged by the Trump virus, ends up with either Irvin or Bailey on its back, we have to keep a clear eye on what this race is about: preserving Democratic fact-based, human-oriented policy against creeping Trumpism and fascist fantasy and suppression. Pritzker will win by presenting who he is, while Bailey or Irvin will try to win by pretending to be what they're not.

Parson Weem's Fable by Grant Wood
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth


  1. Bailey is one serious wing-nut creep!
    And don't forget all the millions that other wing-nut billionaire Uihlein is putting into the race to lose to Pritzker. I find it fascinating that Uihlein hates so many Illinois policies, he headquarters his shipping supply company in Wisconsin, but lives in super rich Lake Forest! You'd think he's want to build a huge mansion on Lake Geneva.
    And compared to our previous disaster of a Republican governor, that fool Rauner & his constant fighting with everyone in the state & who then moved to another state after losing, JB is the best governor any state ever had.

  2. As a democrat I think Pritzker has done a good job with everything except Covid. He drastically over played his hand there. He’d easily beat Bailey. Against Irwin this is a single digit race.

  3. It’s not just “southern Illinois” that’s MAGA. It’s most of the counties outside Chicago metro. Illinois is a red state and the blue Chicago region.

  4. I think someone overestimated how palatable a Black man would be to Republican voters, anywhere, in this day and age.

    In fact, who was the last Black man to run statewide as a Republican? The only example I'm coming up with is Alan Keyes, and of course that fool never won a primary; he was rushed onto the ticket after Jack "Oversexed Ass" Ryan imploded.

    1. Interesting mentioning Ryan, Scribe. In Monday's paper, the Jim Ryan obit mentions his name being tainted by Jack Ryan dropping out for Keyes because he took his wife to a sex club. As I remember the story, she claimed in the divorce that he wanted her to attend a club. Not the same thing. As to JB, supposedly he has eliminated the backlog of state bill payments, and Illinois bond ratings are improving. Gets my vote.

    2. Reply to JP: Jack Ryan DID take his then-wife to sex clubs 3 times. The first time she refused to enter. Concerning the second, CNN quotes Jeri,

      so clearly she was in the club to which her then husband took her.

  5. Just wondering if "girth" was the chosen description for Pritzker's heftiness because of a conscious or unconscious echo of Thursday's Wordle word. I refuse to believe it's a coincidence. (Not really!)

    I love the way Wood went with the adult Washington's head above the youngster's body in that painting.

    It's interesting to me how my attitudes toward Pritzker and Lightfoot have evolved. I didn't vote for him in the primary and wasn't all that wild about voting for him at all, but did, of course. Now I think he's been about the best billionaire one could have hoped for. Meanwhile, I was excited about voting for her twice, only to be sorely disappointed by her unforced errors.

    This blog post is about all I need to, or will, read about the Republican candidates aside from headlines. Fortunately for me, I see or hear very few commercials.

    1. If so, it was subconscious. I recently wrote about the "Mirth and Girth" painting, so it might have come from that.

  6. As a lifelong Republican I'm voting for J.B. He's a VERY pragmatic governor. He's also filthy rich and can't be easilycorrupted by big money.

    But the main reason I'm voting J.B. and the first time voting for a Democrat ever is his reduction and elimination of ridiculous, regressive fines for traffic nonsense, red light cameras and such.

    He is a Liberal elitist but he has a common sense MAGA approach to governance.

    And no scandals for a governor in Illinois is reason alone e!

    1. "Common sense MAGA" is a contradiction in terms.

  7. Ventriloquist's dummy. Good one. The ad with the group of white people sitting around like it's an intervention is awful. But the one where they accuse Irvin of calling Trump an idiot is rather amusing. Like calling Trump an idiot is a bad thing.


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