Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Buh-bye, Bailey. Don’t let the door ...

     Just when we were really getting to know Darren Bailey, history sweeps him back to the downstate cornfield whence he sprouted.
     A shame. I’m not sure exactly where Bailey belongs in the range of inept Illinois Republican candidates. Not as feckless as xenophobe airborne milkman Jim Oberweis, warning about the immigrant peril. Not as goofy as carpetbagger Alan Keyes. But then who could be? The man has a cameo in “Borat.”
     Maybe we could smile at Bailey because he was never a threat. Because Illinois has become an island of blue reason and civil liberty in a vast sea of red Trumpy malice, delusion and proto-fascism. Bailey was declared a loser by the Associated Press at the stroke of 7 p.m. At least, unlike his orange hero, it seems he’ll accept the results of a free election.
     What, if anything, will be remembered about Bailey? Kicking off his campaign by curling up in Donald Trump’s lap and purring until he was petted? His repeatedly calling Chicago a “hellhole?” His stunt of moving into 875 N. Michigan Avenue, in order to expose himself to the dangers of a Gold Coast luxury high-rise?
      The most interesting aspect of the race, to me, was back in June when the Democratic Governors Association poured millions into stealth commercials that boosted Bailey — the idea being Bailey would be easier to beat than Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. That was either a) savvy politics, or b) playing with fire in an era when the GOP could rally behind former college football star and current nincompoop Herschel Walker as their offering to the U.S. Senate from Georgia.
     We can’t let the oddity of Bailey prompt us to ignore our governor entirely. J.B. Pritzker ... what do you say? He must really, really want to be governor. He plowed $171 million into his 2018 victory, and then put another $152 million into 2022. Can anyone make an observation about him that isn’t somehow tainted by the third of a billion dollars worth of hype firehosed at us over the past four years?

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  1. Farmer Bailey need not lament his loss; a productive future in public service awaits him. In an early 1980s column, Mike Royko wrote that those Downstate towns like Darren's Xenia (pop. 375) are so small that every citizen is required to take a turn being town drunk and village idiot. When his term begins I'm driving down there to take a selfie with him.

  2. Hey, I'm still stuck with Gov. Mike DeWine, who cruised to an easy re-election victory in Ahia, and now I've got that lousy writer and phony hillbilly Trumpster puppet, J.D. Vance, to bitch about for the next six years. Almost makes me want to move back to IL.

    My wife and I are both appalled at what Ohio has become (a Red Sea with Blue Islands, one of which we live on), but her family has been here since the Eighties (as in the 1880s), so we're not going anywhere.

    I will die here, on my liberal island in a fascist hellhole, 42 miles northwest of Kent State. Probably with a snow shovel in my hand.

  3. The best part is that we won't ever have to listen to Bailey's godawful twangy voice & him calling our state "Ellinois"!


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