Tuesday, November 06, 2012

If you don't vote, you can't complain

So of course I was out early this morning to cast my vote. I can't imagine not complaining.

One thing I won't complain about is the end of the political attack ads.

Here in True Blue Chicago we haven't been subjected to very many presidential ads at all -- but, don't worry, we've had more than our share of campaign sliminess.

This is how dumb our home-grown Republicans are: Two years ago, they won a majority of Illinois' seats in Congress and they thought they'd done something. But they didn't win the Illinois House, the Illinois Senate or defeat the fourth Democratic vote on the Illinois Supreme Court (the one seat that was on the retention ballot). That meant that Republicans had exactly no say in the redistricting process -- and all of Illinois' Congressional districts were redrawn to erase the Republicans' gains in Congress.

(And, for my money, it was stupid to go after Justice Kilbride in the first place. He was guilty of no sin of omission or commission except for the original sin of being elected as a Democrat from an area that typically elected Republicans. And without Republican control of at least one house of the Legislature, erasing a 4-3 Democratic majority on the Illinois Supreme Court would have been meaningless. Probably. It might have curbed some of the more wretched excesses of the Democratic map-makers. Maybe.)

The lines were going to be redrawn anyway: Illinois lost a seat in Congress because of the 2010 Census results. But because the Democrats kept control of the Legislature, they kept control of the map-making -- and, accordingly, Chicago's loss of something like 200,000 people didn't hurt the Democrats one little bit. One Republican incumbent was eliminated in the Primary.

Our local attack ads focused on the mostly suburban three districts that the Democrats hoped to take from the Republicans. Strident Tea Partier Joe Walsh will almost certainly lose to Iraqi War Veteran Tammy Duckworth (she lost both her legs when her helicopter was shot down). Freshman Congressman Bob Dold is in an expensive, and dirty, battle with Brad Schneider. Republican incumbent Judy Biggert is in an equally costly, and sleazy, battle with former one-term Congressman Bill Foster. The SuperPAC money that has been vomited into this market has made all of these individuals much smaller than life.

The Democrats have tried to smear Dold and Biggert with Walsh's views, some of which are pretty far out there. But Dold and Biggert are more in keeping with the Illinois tradition of country club Republicans. Dold even has commercials airing in which he proudly proclaims his pro-abortion views -- to distinguish himself from his colleague Cong. Walsh.

Walsh's views are not his biggest problem. His biggest problem is that he has a loud mouth and he doesn't know how to shut it. Every word out of his mouth sounds angry, strident, grating and disagreeable. Even when I want to agree with him on something, I still want to smack him.

Anyway, Walsh will probably lose, and turnout will decide the fate of Dold and Biggert (Biggert being, I believe, in more danger than Dold). But -- in Illinois -- it doesn't really matter who goes to Congress. The Democrats still control the Illinois General Assembly and will tomorrow as well.

And we'll still have a huge unfunded pension liability, crumby schools, and an increasing crime rate in Chicago, all to go along with our shriveled tax base.

Great, right?

1 comment:

sari said...

Every time the phone rings, I still cringe. We were getting about ten calls a day, most pre-recorded. I won't miss them.