Without Trump, Pritzker and Emanuel Would be Lonely, Sad and a bit Lost

As a resident of Illinois, I’m also involved and interested in state politics. As I’ve said before, I usually do not write that much about state politics, I usually focus on the nation as a whole; this will be one of my last post about Illinois politics, unless something worth writing about occurs.


What would Illinois Democrats do without President Donald Trump?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and billionaire J.B. Pritzker — the choice of boss Democrats for governor — spend their time talking and talking and talking about Trump.

With J.B. and Rahm it’s Trump this and Trump that. And they speak in excited, fearful and outraged tones.

If we were living in Neanderthal times, Rahm and J.B. would gather us around the campfire, pointing their fingers into the darkness at some demon spirit, and smile, thinly, as we huddled close to them for protection.

But these are modern times. Politicians don’t tell stories around the campfire. They use media.

Still, where would they be without Trump?

They’d be devastated, lost and lonely and afraid without Trump, because Trump is his own gift to them.

Because without Trump, they might have to address what’s been going on in Chicago and Illinois — from blood constantly flowing in the city’s streets to corruption and chronically bad schools, and even those idiotic Pritzker mystery toilets.

If you were in their shoes, would you want to talk about City Hall’s failure to stop the bloody gang wars or the failure to effectively address black unemployment?

Would you like questions about whether you used union plumbers to rip out the toilets of a building next to your mansion, so the toilet-less home could be termed “uninhabitable” and you’d get a nice property tax break?

If you were Rahm and J.B., would you like to talk about Democratic Boss Mike Madigan and the game of chicken he’s playing with Illinois schoolchildren and suburban taxpayers?

Or the $500 million Chicago Public Schools just borrowed that will cost an additional $850 million in interest payments?

If you were Rahm or J.B., or most any Democrat running, would you want to talk about Boss Madigan?

And just what would Pritzker say, exactly? That he can’t wait to be elected governor to do Madigan’s bidding, like some eager-to-please billionaire Mr. Belvedere?

It’s likely they really don’t like Trump. It’s also possible that you can’t stand him either.

Or, perhaps you do like him. Or perhaps you like some of his policies — like the appointment of a conservative to the Supreme Court with the promise of more to come — but you loathe all that vulgar Fifth Avenue Hillbillies drama in the White House.

But if you are a true student of politics, you’ll put aside tribal feelings and realize that Trump’s presence in the White House, his stupid tweets, and the things he says and how he says them, all give nourishment to Illinois Democrats like Emanuel and Pritzker.

And lately they’ve been trying to tie him to Gov. Bruce Rauner, even though Rauner doesn’t much like Trump.

But the Trump outrage is an easy story to tell and write, too, even if we’re not huddled around a campfire, fearful of a demon in the dark.

It’s much easier than talking about what decades of Chicago Democratic rule have done to the city and the state.

“I’m proud to be part of the resistance,” Pritzker announced the other day, standing in front of Trump Tower, which is to Democrats what Stonehenge must have been to wizards with blue face paint back in the day.

“When I’m governor, we’re not going to be silent like Bruce Rauner,” Pritzker said. “Illinois will be a firewall against Donald Trump’s destructive and bigoted agenda.”

“He is his own worst enemy,” Emanuel said of Trump, reaching into his pouch to slap a dab of Trump on Rauner. “I actually don’t think it’s an accident — since people say, ‘Oh we need a businessman’ — they don’t understand politics, and we see it in our governor’s office.”

So what we really need are powerful Chicago Democrats who’ve spent decades running the city and the state into the ground?

Don’t we already have that?

What is obvious is that Rahm and Pritzker and the other Democrats are good at taking their shiny Trumpian rattle and shaking it, furiously.

They focus our attention on the demon, to distract us. But from what?

How about the more than 2,220 shooting victims in Chicago through Aug. 2, and the more than 410 homicides so far ths year, most of them coming in the bloody gang wars that City Hall has no answer for? And violent crimes on the CTA that remain unsolved?

And black unemployment? Why talk of that, when it’s much easier, at least politically, for Democrats, to embrace Latinos, including immigrants who are here illegally. That is why Emanuel has now become desperate, seeking re-election.

Black unemployment in Illinois is the highest in the nation. And the share of 20- to 24-year-old African-American men who are neither working nor in school is 43 percent, according to a report presented in January by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

President Barack Obama from Chicago — not Trump — was in power for eight years as many of those young men were jailed or shot down in the gang wars. And what was done?

And the Chicago Public Schools that didn’t prepare them for work has a long history of mismanagement, corruption and fiscal failure under the Democrats of Chicago.

But Emanuel and Pritzker don’t want the conversation to get awkward. So they control it, with helpers to shape the debate.

It’s so much easier to talk about Trump, isn’t it?

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