One of the nice things about the democratic process is that politicians usually don’t do things that would cause them to lose their jobs. That attitude has its downsides, of course. If too many politicians become too overly cautious then nothing gets done — like what’s going on now in the U.S. Senate.Miller has a point. He may have more of a reason to be upset than I do. I only came to this game of following Illinois politics in recent years. Miller of The Capitol Fax has largely made a living following the inside track of state politics.
But here in Illinois we’ve seen some blatantly reckless stupidity that just boggles the mind. George Ryan’s crimes, Rod Blagojevich’s arrest, and now the Pat Quinn administration’s breathtakingly moronic early release program for violent prisoners.
For all his faults, I have always thought that George Ryan was a pretty darned good governor. He got things done. There was little to no gridlock on the big issues. But he stupidly believed that he could behave like politicians did 30 years ago and not suffer the consequences. He had no sense of self-preservation and he is now sitting in a federal prison cell. Ryan’s stupidity still infuriates me to this day.
Rod Blagojevich was a horrible governor. Gridlock didn’t just prevail, it thrived. Chaos became normality. I was happy when he finally got busted and ousted for his unbelievably stupid alleged schemes to shake down the president-elect over the choice of a U.S. senator and strong-arm the rest of the establishment for cash and personal favors. I was enraged, however, at the damage his arrest did to this state’s already poor reputation. Once again, we had an amazingly stupid politician who didn’t have the mental capacity to realize what he was doing to himself and to his state.
George Ryan is generally considered a good governor, but he couldn't let go of the old school ways that ultimately send him to federal prison. Ousted governor, well we haven't quite figured out what went wrong there. It might be safe to say that he had no moral compass. Some might conclude that he still doesn't.
Since we're talking state politics right now, check out Rich Miller's recent syndicated column that he posted to his blog this morning. It's not about corruption or Ousted governor, but about Ousted governor's successor Pat Quinn. The issue at hand Gov. Quinn's role in the early release program from Illinois' prisons. It's a mess!