What We've Been Sayin': Rauner Lurches From Crisis To Crisis
Eric Zorn: "Rauner has Accomplished Essentially Nothing and Made Nearly Every Problem He Inherited Worse"
Chicago, IL — Yesterday, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn said what we at Crisis Creatin' Rauner have been sayin' all along: Bruce Rauner is lurching from crisis to crisis, and exploiting the suffering of Illinois families and communities along the way.
As Rauner prepares for yet another crisis on school funding and staffs up with a catastrophic crew of amateurs and radicals, he may want to read the below column from Zorn:
Chicago Tribune: Column: Rauner lurches from crisis to crisis
By Eric Zorn
A little less than three months after his inauguration, Gov. Bruce Rauner told us everything we really needed to know about his legislative strategy.
"Crisis creates opportunity," he said during an April 6, 2015, appearance before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board to discuss the state budget. "Crisis creates leverage to change. And we've got to use that leverage of the crisis to force structural change." […]
It should not have been a surprise, then, that what's followed has been more than two years of crises, looming and actual. Though Rauner has accomplished essentially nothing and made nearly every problem he inherited worse, he has persisted in fecklessly holding metaphorical guns to metaphorical heads as ruthless old cusses across the aisle proved equally stubborn.
Were it not for a recent minor revolt within his own Republican ranks that overrode Rauner's veto and enacted a budget containing desperately needed tax increases, Illinois' bonds would be junk-rated and we'd still be headed to a full-blown collapse of our human-service infrastructure.
Last month, Rauner told us everything we need to know about how he relates to the anxieties and deprivations of constituents who've felt the impact of the budget crisis.
When Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed asked him how he'd been handling "the stress of it all," Rauner replied, "My wife tells me she hasn't seen me this happy in 20 years."
Later, as if to rehabilitate his earlier statement, he added, "It breaks my heart to see what is happening to the people of Illinois. Painful to see our economic system broken. Social service agencies struggling. High unemployment. Neighborhood violence. People who don't see a future. Disadvantaged kids without a dream. It is so sad and tragic and keeps me up at night."
But neither joy nor heartbreak have evidently altered the governor's enthusiasm for brinkmanship. He's now threatening to veto key elements of an education funding bill — a bill that gave him 90 percent of what he wanted, according to his education chief — because he feels it's too generous to the teetering Chicago Public Schools.
As long as that appropriation is in limbo, local districts throughout the state won't get their general education aid from Springfield and fall school openings and long-term operations will be in jeopardy.
Ominously, in the past week he has fired or accepted the resignations of many of his more politically moderate foot soldiers and, through a series of new hires, transformed his administration into an arm of the rigidly ideological Illinois Policy Institute. It's a signal that he still thinks it better to seek leverage than compromise, and that crisis will serve him better than resolution.
This tactic brings to mind the proposal/threat by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to repeal Obamacare without an agreement on how to replace it. That plan sputtered Tuesday without enough Republican support. President Donald Trump offered an even better idea: "We'll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us and they're going to say, 'How do we fix it?'"
Yes, crisis creates opportunity. That's no special trick. All disasters do. Crisis also creates suffering, which those seeking to exploit it should never forget.
Read the rest of the column HERE.