Sir Brucelot

I know in my soul, what you expect of me, and all that and more shall I be.

A knight of the Table Round should be invincible, 

Succeed where a less fantastic man would fail …

But where in the world is there in the world a man so extraordinaire?

C’est moi, c’est moi, I blush to disclose.

I’m far too noble to lie.

That man in whom these qualities bloom, 

C’est moi, c’est moi, ’tis I.

I’ve never lost in battle or game. 

I’m simply the best by far.

When swords are crossed, ’tis always the same,

One blow and au revoir.

Lerner & Lowe

When I think of Bruce Rauner, I recall Lancelot, ever-so-humbly presenting himself for service to the knights of the Round Table in the musical Camelot.

Brucelot made me think of his fictional counterpart from the first words I heard him utter — during a WBEZ radio story a few months back.

“I’ve been successful in everything I’ve done,” he said, modestly.

That would make him the first — since Lancelot. 

God forbid we should end up with a governor who has never learned from a failure. And the last thing we need is yet another rich blowhard riding in from the private sector with delusions of grandeur who is absolutely sure he can tame the great government beast through sheer willpower and his sparkling personality (plus an unlimited checkbook).

We’ve already got a Congress packed with millionaires. Do we really want yet another guy who needs his ego inflated (further than it already is) by purchasing elected office? Isn’t Jim Oberweis every 2-4 years enough for any long-suffering electorate to bear?

But the deep thinkers are restless and cranky. Illinois is a fiscal disaster, so it must be Pat Quinn’s fault. Well, really it’s Mike Madigan’s fault, but Quinn, we’re told, isn’t a big enough “counterweight” against Madigan’s diabolical influence. As a result, normally sane individuals like WJ Viewpoints columnist Jack Crowe are talking about voting for Brucelot.

And Jack is a smart guy, so if he’s falling for Rauner’s routine, a lot of more gullible voters probably are, too. They’ve got a bad case of “change itch.” After all, the Democrats have been in charge forever, right?

Well, no.

In fact, if we wanted to engage in the Republicans’ favorite pre-election pastime — voter suppression — we should make passing a recent political history quiz the primary (so to speak) requirement.

For instance, which party held the Illinois Governor’s Office from 1977 through 2002? Why, the Republicans:

Jim Thompson, 1977-1990

Jim Edgar, 1991-1998

George Ryan, 1999-2002

Twenty-six years, more than a quarter-century, uninterrupted! 

And which party held the state senate majority for 10 straight years, 1993 through 2002? Republicans again (remember Pate Phillips?).

And which party held all three — governor’s office, state senate and state house — for two crucial years, 1995-96?

That’s right (far right). According to a recent article I found from the Belleville News Democrat (BND.com) by Scott Penny, then an interim state rep, now the Fairmont City police chief, Illinois Republicans used their “trifecta” in the mid-’90s to change the rules on voting procedures (debating, scheduling, calling bills), which gives a lot of power to the house and senate majority leaders. When the Democrats regained control of the house in 1997, Mike Madigan became the overlord everyone loves to hate.

But the Republicans are at least as responsible as the Democrats.

According to Penny, “Many of our current financial, pension and patronage problems began in a bipartisan manner during this period.”

So if Illinois suddenly turned from red state to blue in 2002, inheriting a fiscal disaster after 26 straight years of Republican governors and 10 straight years of a Republican state senate, is it the Democrats’ fault for not cleaning it up?

Yes, but there’s plenty of blame to go around.

It’s a shame that the best the Democrats could offer in 2002 was a sleazeball like Rod Blagojevich. I voted Republican in 2006 (Judy Baar Topinka) because I couldn’t stomach him. 

But Blago’s inevitable implosion six years ago produced a once-in-a-lifetime electoral blessing: a decent, honest governor in Pat Quinn. When did Quinn take over? That’s right, 2009, immediately after the Republicans and the 1 percent (with Democrats in a supporting role) engineered a worldwide economic catastrophe.

Quinn has done his best with an awful situation, but voters seem to be turning against him (instead of against the people who caused the problems) in favor of yet another rich guy who thinks everything would be just fine if only we ran government like one of those businesses that made him obscenely wealthy (He obviously didn’t get the memo that government can’t, and shouldn’t, be run like a business. They are entirely different entities).

If Rauner is “successful” on Nov. 4, what we’ll get instead is a four-year medieval jousting match between MegaloMadigan and Sir Brucelot. Both will yellalot. Should be very productive.

Unfortunately, Republicans, whether at the state or federal level, have demonstrated over the last three decades that they are “successful” at creating one thing only — economic inequality — and if Brucelot is elected, it’s only going to get worse for most of us.

As I recall, things didn’t work out so well for Lancelot, so if we get stuck with Brucelot, don’t expect Camelot. 

Spamelot maybe.

And here I stand as pure as a prayer, incredibly clean, with virtue to spare, the godliest man I know.

C’est moi!

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