Wednesday, July 5, 2006
A Strange Turn of Events Bedevils and Depresses Democrats: What Happens if Blagojevich Wins?
When the news came down from U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald that Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich may have been fooling around with state hiring practices, many liberal Democrats were thrilledbecause they see it in their interest that Judy Baar Topinka, a liberal Republican, gets in. Gets in and serves only four years, agreeing to take the heat for raising the income tax and other assorted taxes and getting out, leaving the field to Lisa Madigan, the Speakers favored step-daughter. Thus cheered, Ms. Topinka, almost assured that she will have sub-rosa Democratic support, decided not to woo conservative Republicans, believing that she did not need them to get electedand furthermore that any concessions she made would endanger her support by liberal Democrats. So they were cheered, having two liberals Democrats running, one under the name Republican the one named Republican would be vastly preferred.
Then the liberal Democrats who hope for Topinkas election, began to become depressed because of Patrick Fitzgeralds glacially slow track record in moving from orchestrated media leaks to actual indictments. It was calculated that Topinkas major ally would be an indictment but one would have to come very quickly to be of help in the current campaignand it is unlikely. So the liberal Democrats calculated, it will be a very close election and they will have to work very hard under-cover to help Topinka all the while maintaining the fiction they as loyal Democrats they support Blagojevich. Lisa Madigans poppa is, after all, Blagojevichs campaign chairman. With Topinka having no ground game at allno conservatives to work the townshipsthe question became: how can the Democrats maintain the fiction of supporting Blagojevich but giving solid ground support to Topinka without the charade being so obvious it becomes a laughingstock? They resolved that they could do this with the aid of a compliant media. But then a second thought hit them with laid them low.
Their horrific nightmare: Suppose as is predicted, Blagojevich with a huge war-chest overcomes the liberal Democratic ground-swell for Topinka and gets reelected? And then an indictment comes? He will have to resign the governorship. This leaves Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn as governor. No one should imagine that Quinn, who has a popular, grass-roots goo-goo image, will not resolve to stay in the governorship. He has charms and is highly electable no matter what the regulars think. Lisa Madigan might have to wait through nearly 2008 before Blagojevich is indicted given Fitzgeralds slow pace. Then an indictment would produce a Blagojevich resignation which will be served-out by Quinn and then possibly a term which Quinn wins himself and even possibly another term.
Or look at it this way: Fitzgerald takes so long at everything, suppose hes not indicted Blagojevich by the time the next presidential election comes and a Democrat wins the presidency! Do you think a Democratic DA would indict a Democrat? Do you think all-but-baptized Democrat George Ryan, who helped Daley so much, would have been indicted if Scott Lazar had continued? This awful realization has redoubled the liberal Democrats intention to go all-out to elect Republican Topinka and flip the kimono. At this point, Quinns supporters argue that Quinn is to be preferred as a Democratic governor who might well be in office during congressional redistricting. But strong liberal Democratic Topinka supporters say no-no that is too far ahead to worry about. Elect Topinka, have her serve four years, give us the tax hike, allow her to retire at age 66 as a heroine and then well elect Lisa. That is the conclusion right now. Ill tell you, this Lisa fixation spurred by her fanatically ambitious step-Daddy is getting to be somewhat wearying.
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