Opinions,discussions and common ground on the Democracy of the United States and Macon County "Democracy is the cause of Humanity."--John L. O'Sullivan

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Fighting Over the Remote While the House Burns Down

Glancing over the headlines and news stories the other day a frightening thought occurred to me: we are fighting over the tv remote control while the house is burning down around us.

For the past couple of years, we've been obsessed in Macon County with our intra-party struggle, personality feud, call it what you will. Yet, at the same time in Springfield--where our party enjoys rare control of the legislature, Governor's mansion, and the Supreme Court--one gets the impression Democrats take more delight in embarrassing one another or generating headline-grabbing quotes critical of members of their own party than governing. Keeping up this sort of behavior is likely to ensure that it will be another 26 or 28 years before we again have a Democratic governor.

Who's to blame? It is pretty hard to make that call from here. It seems fair to say there is plenty of blame to go around. Ego, no doubt, plays a strong role, especially when legislative readers are used to having their consultations referred to by Springfield media as "summits," as if they were determining the fate of civilization, ala FDR, Churchill and Stalin, rather than how the state revenue pie is divided.

We're kidding ourselves if we think the voters are not noticing this behavior. Already we see Republican organs like the Decatur daily eagerly seizing upon the latest spat to drive home their message that state government is in incompetent hands. They conveniently forget the great barbecue of waste, graft and corruption that led to the current state of affairs.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the leaders in Springfield sat down and thought for a moment about where they might be taking the party and the state? Are their egos so fragile and in need of feeding that they must lash out at fellow party members who hold high office? Are all of these spats based on high principles or something less? It is not too soon for people in the Governor's office and the legislature to start asking themselves these questions.

Hopefully, they will find ways to resolve their differences without trotting to the nearest news reporter or tv camera to vent their spleens. It will be tough enough to re-elect our Governor--don't kid yourselves, Ray LaHood would be a formidable candidate, a moderate Republican in a state that loves those kind of guys as governor. Maybe it's time to stop shooting ourselves in the collective foot with our own rhetoric.

One thing about the situation, though. It makes Macon County's spat look minor.

Well, that's my opinion, for whatever worth you care to assign it.
Best Regards,