Rauner cries for you, Laquan. Or does he?

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Governor Bruce Rauner says he wept after watching the video of Laquan McDonald's death. - AP/SETH PERLMAN
  • AP/Seth Perlman
  • Governor Bruce Rauner says he wept after watching the video of Laquan McDonald's death.

The ongoing madness over the Laquan McDonald shooting has enabled us to forget—at least momentarily—the wreckage that Governor Bruce Rauner is making of civilization in Illinois.

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

So it was that I recently found myself face-to-face with Rauner's astonishing confession that he "cried"—as in, real tears—when he watched the video of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald to death.

"I cried," Rauner told reporters last week. "That video—shocking, terrifying. I cried for the young man who was brutally shot."

Now, I agree—the video is shocking and terrifying.

But Rauner crying?

The governor's confession leaves us with the unenviable challenge of trying to determine which elected official comes closest to telling the truth: 

Is it Mayor Emanuel, swearing up and down that he didn't see the McDonald video until a few days before Thanksgiving?

Or Governor Rauner, when he says he cried upon seeing it? 

Oh, this is tough.

Having given it a great deal of consideration, I've concluded that for once, Mayor Emanuel has met a politician who's even less truthful than he is.

There's a possibility that Mayor Rahm didn't watch the video—for all the wrong reasons, of course.

He either wanted to have a plausible explanation for not doing anything—even after witnessing a horrendous act. Or, he didn't think it was worth his time, having concluded that people would never get so upset over the shooting of a low-income black teenager.

In contrast, I'm sure than no one really believes Rauner cried when he saw that tape.

After all, this is a governor who ran on being a ruthless, bean-counting billionaire who, thanks to his gumball-size heart, would feel no compunction about shredding the safety net if that's what it took to free up more tax breaks for the rich. 

As he demonstrated a few months back when he announced he was cutting the state's autism program on World Autism Day.

In fact, my bet is that Bruce Rauner hasn't cried since he watched Old Yeller back in junior high and exclaimed: "Mommy, why did they have to shoot the dog?"

Correction: It was not Rauner who said he had a gumball-size heart.

It was Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, who wrote: Rauner is "a plutocrat with nine homes and a heart the size of a gumball."

That line currently ranks second in the list of recent memorable lines I wish I had written.

Number one belongs to an activist named Susan McCormick, who told Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown: "If anyone lives long enough, they'll die penniless in this country."

That pretty much sums up life in the age of Rahm and Rauner.

One more thing about Rauner's quote:

He made a point of saying he also "cried for the thousands of police officers who are honest and hardworking, put themselves in harm's way to serve and protect us, and whose reputation gets damaged by the behavior of a few bad people."

I think even all the honest and hard-working cops of Chicago would agree: he didn't cry for them either.

Let's face it. Governor Rauner tried to craft his "crying" statement to get in and out of his mess without offending anyone.

And they accuse liberals of being politically correct.


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