In my attempt to cheer up all the progressives crying at the sight of J.B. Pritzker proclaiming victory after Tuesday's gubernatorial primary, let me say one thing.
As disenchanted, disappointed or disenfranchised as you may feel, you must concede that it's not as bad as the last election.
Put that out of your mind? Well, let me remind you . . .
The month was November, the year 2016. And to your utter shock and dismay, Donald Trump—well, I still can't bring myself to write it a year and a half later.
On that night I happened to be in the Reader's
old newsroom. It was almost surreal, listening to various editors
, moaning, groaning and cursing as they watched one swing state after another—Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania—swing the wrong way.
In many ways, Pritzker's win was a sign that Democrats have hardened from that debacle. They're more pragmatic and practical.
I think we can agree that Pritzker is a Johnny-come-lately to issues that drive most liberals—like progressive taxation
But that didn't matter. Democratic voters wanted to win. They wanted to beat Rauner. And they made a calculated, slightly cynical decision to achieve that goal.
As Terry Cosgrove—president of Personal Pac, the reproductive rights group—likes to put it . . .
They put on their "big-boy pants" and voted for the billionaire.
Man, if I had $100 for every Democrat who told me you need a billionaire to beat a billionaire, I'd be a billionaire.
They voted for Pritzker 'cause they wanted to see him open his wallet and buy eight more months of commercials, blasting Rauner to smithereens.
The way Rauner blasted former governor Pat Quinn in the 2014 election.
Will it work? Who am I to say it won't? At this point I must point out that, once again, most of the candidates I voted for on Tuesday lost. As usual, I voted from my heart. And as usual my heart got shattered.
When I think about it, the Republicans were also being pragmatic. State rep Jeanne Ives—Rauner's opponent—was to them what Harold Washington was to me. The champion of their every issue.
But the Republicans choose Rauner over her, even though he signed their dreaded HB40 abortion bill into law.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Republicans say they want to protect the unborn. But, push come to shove, they just want to win.
And as the Democrats learned four years ago, it takes a billionaire to beat a billionaire.
Let the money flow . . .