So, we have the story of two wealthy businessmen who bought themselves high political office. One guy purchased the Governor's Mansion in Springfield and set up shop there. The other guy did him one better and bought the White House, which he promptly re-named Trump Mansion. As I wrote so movingly yesterday, we just CAN'T get rid of Donald Trump, he's too valuable, if for no other reason than entertainment purposes. Why, it would be like cancelling the top-rated soap opera just when things were starting to get interesting. Ah, but Bruce Rauner? That's an entirely different story!!
Yes, both Trump and Rauner are both successful businessmen, although we have to take the Donald's word for it. Both are essentially conservative Republicans, or at least profess to be when it suits their interests. But, make no mistake about it, Bruce Rauner is deadly dull. He could go away on a two month golfing vacation and nobody would know he was gone, except perhaps for Mrs. Rauner. If Bruce Rauner was a reality television show, he'd have been cancelled after thirteen weeks!
The sad fact is that both Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner are perfect examples of the folly of electing business executives to political office. In the abstract, it's easy to envision the dashing, daring business leader. He's strong, virile, dynamic. Who better to cut through the nonsense of a political system that has descended into madness and dysfunctionality? A no-nonsense kind of guy who won't take NO for an answer. Someone who'll put the professional politicians, the hangers-on, the political parasites who are gumming the system in their place.
Yes, it makes for a VERY pretty picture. But as we have all come to know through hard experience, romantic pictures are as phony as a three dollar bill. Yes, it's true. The successful business type can power their way through crisis after crisis. They can cut budgets, get rid of the dead wood, sell off unproductive enterprises and acquire efficient ones. Yes, in a business setting, a good executive can work wonders. But in government, the smart businessman runs smack dab into the middle of this thing we call democracy.
Bruce Rauner, for one, has learned that running a state government is a lot more difficult a proposition than running, say, a hedge fund. For one thing, he can't just sell Cook County to the Russians to pay off our massive debt. He can't simply merge Illinois and Indiana, in the process dumping Mike Madigan and replacing him with the Indiana Speaker. He can't give the Illinois General Assembly marching orders like he did to his subordinates in business. Well, he could try, but we've seen how successfully THAT has worked out for him.
But it isn't his general lack of effectiveness that makes Bruce Rauner expendable. No, we can easily replace Mr. Rauner in the Governor's Mansion in Springfield because, unlike that trained seal in the White House, Bruce Rauner doesn't make us laugh or cry or cringe or twitch. On his best day he'd just film another jackass commercial which makes him look more like a duct tape salesman than a governor, evoking a yawn at best or a quick press on the MUTE button.
No, fact is, we can get along without Bruce Rauner very well. I confess, I don't know who IS our Lt. Governor. It's possible that THIS person might turn out to be every bit as dull and unentertaining as Bruce Rauner. But it's possible that, by some miracle, THAT person might at least TRY to cut a deal with the Democrats who control the General Assembly so Illinois can at least FUNCTION again. It may not be a lot of laughs, but something sure would be an improvement over the empty suit pretending to be our governor at the moment!!
Filed under: Politics