Sunday, March 25, 2018

How high's the water, mama? Two feet high and risin'


For those of you out there who listen to Joe Walsh on the radio, you might be familiar with his warnings of a blue wave coming. Just two months ago, Walsh tweeted out, "There is a blue Democrat tsunami wave coming in 2018 like we've never seen. Our side better wake up."  Walsh is talking about the enthusiasm gap between Democratic and Republican voters.   On March 20th, the first wave hit Illinois when almost twice as many Democratic ballots were pulled than Republicans. In Cook County, there were only 36 Republicans ballots per precinct pulled.  That is shockingly low! In fact, there were almost 6 Democratic ballots for every one Republican ballot in Cook county.   It reminds me of a Johnny Cash song.

How high's the water, mama?
Two feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa? 
Two feet high and risin'

Democratic voters are fired up after the 2016 election, believing that every vote cast is an opportunity to resist Donald Trump. Like it or not, they are passionate while many Republicans in Illinois were fed up.   Worse yet, Conservatives felt betrayed by Governor Rauner when he signed a stack of bills that gave sanctuary to illegal aliens, funded tax payer abortion, and allowed transgenders to change birth certificates.

We can make it to the road in a homemade boat
That's the only thing we got left that'll float
It's already over all the wheat and the oats, 
Two feet high and risin' 

How high's the water, mama? 
Three feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa? 
Three feet high and risin'

Conservatives revolted and found one of their own to challenge the incumbent governor.  Rep. Jeanne Ives came out swinging and attacked the governor for his betrayals of Republican principles in an that was very edgy, but to the point.  GOP party leaders along with moderates pushed back accusing the conservatives of being out of touch with the average Illinois citizen and said that Jeanne Ives was undetectable. Ives fought back and things got ugly, Gov. Rauner falsely accused Rep. Jeanne Ives as being, Madigan's lackey, and Madigan's best friend,  forcing the Ives campaign to play defense, rather than focus on plans to fix Illinois.   Despite a tight race with the possibility of unseating an incumbent governor, Republicans stayed home.

Well, the hives are gone, I've lost my bees
The chickens are sleepin' in the willow trees
Cow's in water up past her knees, 
Three feet high and risin' 

How high's the water, mama? 
Four feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa? 
Four feet high and risin'

Governor Rauner survived, and called for unity. But conservatives vowed never to support a governor who betrayed them and went back on his word. They vowed to make sure that the man who marginalized their values and lied about their candidate would never be governor again. Governor Rauner and the Republican party leaders called for unity, but conservatives would not budge. Meanwhile, many voters are fed up, and just plan to stay home.

Hey, come look through the window pane,
The bus is comin', gonna take us to the train
looks like we'll be blessed with a little more rain, 
Four feet high and risin' 

How high's the water, mama? 
Five feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa? 
Five feet high and risin'

Now, as we head into what will likely be the most expensive governor's race in history as billionaire J.B. Pritzker takes on millionaire Bruce Rauner, we run the risk of losing sight of what we've been fighting for. We are fighting for our state. Illinois is ranked at either #49 or #50 depending upon the time of day, and we have the largest out-migration of any state. Our pension system is in crisis, our state is on the brink of bankruptcy and we are destroying our business climate with higher taxes. Illinois needs reform, but it will not happen unless we are able to make fundamental reforms. Reforms that will never happen under the current power structure headed by the powerful speaker of the house Michael Madigan. The rain just keeps on coming, the rails are washed out and it seems that our hopes of picking up seats in the house to dethrone Michael Madigan will have to wait until the waters come down.
Well, the rails are washed out north of town
We gotta head for higher ground
We can't come back till the water comes down, 
Five feet high and risin'

How high is the water risin? The higher it rises, the more elections we lose. The following incumbent Republicans are running for re-election in state house districts where they won in 2016 by 10 points or less. If, we continue to be blessed with a little more rain their chances will be washed out.

  • Norine Hammond (District 93, Astoria)
  • Lindsay Parkhurst (District 79, Kankakee
  • David Olsen (District 81, Naperville
  • Christine Winger (District 45,West Chicago )
  • Dave Severin (District 117, Carbondale)
  • Jerry Long (District 76, Ottawa)

Then there are these three Republicans who are trying to unseat a Democrat in the house. in 2016, a Democrat just barely won, but with a wave of Democrats coming our way, their chances may also get wiped out.
  • Mike Babcock (District 111, St. Louis Area)
  • Ken Idstein (District 62, Waukegan)
  • Dwight D. Kay (District 112, St. Louis Area) served from 2011-2016

Well, it's five feet high and risin'

I cannot just leave it there, because I am an optimist, and I choose to fight. I hope you do too. What we need is a grassroots army to make some homemade boats and get voters to the polls. We need to get those chickens sleeping in the willow trees down, and fight back. Rep. Jeanne Ives taught us that an enthusiastic base can beat the odds. On a shoestring budget, she almost pulled off an historic upset. She did it with an enthusiastic army of grassroots volunteers, who will not give up.   They are vowing to help candidates like Dave Severin, Mike Babcock, and Dwight Kay get elected and take back the house.  We must all join them and fight.  If we head for higher ground, we may have nothing left when the water finally comes down.


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