Leader of the looney wing of the Republican Party, State Representative Jeanne Ives, rails against child care for those “who don’t deserve it.”
Illinois Republicans, at least the members of the looney wing, have gone ballistic over Bruce Rauner for signing HB40, a bill ensuring that women’s reproductive rights will remain in place in Illinois no matter how the SCOTUS decides and that abortions will be covered by state aid for poor women.
Repugs get their drawers really twisted over the idea that poor women should have the same access to reproductive choice as rich women.
Rauner has been on all sides of this issue over the past months since HB40 was passed by both chambers of the General Assembly. Ironically he chose to sign the bill on the day the SCOTUS agreed to hear his challenge to public employee unions’ agency fees and fair share.
That has been one of his major goals since he was elected.
Our governor is on the list of the most vulnerable Republican governors in 2018.
For the looney wing, his anti-union turnaround agenda was never quite enough. He never seemed to have that fire in his belly when it came to taking away the rights of poor women for example. Denying services for two years because the state had no budget didn’t satisfy the loonies.
Then he signed HB40.
The Chicago Tribune’s looney right-wing columnist Kristen McQueary went into a rage that we haven’t witnessed since she called for a Katrina-like hurricane to hit Chicago and have it just target Chicago public schools.
Access to abortions for poor women? No way, said Kristen McQueary.
So let’s be clear: The bill Rauner signed was not about protecting safe and legal abortion. It was about putting taxpayers on the hook for more abortions.
“I mean, you lied to a priest,” looney wing state Rep. Peter Breen said in a radio interview. “Once he’s done that there’s no one left that thinks this guy is a credible governor or candidate to continue to be governor going forward.”
Breen seems to forget that the Governor also promised Chicago Cardinal Cupich millions of dollars of state aid to Catholic schools. The Governor, the Mayor and the Democrats in Springfield delivered on that promise.
Suburban looney wing State Representative Jeanne Ives threatened to run against Rauner. If not her, somebody else from the looney wing will run.
If it is possible to get inside Rauner’s head and figure out motivation or strategy in signing HB40 it would be this: Having the looney wing backing a Republican state-wide has never been the path to victory in this blue state. He thinks he can peel away Democrats like he did last time after the pension betrayal by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn.
That strategy definitely worked last time.
He is likely to get challenged in the Republican primary. Is that a problem for him? I’m dubious.
Yet stranger things have happened.
I’m thinking Donald Trump.
The problem for me is that all this sturm und drang on the Repug side over reproductive rights and public funding of abortion will continue to let the Democrats off easy.
We need to remind them that Quinn lost because Democratic voters voted Democratic but left the governor’s line blank.
That can always happen again.