When throwing a fit is the only appropriate thing to do
Updated: June 6, 2012 3:41PM
If you’re sick and tired of what goes on in Illinois politics, then State Rep. Mike Bost should be your new hero.
Bost, from downstate Murphysboro, stood up on the House floor last week during debate on the pension reform bill that eventually went nowhere, and did what any normal American would do when confronted with the nonsense that is state government.
He threw a fit.
His rant, meltdown, explosion — whatever you want to call it — is preserved on YouTube so you can see it again and again. It was broadcast on local news, has shown up on Facebook and was an item on blogger Andrew Sullivan’s popular Daily Dish page.
Bost’s rant is the way we want our representatives to react to the way this state is run and the awful mess we are in.
Let’s start with the mess — a mess that everyone down in Springfield for any length of time has had a hand in creating and no one knows how to fix.
Illinois is broke. The General Assembly is raising taxes and fees like mad and we’re still broke. They’re going to slash services, and we will still be broke because we have to pay last year’s bills.
On top of that, there is this massive pension obligation that has been ignored for years. It will probably be ignored until the state sends pensioners a letter that says, “Sorry, we’re out of money,” instead of a pension check.
Pension bill is trigger
The pension bill is what set off Bost. Here it is hours before the General Assembly is scheduled to end, and they first begin debating the most important issue facing the state.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened in Springfield. As a matter of fact, it happens every time.
One might say it’s only natural for complex issues to get decided at the end.
But there’s another reason these issues don’t come before the members until the end of the session. It is easier to control them with last-minute votes on issues that need time to decipher and consider. A regular guy like Mike Bost can’t make heads or tails of the bill when it comes at the last minute.
That’s what he’s ranting about. It’s all about control and business as usual in Springfield, with power concentrated in the hands of one man. And that one man, whom Bost doesn’t name, is House Speaker Mike Madigan.
If Bost sounds a bit like Howard Beale, who’s “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” in the movie “Network,” then Madigan is Arthur Jensen, the behind-the-scenes corporate mogul who tells Beale, “You have meddled with the primal forces of nature.”
Things are the way they are in Illinois, in Springfield, on the floor of the house, because that’s the way Mike Madigan wants it.
Bost finally said what everybody knows. Maybe that’s a start.