Lightfoot and Pritzker: The Tweedledum and Tweedledee of Political Gas

By John Kass

April 29, 2022

You may have noticed that a bunch of angry know-nothing critics are attacking Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and his Chicago Democrat mini-me, Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

These so-called experts are complaining that Pritzker and Lightfoot are playing taxpayers for fools over the politics of gas, which is so expensive now because of inflation and other domestic policy choices (thanks Brandon) that many Americans can barely afford to completely fill their gas tanks just to get to work.

The main complaints involve charges of election-year gas giveaways and other alleged gas gimmicks that use taxpayer funds, so Lightfoot and Pritzker can look good before the elections.

How dare these critics utter such nonsense about the governor and the mayor! Don’t they have faith in our elected officials? It all makes me so, so very sad.

Since when have taxpayers ever been played for fools, idiots, nincompoops, and chumbolones by Chicago mayors and Illinois governors?

Oh, OK. You’ve got me there. The politicians have been treating voters like easily manipulated idiots since forever. But Lightfoot and Pritzker insist they’re nothing like those bad old political hacks.

They’re the new ones.

Pritzker is now ordering gas station owners across the state to post messages for all to see that Pritzker, in his benevolence, moved to save consumers about 2.2 cents on a gallon of gas for a few months.

According to the cynics of the Illinois Policy Institute—yeah, the same people who dared warn the state about Boss Madigan and corruption long before he was ever indicted—Pritzker has a plan. The governor will stick it to voters only after the election, when it’ll be too late.

If gas station owners don’t push the Pritzker agenda, the Illinois Policy Institute and other Pritzker critics say gas station owners will be treated as criminals and fined up to $500 a day. Gasoline retailers insist that Pritzker is forcing them to advertise on his behalf, giving him credit, by compelling their speech.

“There’s no political speech involved there, at all,” Pritzker said according to thecentersquare.com. “And, here’s what we’re doing. We’re lowering the impact on people of the rise in prices of gas all across the world, but lowering the impact for the people here in Illinois.”

Oh, we believe you J.B.  You’re not compelling anyone with a $500 daily fine? Sure. Just like we believed you about the missing toilets that got you that huge tax break for your Gold Coast mansion.

Just like we believe that U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley could have been mayor, really, but he just didn’t feel like it because he cares too much about Ukraine. You believe that one, too?

Isn’t politics all about believing?

Not to be outdone, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushed through her own gas gimmick. She wanted to counter mayoral challenger Willie Wilson, who’s been handing out free gas around town and making voters smile. But Wilson is using his own money to do it.

Instead of spending her own cash like Wilson, she did what corrupt old school pols have always done–she reached into the public funds.  She used her power with the Chicago City Council to spend $12.5 million of public money and put her own name on her giveaway cards for that “free” gas and those “free” CTA rides. That’s the Chicago Way.

The mayor—known as Mayor Phallus Maximus by Chicago’s Italian community on account of her boasts that her “manhood” surpasses that of all Italians in town–rammed her political package through the council just like a boss.

Yet not everyone was thrilled.

“Lightfoot provides meaningless gas price relief while inflation will drive her automatic city school and property tax increases even higher,” said experienced budget analyst and likely mayoral challenger Paul Vallas.

“Meanwhile, she has no answer for violent crime which continues to grow, the flash mobs are back wreaking havoc downtown and the increasingly unsafe CTA is sending riders to the exits,” Vallas said.

Oh Paul, Paul, Paul. Talking about violent crime is so “negative.” The papers don’t like it. Editors hire “social justice” reporters. They don’t want mug shots, or examine the role of  famed Soros-approved prosecutor Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.  It’s all so upsetting.

That’s why everybody interested in crime policy reads CWB Chicago instead.

Voters like “free” stuff, even if they’re the ones paying for “free” stuff.  For generations voters have been trained in The Chicago Way to let Democrats buy their votes through “free” stuff: from federal social programs that cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars, to those “free” turkeys and hams tossed to voters from a Democratic Ward Committeeman’s truck in the old days to buy those votes.

And now look. Chicago is almost like the Garden of Eden, except with ambulances and CTA riders crying with their heads bashed in, and Michigan Avenue shoppers getting robbed and taxpayers fleeing and those sad shrines neighbors put up along the parkways for the young killed in the gang wars.

Yet thanks to the mayor, it’s all “free” gas and “free” CTA rides.

This is brilliant. I hereby proclaim Mayor Phallus Maximus and Gov. Commodious Maximus to be the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of Illinois politics. They  they know how to play the great game (with your money).

Unfortunately, South Side Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th  said the administration should focus instead on rising violent crime, including murder, robbery, shootings and carjackings.

“Until we start addressing the 800-pound gorilla in the room, which is the crime, then we’re going to continue to go down this road,” said Beale. “We need to address the crime and get people back to enjoying this city.”

Ald. Beale, what’s so fun about dealing with crime? Arrests get the activists upset. Media sides with the activists, who demonize the cops. The cops stop chasing criminals. And now Chicago is on that one-way street to crazy town.

I don’t want to join the critics. Instead, I want Pritzker and Lightfoot to get all the credit they deserve. Every bit of it and more.

For example, the governor is responsible for patrolling Chicago’s expressways and keeping them safe. They’re not safe, not with all the gang shootings. There were more than 270 shootings on the expressways last year, a big increase from the year before.

So, Pritzker gets full credit the next time an innocent driver finds herself between two other cars filled with street gang “mutual combatants” who begin shooting.

And if an innocent driver or passengers are  killed?

Then Pritzker gets full credit. And the funeral director must put up a sign thanking Pritzker for the business. Or face a $500 daily fine.

Safety on Chicago public transportation is Lightfoot’s responsibility. She hasn’t done much about it. She tried “accountability Mondays” or was that Tuesday?

Cops can ride free on the CTA, but do they?

“Hell no,” a Chicago Police commander told me Thursday. “Are you crazy? I’ll never go on the el. And I carry a gun.”

So, shouldn’t the mayor get full credit when robbery victims get their heads bashed in on the red line?

Yes, perhaps with those “free” CTA cards with the mayor’s name on them tossed on the victim, as cops wait to draw, or not draw a sad chalky on the el platform.

It’s only fair. Politicians should take credit where credit is due, even when they’re shy. Of course they deserve full credit, because they’re responsible.

And Tweedledum and Tweedledee?

You’re so good at playing gas politics at election time. But think beyond such petty triumphs, full of trickery and word games.

Just look at what you’ve done to Chicago and Illinois.

The credit belongs to you.

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(Copyright 2022 John Kass)