Wednesday March 3rd 2010 should go down as interesting day in Quad City and the 17th district of Illinois politics. The Districts Republican Party unveiled their new mascot 12 ‘ high x 20’ long fiberglass elephant. According to a Quad City Online article the local party was enthusiastic and energized. That is definitely a step up for a political party that, like Moses, seems as if it has been wandering the desert for the last forty years. I am not sure how much assistance an oversized, inanimate object will be in actually revitalizing the local Republican Party. But for the good of the District they need to find a path in their wanderings that will lead them back into the political arena in an effort to balance the local political scene.If a plastic mascot works – I say go for it.
Meanwhile across town, according to another Quad City Online post, the local Democrat Party has selected Steve Ballard as the next local Chairman of the Democratic Party. I am familiar with Mr. Ballard and I like the man. He is intelligent, skilled and a motivating leader when he chooses. He can be charming as peacock or as dangerous as a shark when the need arises. Where and how he leads the local Democrat Party is a series of events that depends on too many unknown factors to make a prediction. Whatever direction he leads the local Democrat Party, I expect that the newly energized Republican Party will be facing a difficult battle if they wish to gain ground.
The Democrat Party of the 17th district has been too long without competition and has allowed themselves to morph into a bullying version of the old USSR Politburo, serving the will of Party over the desires of the people. Some real competition from the Republican Party -just might be able to force the current local Democrat Party to refocus their direction, away from playing follow the leader with the Coastal Liberals and instead redirect them in a manner that benefits the needs of the people of the 17th district. But as I evaluate the two move made by the local parties today – I think that the Democrat Party made the better of the two moves on the political chessboard. While the Republicans acquired themselves a recognizable mascot – the Democrats have just placed a shark in to pool. Sharks can be a dangerous foe if they are hungry and can easily shred even the toughest of materials. If the battle comes down to a shark versus a plastic pachyderm –> The question becomes — how hungry is Steve Ballard.