First Massachusetts, then Illinois

Well, if you get the public angry enough, it’s possible to get some electoral change, as we see from the dramatic Senate victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. No, the addition of one Republican senator — and especially one who champions Bush-like national security positions — isn’t going to help the country return to limited government. But Brown’s win is derailing a noxious big-government health bill, and it is a sign that voters can occasionally surprise and delight us.

In Illinois, the Illinois Review reports: “All six GOP gubernatorial candidates that responded to the Chicago Tribune’s question on the topic of Illinois state workers’ pension crisis said they would back a two-tiered system, starting new employees on a different course for their retirements than those already in the system.”

Illinois is another deep blue state with entrenched public employee unions, so here is another sign that change might come even in liberal locales. Except, perhaps, in California. For some reason, despite ceaseless budget crises, our state can’t get its act together. In the past, California voters approved Prop. 13 and staged a recall election. But for now, not much is going on that gives me hope. Still, polls showed Brown behind not that long ago, so maybe change will come.

Voters should be testy. The state’s financial future is being squandered. It’s time to do something. Or at least it should be time to do something sometime soon.

–Steven Greenhut

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