The most painful wounds are those that are self-inflicted.
Until recently this statement would have been followed with a discussion of Republican political and policy failures.
No longer. Chicago's neo-feudalists have helped disaffected Republicans learn to love again and broken the hearts of hopeful Independents.
At both the federal and state level, Democrats have put themselves in a no-win situation. They either provide Republicans with a glorious victory or a resounding battle cry heading into the November elections.
Nationally, the Obama administration's overreach on health care is destroying the Democrat party from within. The President's indifference to sending dozens of his brethren to the gallows while Rahm Emanuel acts out scenes from Shawshank Redemption in the shower at the Congressional gym is driving Blue Dog Democrats to the GOP.
In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn's budget address last week wasn't so much a budget address as it was a punch line. Take my state, please (H/T Henny Youngman). Quinn's big idea is to borrow against tomorrow to pay for yesterday and hope that tomorrow never comes. Oh yeah, and raise your taxes.
Republicans' big chance is to continue their earnest defiance against Obamacare, tax increases, and the incursion of public sector obligations the private sector can no longer finance.
Republicans need only resist the siren song of bipartisanship and hold Democrats to account for the economic devastation wrought on their watch.
If Republicans turn back the government takeovers and the tax-borrow-spend gambits, they will have rehabilitated the promise of their party. If steadfast but unsuccessful, Republicans will have a ready-made rationale for their return to power.
It's a simple message really: Whether in Washington, D.C., or Springfield, Ill., we cannot afford to have Chicago Democrats in charge of our government anymore.