* This morning…
And then it goes on for several more tweets.
* The actual quotes…
As someone with his own distinct political views, but who represents a diverse state, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has no tolerance for those who would carve it up for political gain.
“There are two things that just anger me so much,” Durbin said in a recent interview at his downtown Chicago office. “The first is someone who is an elected official in this state who uses their position to divide us rather than unite us.
“And the second,” he added, “is I’m sick and tired of our newspapers — and you can think of the one I’m talking about — as well as politicians who talk about what a miserable state this is and how terrible the city is and why somebody might’ve moved away. Shame on them. This is the No. 1 destination for graduates of Big Ten universities in the United States of America. And the Big Ten sweeps right across not just the Midwest, but the Northeast as well. They’re headed to Chicago. If this was some godforsaken city, why are they coming?
“They’re coming because this is a great city with great opportunities,” Durbin said. “And we do have problems that we need to solve. But for people who are down on the city and down on the state and want to find somebody who left in a grouchy mood, well, they’ll always have a story to tell, but from where I’m standing that isn’t what the city represents or the state represents.”
In some ways, he granted, it’s only natural. Chicago is a behemoth that lords over the state, and some areas of Illinois are vastly different and glad to be that way. “It’s been there throughout the history of this state, and it’s not uncommon,” Durbin said. “You have parts of California that want to split off into a separate state. You have a fight between New York City and the rest of the state. It’s kind of a natural tension that may have been created for any number of reasons,” from significant economic and cultural differences to divided allegiances over sports teams.
“But shame on the politicians who try to exploit it,” Durbin said. “That to me is over the line. Our job is to try to find commonality and unity and opportunities for us to work together.
I highlighted the text so I could say that I agree with Durbin on that particular point and to show how badly his words were twisted. If you approach a column or a story or an editorial with a bias, you can always find someone to confirm your bias. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by the way. We all have biases, but some folks can’t get over them even when there’s significant evidence that their “facts” may be wrong.
On the other hand, people are grumpy (and worse) for completely valid reasons in this here state and I do not blame them one bit. “America is already great,” wasn’t exactly a smart line in parts of the 2016 Rust Belt and “Illinois is great because of Chicago’s Big 10 graduates” is gonna fall on a whole lot of deaf ears now.
But, whatever, Durbin was just being a booster for his home state while taking a little bank-shot at an editorial board which resides in the clouds and exists to teach the rest of us dummies about how the world works.