* Mark Maxwell…
The veteran downstate legislator [Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon] who is preparing to pass the legislative baton of his rural State Senate district over to House Representative Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) next January was not entertained by Bailey’s public act of defiance when he refused to wear a face mask on the floor of the Illinois House on Wednesday. […]
In a two-minute speech from the floor of the makeshift House chamber at the Bank of Springfield Convention Center on Wednesday, Bailey cast himself as a martyr who speaks “on behalf of the people of Illinois who feel captive, burdened and unheard.”
In Righter’s view, it was Bailey’s own actions that effectively muted their voices when he complained over a wardrobe rule and voluntarily walked off the job. […]
“You have to be there,” he said. “I mean, there’s an old saying that, ‘Half the game is showing up.’ I think that you have to be there.” […]
Righter cautioned that defiant displays of disrespect likely won’t bode well for Bailey’s prospects of legislative success in the upper chamber.
“The mask issue is mostly, to me, about putting other people before yourselves, because — while I’m not concerned — I work with people, good people, Republicans and Democrats, who, for whatever reason, they are very concerned,” Righter said. “If I can do something very, very simple like don a mask, that helps them feel more at ease and helps them do their jobs better — which by the way, probably helps me down the road — then why wouldn’t I do that?”
But, all this assumes Bailey actually wants to get anything done in the General Assembly. So far, he has never shown even an inkling of interest in doing one darned thing except whatever temporarily benefits himself. He makes Jeanne Ives look like Barbara Currie. And that attitude will not go over well in the Senate, where even staunch conservatives generally behave like grownups…
* And when Sen. Righter retires, who’s going to advocate for Eastern Illinois University? Who’s going to put in the hard work that Righter did to make sure that part of the world gets its fair share from the state?
Nobody, that’s who, unless Bailey or one of his regional colleagues finally start acting like adults.