It’s almost impossible to make a deal with somebody who won’t accept reality. And that’s been the case in Illinois for more than a year, as Governor Bruce Rauner has made one politically unrealistic demand after another while refusing to negotiate a budget until those demands are met, all the while blaming the entire impasse on the intransigence of House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Because the public debate is so wrapped up in partisanship and ideology, it’s been tough for a large segment of the population to wrap its collective mind around what’s really been going on. Many see this fight as the “new, good” Rauner versus the “old, bad” Madigan. While that argument certainly has plenty of merit, it’s not nearly the entire story.

It takes two to tango, and the truth is and has always been that Rauner doesn’t even have enthusiastic support among legislative Republicans for a big chunk of his Turnaround Agenda, particularly those demands opposed by labor unions. His complete agenda cannot pass both legislative chambers no matter who the House speaker is.

After what happened the day after the March primary election, however, Rauner’s obvious inability to accept some stark political realities might finally help more folks understand what the rest of us have been seeing for the past year or more.

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933It’s the latest rage among American leftists to point out that Donald Trump has fascist proclivities. A recent example is Robert Reich, who was secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. In an article recently on Raw Story, Reich states that “Trump has finally reached a point where parallels between his presidential campaign and the fascists of the first half of the 20th Century – lurid figures such as Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Oswald Mosley, and Francisco Franco – are too evident to overlook.”

Reich isn’t the only one. Former Mexican President Vincente Fox also called Trump a fascist. Current Mexican President Enrique Pena Calderon said that Trump’s “strident” rhetoric is how “Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in.”

In another recent article, this one in the Los Angeles Times, reporter Patt Morrison states: “Well, there’s language and there’s style and manner that has echoes of the fascism of Europe in the 1920s and ’30s. There’s the claim that the United States is in decline and needs a strong leader. And that was at the heart of what Mussolini and Hitler promised. They offered a recipe for revival: nationalism, aggressive foreign policy, attacks on the enemies inside and out without much regard for due process, an obsession with decline and with enemies like Jews or socialists, foreigners – those are the echoes of that today.”

But in their attacks on Trump, those on the left conveniently forget a discomforting fact: Their hero and icon – the man they (as well as conservatives) have extolled and glorified for some 80 years, President Franklin D. Roosevelt – was himself a fascist.

“He was a god in that district,” a high-level Rauner guy told me about state Senator Sam McCann’s poll numbers from before this year’s Republican-primary campaign began.

Benchmark polling taken months ago showed McCann (R-Plainview) had a voter-approval rating of about 70 percent. McCann “really was everywhere” in the Downstate district, attending events all over the place throughout his tenure, the Rauner official admitted.

Looking at those initial numbers, “you’d have to be crazy” to take McCann on, the official said. But the governor had threatened to punish any Republican who voted with AFSCME on a now-infamous bill that would have barred a state-employee strike and instead forced binding arbitration. McCann was the only Republican to vote against Rauner, so a massive game plan was devised.

What followed was the most expensive Republican legislative-primary race in the history of Illinois. In the past, the million dollars or so raised and spent by and on behalf of McCann would’ve dropped jaws everywhere. But McCann’s million was less than a quarter of the race’s $4.2-million grand total.

Even so, McCann defeated his Rauner-backed opponent, Bryce Benton, by more than 5 points.

Every now and then, an issue arises locally that poses a real threat to our natural resources and subsequent standard of living. This time it is in the form of an amendment to Scott County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) that currently protects our most precious asset – the richest soil in the world.

Residents will have an opportunity to be heard on this matter during a public hearing scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, in the Scott County board room on the first floor of the Scott County Administration Building at 600 West Fourth Street in Davenport.

The amendment, called an “Industrial Floating Zone” and recommended by the county Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission, would permit spot zoning for large-scale industrial operations anywhere in the unincorporated areas of Scott County (outside city limits). At a July 2013 meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission was told by Planning & Development Director Tim Huey that the Board of Supervisors was interested in reviewing and updating the CLUP to better reflect the county’s strategic-plan goals – with a focus on language for commercial and industrial zoning to further economic-development objectives. This was in response to losing the $1.4-billion Orascom fertilizer plant to Lee County because of the Agricultural Preservation Zoning District that protects ag land and prevented this industrial intrusion into dedicated farmland.

Illinois Republicans have long complained that House Speaker Michael Madigan’s campaign organization doesn’t just beat you; it destroys you. Madigan doesn’t set out to merely win; he wants to make sure he doesn’t ever have to deal with you again.

Madigan’s own Democratic primary race was a good example. He posted yard signs all over his district urging his constituents to vote against “convicted felon Jason Gonzales,” and his cable-TV and direct-mail ads ceaselessly pounded home that very same message. His captains also reportedly had volunteers holding those signs at the entrance to voting locations.

Gonzales is, indeed, a convicted felon. But that happened two decades ago, and he was pardoned by former Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. To hear the Madigan campaign tell it, however, you’d think the guy just walked out of prison.

Or take a look at what Madigan did to Katelyn Hotle. The House speaker’s operation dropped at least nine negative mailers on the little-known, lightly funded candidate in the Quad Cities-area Democratic primary to replace retiring state Representative Pat Verschoore (D-Milan). The gist of the attacks was that Hotle, a Rock Island city-council member, profited personally from her shoddy government service, but none of it was true.

They also smeared Hotle in the media for being a “plant” of Governor Bruce Rauner. Why? The only real explanation is that she was the lone female in a four-way primary, so she could do well on demographics alone and they had to take her out. For good.

Given all the hoopla surrounding the presidential campaign, it’s easy for people to conclude that the big fight for the future of America is between Democrats and Republicans. Not so. When it comes to fundamental principles, Republicans and Democrats are on the same page. They both believe in socialism, interventionism, and imperialism, as reflected by the joint devotion to such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, immigration controls, trade restrictions, the drug war, invasions, occupations, wars of aggression, assassinations, torture, and foreign aid to dictatorships.

The only real fight between Democrats and Republicans is over who is going to be in charge of the welfare/warfare state programs. Who is going to get to distribute the welfare largess? Who is going to get to orchestrate the invasions, the assassinations, the bombings?

No, the real fight for the future direction of the country is between libertarians, who wish to move America in the direction of freedom, peace, and free markets, and the Democrats/Republicans, who wish to continue moving our nation in the direction of more killing and more isolationism.

Scott County's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle

Our federal government has been taken over by globalist bankers. Our federal government no longer represents the interests of Americans. Elections cannot solve these problems as they are rigged. They have poisoned our air, food, water, medicine, education, media, economy, and culture. I will not belabor these facts. If you don’t already know this, you soon will.

I take these assaults very personally, as you should. As the criminals in our federal government employ you to assist them in our destruction, I must extend an olive branch before it is too late.

The Obama administration has purged the military of any constitutional generals and is now training the military to fight the American citizens. They are militarizing, federalizing, and now globalizing you – the local police – to assist.

“How do they sleep at night?”

It’s a question I’m asked a lot these days. The inquirers always wonder how Governor Bruce Rauner, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and their more full-throated enablers on both sides can live with themselves as they watch big chunks of state government’s responsibilities crumble before their very eyes during the months-long governmental impasse.

As far as I can tell, they’re sleeping pretty well. And both sides appear to be using almost the exact same coping strategies.

A name from the past has been leading the charge for Jason Gonzales’ Democratic-primary campaign against Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Blair Hull, the hugely wealthy but unsuccessful 2004 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, directly accounts for $100,000 of the $300,000 that the Illinois United for Change PAC has raised since late January (and maybe double that, because it’s unclear who controls a company responsible for another $100,000). The independent-expenditure committee has so far reported spending money only on Gonzales.

I was able to reach Hull through an intermediary to ask him why he decided to get involved against his fellow Democrat Madigan in the primary. He would only communicate by e-mail, and didn’t respond to a follow-up question.

Hull said he believes Gonzales gives the state “an opportunity for a fresh start” and predicted his candidate, an entrepreneur who received an MBA from MIT, would be a “true statesman” in the General Assembly.

There are always two audiences for formal gubernatorial addresses: legislators who actually attend, and everyone outside the Statehouse who watch it or read about it later.

Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget address last week seemed far more designed for people outside the building, most of whom don’t really care about the intricacies of government finance. Most do, however, want to see everyone finally get along and end this eight-month governmental impasse, despite what you may read in online comment sections.

That’s probably why Rauner barely even talked about the budget. It’s no surprise why. For the first time since Illinois became a state in 1818, a governor has submitted a budget for the next fiscal year without having passed a budget for the current fiscal year.

The failure is not just an embarrassment. Tens of thousands of the most vulnerable Illinoisans are paying dearly. No budget means the state can’t help homeless teens, assist women with the trauma of a brutal rape, or help addicts kick heroin.

Tens of thousands more may have to drop out of college because state universities and a special scholarship program aren’t being funded. The majority African-American Chicago State University is perilously close to shutting down, as are Western Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University.

Even Rauner’s lines that some described as an “olive branch” to the Democratic legislative majority seemed aimed more at the folks back home.

Why? Well, words, even very kind words, are not going to be enough to get this done. The sides are simply too far apart, and now that election season has cranked up again, I’m not sure how this thing is going to be resolved.