SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Democrats returned to Springfield this week fresh from victory in the November elections and confident that comprehensive gun ban and gay marriage legislation would sail through the State Senate. Indeed, they seemed focused, unified, unstoppable.
In fact, nothing could have been further from the truth.
This week's legislative debacle revealed some serious chinks in the Illinois Democrat armor. The "machine" suffered a rare embarrassment when Senate Dems were forced to admitted they couldn't move their political agenda without help from the hapless, divided Republicans.
But the Republicans weren't as hapless and divided as they had assumed. And the Democrat members weren't as indivisible and compliant as they were used to.
Deep divisions between Chicago and downstate Democrats were revealed. Ideological tensions between progressives and center-left Dems were exposed. And despite the best efforts of the gay lobby, the anti-gun lobby, the ACLU, Lambda Legal and the entire left-wing base, the Democrat majority couldn't cobble together enough support within their Party to move the legislation to the floor.
Republicans should take notice, and take heart. This week proved that the monolithic Illinois Democrat Party is a myth.