Todd Stroger can’t win.

For four years he’s been the butt of jokes, the topic of scathing editorials, and the symbol of government waste for angry Cook County taxpayers. Sometimes he deserves it and sometimes he’s a straw man. And now, with his political fortunes waning, Stroger appears to have decided that the only way to eke out reelection is by focusing on mobilizing his base in the black community. This may be a practical move, but it ensures that even if he does survive the Democratic primary in February, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to govern as effectively as he has the last three years—and as you might have noticed, that bar isn’t terribly high.