It’s a Chicago Tradition
The Fox News headline reads: Blagojevich Engaged in ‘Political Corruption Crime Spree’. As I write CNN drones behind me. President-elect Barack Obama tries to distance himself from the situation and the reporter speaks in an urgent tone that expresses her shock. I’m unmoved. If I was surprised by anything it was that the governor was actually arrested, rather than allowed to continue on. As usual it was the feds and not local law enforcement that nabbed him. I’m no legal genius so maybe there is a legal reason politicians are usually busted by the FBI. Even so, I thought corrupt politicians were the new untouchables.
Illinois sports a level of corruption that rivals many third world nations. The Chicago Tribune notes that political corruption in Illinios is “as much a part of the landscape as corn, soybeans and skyscrapers.” The same article goes on to list the current corruption case across the state.
This list is astonishingly long but it should not surprise us. This is the state that produced Al Capone, the Daley dynasty (D), Gov. Otto Kerner (D), Attorney General William Scott, U.S. Rep. Daniel Rostenkowski (D), Auditor Orville Hodge, Operation Greylord, and Operation Silver Shovel just to name a few past corruption busts. (Reuters, 2008.)
I had two reaction to this news. First, it supports my contention that when one party has complete political control of the government, individuals begin to feel invincible and above the law. It creates a perfect environment that encourages and incubates corruption and abuse of power. (Oh, anyone else notice that the “D” was left unmentioned in connection with Blagojevich in both the CNN and Fox reports? Had it been an “R” we would have heard it over and over and over again.) Second, my mind turned to Obama.
What can we expect from a man who has spent his extremely short but powerful political life in this corrupt culture? His career was born and raised in this soup of corruption and I suspect it was this same corrupt machinery that vaulted him over Hillary Clinton and into the Presidency.
I grew up in and around swamps. My youth taught me you can’t walk through the swamp and not emerge without being covered in slime. Let us assume Obama held himself above this political filth, should we expect he can conduct the next 4 to 8 years in a completely ethical manner?
I’d like to conclude with a glimpse at the herd. While researching for this blog, I stumbled upon another interesting blog. This one comes from an Illinois citizen who is obviously a Democrat and a blind defender of his party. After I read the 12 Angry Men Blog, all I could think was, “wow.” To quote Tom Roon’s recent comment on this blog site, “Thank you public education.”
What do you think?