Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Illinois in the news: A governor is arrested

Yeah, it’s our turn (again).

It’s been just a month since the flag waving in Grant Park -- with the whole world watching and maybe even a little jealous. It was followed by day-after-day of orderly transition and press conferences (some say too orderly – they want free for alls) from Chicago, highlighting again Obama’s smooth, confident and focused work of putting an administration together.

Then, like a gang banger grabbing some bling off a kid around the corner, our governor with the giant mound of hair has to chase after his own bling – whatever he could get for a Senate seat, for approval of a gaming bill, for releasing committed funds to a children’s hospital, and a host of other sales of his office – and our state -- to whomever he could get to bid and pay.

This has been going on for years. To some of us, it is not news, even as the arrest is. We can exhale. Finally. But the timing is aggravating.

Blagojevich is now grabbing international headlines, too. In an entirely disgusting way. Due to his vainglorious and greedy idiocy, we are no longer the city of that magnificent, uplifting and peaceful night at Grant Park, but the Tribune's John Kass’s nightmare-land of venality and corruption. And, predictably, Kass will tie it to Obama – even if the string is as thin as a net of spun sugar.

The out-of-towners – the reporters hunkered in here for the duration of the transition -- will ruminate and speculate. Is there something about Chicago? Is it the Daleys? How is Obama implicated? How could he not be?

Well, for starters, while he didn’t “take on” the machine, he was hardly “of the machine,” let alone its creature. We have plenty of those – the dynasty families that give birth to and then get their spawn elected and elected again.

Obama’s deceased parents did not bequeath him seats in Illinois. And no matter how much that “godfather” label is given to statehouse senate prez Emil Jones in relation to Obama, he was more a church usher; Jones just opened the doors of the statehouse and directed the flock this way and that. He didn’t raise the guy.

So, the drama is still unfolding and will for a long time to come. Blago won’t resign. He’s too full of himself to even consider it. As we sit here gagging on his greed, he’s pouring over the headlines and rejoicing. Finally, he’s getting headlines like his hero Elvis.

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