Oh, Chicago, city of broad shoulders, time to butcher your own hog. Or take him up to the observation deck atop the Sears Tower and throw him 1353 feet to the ground. Rowdy Roddy Blagojevich, whose crime is being caught doing what politicians often do, should be made to pay for the trouble he has caused.
It's not that we can't stand a corrupt official of the government. We do that all the time. It's not that we can't stand corruption in a "leader." We do THAT all the time. It's that THIS time, it's a guy who's connected to the guy who might be the best President of the United States in generations. And we don't need that to happen.
Chicago is noted for its tombstone votes. It's noted for its highest bidder politics. It's known for having governors and others who go to jail. None of this is an especially big deal. ExceptBlago . He is more than just a politician selling favors. He is a stone around the neck of the President-Elect, and, therefore, a stone around the neck of America.
We used to know how to take care of guys like Blago. The Sears Tower. Before that, the back room of a mob-operated flower shop.
The selling of a Senate seat? We've lived through that before. But not a senate seat linked to a president elect who may be the most important guy of the lifetime of anyone now living.
Sandburg is rotating in his grave. Al Capone is rotating in his grave. The "original" Mayor Daley is rotating in his grave. This is a lot of spinning. Let's hope it doesn't affect the earth's own rotation.
In perspective, Rowdy Roddy is only a blip on the radar, a footnote to history, a guy with John Edwards hair, Richard Nixon vocabulary and the morality of "Jaws." But he's also the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Chicago Democratic Party machine is something akin to the straight vertical line that represents the Confederate States family tree. But this is not the time for that
In Chicago, they should be asking "Where is Frank Nitti now that we need him?"
--Kenny out in Arizona is looking to find a bailout for a railroad. He's talking about a model railroad that runs in his garden. Which proves that easterners who move to the sun belt get solar brain fry more severely than people who have always lived there.
--Actually, we bailed the "real" railroads out years ago. And did it work? Well, anyone looking to bail out the auto industry ought not to mention the rail thing until the check clears.
--But there is a romance to railroads, especially in an era of lousy air travel. But the airlines have just reported a quantum jump in on time performance and luggage retention. Easy enough to do when no one's flying -- least of all with baggage.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(sm)