Wednesday, February 18, 2009


What a banner day for Chicagoans. Not only have we had (how many?) Governors impeached or convicted on various counts, including the dear Blagojavich, but now we’ve got a hand-picked Senator who “forgets” or “gets confused by all the questions.” Sorry, dear Burris, but playing Jim Crow won’t help when you’re a high powered Senator cum Attorney General. I’m not buying the whole Matlock thing you’re doing. Actually, not only did Burris need to hear the FBI replay telephone conversations wherein he directly contradicted his earlier sworn statements, but he was the #%#@ Attorney General for Pete’s sake! You’d think that a man who’s sole job in the whole world is to uphold the law would make sure that he wasn’t perjuring himself when he spoke to the Illinois legislature.
Oh, wait.
Come to think of it, I can believe that a politician from Illinois would lie to other politicians from Illinois. They don’t call it “lying” there: they call it horse sense. And sworn testimony? That’s just an opportunity to wink and nudge while you’re giving the press the latest serial installment.
Clearly, you and I are the only intelligent ones left in the universe. Here’s a man who gets picked for the Senate seat by a man under indictment, later found guilty, of having attempted to sell the Senate seat. In my world, if A is selling and B ends up with the goods, it follows that A sold to B. Harry Reed called foul, but when he got a nasty look from someone, he promptly wet himself and retreated. So, we now have a new scandal to mollify our growing cynicism. Burris, surprisingly, seems to have the same illness Blagojavich had: If You Can’t Prove It, I Didn’t Do It. It’s plagued Governors from Illinois. I’ll just mention Ryan (convicted in 2006 of racketeering). And Walker (Savings and Loan scandal). And Stratton (1960, tax evasion). I’ll stop there, because Illinois has had 46 governors. So, would you trust anything out of an Illinois Governor’s mouth? Would you have believed Blagojavich when he said that Burris was clean? How would someone so filthy know clean? It must be a case of degrees. Blagojavich should have said, “Ah, he ain’t as bad as me, so you ought to let him join your little Senate club.”
Let’s extrapolate this a bit at the risk of sounding like Rush Limbaugh. I like Obama just fine. But he came from Chicago. And how did he win the Senate seat? He prevented the other candidate from running. Got his name erased from the ballot. Now, kudos for knowing the law. But don’t you think it would have been better to have had someone, anyone, to run against? Does it count as winning if you don’t have any competitors?
Here’s my summary and then I’ll cross myself to keep the political demons away: I think Illinois politicians are like cockroaches. You can step on one, but there are thousands more waiting in the wings, and they’re just as dirty, just as full of disease, and they’ll do you just as wrong. Let’s hope Obama proves himself to be less bug, more exterminator.