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Juicier and Juicier

December 11, 2008

So the Illinois governor is finally being taken down for widespread and unapologetic corruption.  This is not news.  One out of five Illinois governors in the past century has been indicted or convicted on corruption charges.   The Chicago FBI chief says  “if it isn’t the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor.”  And this is the same United States that includes the state of Louisiana, for heaven’s sake!  It’s just business as usual in Springfield, that vassal state to the Chicago Machine. 

Now we’re being told that other Chicago politicans are deeply involved, including promised payoffs by Jesse Jackson, Jr.   I don’t see any reason for surprise here, either.  Do you really believe that anyone can be successful in Chicago politics and stay clean?  Corruption is the nature of Chicago Machine politics — read that FBI Chief’s quote up there again.   Get a history book on the topic from your public library and read it.  That will explain it better than I can.  Triple-J will deny his very soul away — and it may be that he’s innocent in this case —  but who ya gonna believe in Chicago?

Which brings me to my point.

This is the environment in which Obama chose to make his career.   There is some controversy out there over where exactly Obama was born, where he can call his “hometown.”  If anything, it seems that would be Hawaii — we could say “he’s from Hawaii.”  Does it seem totally intuitive to you that a Hawaiian resident would move to Chicago and make his home and career there?  Maybe I’m extraordinarily thick, but it’s not intuitive to me.  Obama chose Chicago because he was planning and strategizing and networking toward his Big Day in Politics.  That day was Nov. 4, 2008.

Now, some are saying that Obama is culpable in the attempted sale of his Senate seat, but I don’t credit that.  I had a paying career in business some years back, and when a person moved up or on, he or she was always involved in the decision about the successor (except when it was a firing).  So for Obama to be involved in the decision strikes me as pretty normal procedure.  I don’t care if he talked with Blago about it.  It does bother me that he feels he has to deny it.

Obama chose that place to build his career, looking forward to how that environment would help him attain the highest possible level.  And it did.   And over the next four years, we are going to be treated to a series of scandals involving Chicago Machine players.  Remember the Clinton years — one long sorry series of scandal after scandal.  It’s gonna feel just like old times for the next few years.

So my beef on this topic is simply this:  Obama chose that inherently and irredeemably corrupt environment.  What do the man’s choices say about the man?  Think about it.

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