EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – DECEMBER 17, 2008
By Rich Trzupek
It is hard to say which is worse when it comes to soon-to-be (if not “already is”, by the time this goes to print) ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich: his appalling arrogance, or his gross stupidity.
If you were going to auction off a seat in the United States, wouldn’t you – oh, I don’t know – avoiding doing so OVER THE PHONE? Especially when you know that the Feds are breathing down your neck? Especially when you are, according to the polls, the most unpopular Governor in the union, even before this happened?
God only knows what his approval rating will be by the time The Examiner goes to print. Negative numbers are a definite possibility, which I would interpret to mean that citizens of Zimbabwe have been calling in to say that they prefer their crack-pot leader to ours.
After the scandal broke last week, Blago’s approval rating was a whopping four per cent. Can you imagine? Four per cent. You should be able to get at least five per cent from the “I didn’t understand the question” crowd.
But I know what you’re thinking: “who are these four per cent?” I don’t know, but if we ever find out, I for one am in favor of passing a constitutional amendment that prevents them from ever voting again.
If you are a veteran reader of the Cheap Seats, you know that I have been calling for Blago’s head since even before he was elected Governor in 2002. The guy, in my view, has always been a slimeball. You could see it in the way he carried himself back when he was a Congressman, never missing an opportunity to jump in front of the cameras, no matter what the issue was and how little it concerned his constituents. He was Jesse Jackson Sr., with a bouffant.
It’s always been all about Rod, since day one. OK, that’s not terribly unusual for someone in politics, but this guy’s degree of self-absorption borders on the sociopathic. I mean, I’m no cheerleader for Mike Madigan and his Chicago-centric brand of politics, but he does put the state’s interests ahead of his at least once in a while.
Not Blago. And if he merely considered himself the center of the universe, he still might have gotten away with it. But the guy is obviously a Class A idiot of Forrest Gump-like proportions, without any of the redeeming or lovable parts. Stupid is as Blago does.
When the scandal broke, people asked me if I was pleased to have been proven correct. The answer is “in a way, yes”. Redemption is always sweet. But when you’re right as often as I am, it’s not really that big a deal. It is hard to be humble when you‘re brilliant.
The more overwhelming emotion is anger. Anger toward the Republican party in Illinois, a party that was so ambivalent toward Judy Baar Topinka in 2006.
Yeah, there was a lot not to like about Judy Baar two years ago. But the excuse for not supporting her, as I heard over and over again, that she “wasn’t conservative enough”, amounted to surrender without a hint of battle. Fine. Judy was not as conservative as we would have liked. Is that any reason to re-elect a disaster like Blago for a second term? Sadly, many of my fellow conservative chose exactly that course.
Even worse, by God so much worse, is the blind, stupid, faith of Democrats in the state of Illinois. There are millions of voters – and the ballots don’t lie – who will vote for anyone and everyone with a “D” next to their name, in the expectation that their vote represents a vote against business as usual, when that sort of vote in fact represents exactly the opposite, particularly in the state of Illinois.
It is almost sad. No, it is sad. In the local elections to be held this April, there will be countless Democrat candidates running on platforms that promise – to coin a phrase – “change”.
“Change” is a term that was first introduced into popular political parlance by one Rod Blagojevich in the 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Not that anyone would notice.
The “change” that is needed is not related to party. If “change” is to happen, then we need to elect candidates who stand for something other than the corrupt status quo and we need to support incumbents who have both courage and conviction – who don’t just say the right thing, but who actually do the right thing.
In the state of Illinois, it is very clear whom the corrupt status quo involves and what party is the standard-bearer for candidates who are every bit as slimy as our Governor.
And no, that is not to say that every Democrat in Illinois is corrupt. However, they are the party in power, and names like Emil Jones, Richie Daley and Rod Blagojevich are proof of the proposition that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
We’re going to see more of the same come April, as the Democrats’ machine attempts to spread their cancer further into the collar counties that The Examiner serves. Will we ever have the courage to reject them?’
In this state, it doesn’t seem likely.