Archive for the ‘Illinois’ Category.

When Big Politics Is Small

Maybe it’s because I’m of a conservative nature just generally (and by conservative I mean slow to embrace, umm, change (hey, I’ve lived in the same apartment for 10 years — though ironically THAT is changing this year)), or maybe it’s my intolerance for arrogance, or maybe it’s my annoyance with forced and unwarranted pats on the back, but when I hear members of a certain political party in the state in which I live congratulate themselves on recent wins in a “tough” time, and then say they care about the grassroots when they at the same time avoid all attempts to let the grassroots have a say that might threaten their own power, I get…frustrated at how truly small-minded it all is.

This is indeed “Big Politics”, where the small man who thinks he’s in charge (and those like him) has turned a once-red state blue. Politics, from a conservative perspective, should be actually … small, but in the best sense. The people who are given the trust of the citizens should act small, and with care. Grand, sweeping gestures usually lead to something like, oh, say… the Great Society. Or a 2 trillion dollar debt.

Citizens who do their duty not out of small self-love, but out of love for their country are those who will do the best job, because their priorities error not on the side of narcissism, but on the side of the other. Other citizens. Sure, many Big Politicians may start as little guys, but they catch Potomac Fever, or they are surrounded by aids like the Big Politics-man I heard last night. And they get Big. And Fat. And forgetful of who, as my mom often said (quoting someone else) “brung ‘em to the dance”. Conservatives and liberty-lovers of all labels understand that you cannot be “big” to really advance causes that advance freedom — that you must think beyond yourself. You must care for something greater than your power. Greater than “government”. And liberalism, though it talks nice, carries a big government stick that will actually hurt the little guy.

Small Politicans are for the little guy. The real little guy. Yes, the Joe Plumbers. Yes, the mom-’n-pop dry cleaners. Yes, the small businessman. Yes, the taxpayer who works for a large firm that can hire him because they aren’t forced to allow card checks. The real little guy.

Bury Burris … Elect Santelli?

Burris’ support in black community begins to waver – International Herald Tribune

This is good news. But what does Bobby Rush think?

And why now? Why did he suddenly remember this week that actually, technically, he HAD been in contact with our friend Rod, or intermediaries, a few other times. He has changed his story 4 times. FOUR.

Folks at the Chicago Tribune are calling for his resignation, saying he’s an embarrassment, and it all should be put back in the hands of the people. Too bad that couldn’t happen before Blagoyevich was impeached and Governor Quinn installed. It is HIS duty now to appoint someone should Burris resign.

But Burris was asked the wrong questions. That’s why he wasn’t more forthcoming (aka honest)…

“I think that he would’ve been more forthcoming if the appropriate questions were asked,” by the committee, said [Chicago resident Danyelle] Hall. “That didn’t happen and that’s not his fault.”

Of course not. Somehow, somewhere, someone is blaming Bush for this.

Update: Or perhaps Rick Santelli would be interested in a Senate seat? He says not, but that’s the kind of energy and, well, anger we might need in a senator from Illinois.

Update Deux: Hey, we weren’t the only ones who wondered about Santelli and public office. Check out Hot Air comments and NRO’s Corner, where K-Lo says:

I’ve had a case of deja vu today.

I’m noticing the tone. I’m seeing the enthusiasm. And I’m digging out from the sheer volume of e-mails I’ve been getting today about that CNBC dude. The reaction to Rick Santelli’s Chicago-trading-floor incident this morning echoes the emotional reaction my inbox had to Sarah Palin’s convention speech this summer.

I make no endorsements. It’s just an observation.

I think people are hungry for someone who is fed up with the way things are and who seem to believe in something enough to know there in an alternative worth fighting for. Some of the voices may be far from perfect, but Americans are looking for signs of the life of an alternative. And so if a representative pops up — someone who appears to have roots and energy, folks will cheer them on in the hopes there’s a candidate here. Maybe not a presidential candidate, but a leader of some sort. Someone who can offer a vision of something other than a culture of bailout.

Today, Rick Santelli was that sign of life.

Ten Score

Official White House portrait

Official White House portrait

Today marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, the preserver of the Union, and the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Oft reviled by his political enemies (even within his own cabinet), he is now revered by almost everyone for his ability to manage an ultimately successful war, coax cooperation from disputing factions within his party, and inspire a nation with his rhetoric.

The rhetoric, of course, was not “mere” rhetoric. It sometimes soared, but was always salted with old-fashioned and uniquely American common sense.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”

“That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.”

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Happy Birthday indeed, Mr. President.  You are a son of whom Illinoisans and Americans may rightly be proud.

Shame on him, shame on Illinois voters

Blagoyevich is, yes, Blago, as the Illinois State Senate took its responsibility seriously and expeditiously (for politicians). It encourages us to see that some functions of government can work for the good of the people, though in this case I tend to think it was just a happy coincidence that brought the good of the people in line with the interests of certain others. But hey we’ll take it.

The roll-call was fun to listen to. The speeches beforehand exemplified everything I dislike about politics and pontificating politicians. “I grew up on a farm, and we grew apples and peaches. And occasionally there would be a bad apple in the bunch,” (I paraphrase from some state senator whose name escapes me).

In any case, it’s over. And as Illinois voters look around in relief and/or glee, I tend to think — Blagoyevich was a product of this state’s corrupt culture, of which our President is as well — though you would never know it.  And voters are to blame for electing him twice, and the Republican party is also to blame for not offering a reasonable alternative in 2006.

I’m glad the voters of Illinois (through their representaitves) finally decided he had to go.  Can Stroger please be next?

And here, a  quote taken out of context but pleasingly apt after Blago’s speech earlier:

He was not born to shame:

Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit

-Wm. Shakespeare “Romeo and Juliet”

Who plays the governor? Not Blagoyevich

We are pleased (well not really) to present the following tidbit from the Sun Times

If a movie is made about Blagojevich, who plays the governor? – Lynn Sweet

And yes, he really did say that. I heard him with my own ears on the news last night. And then on Sunday, as he started his media blitz, the good governor, who is the ONLY honest politican in Illinois, began by comparing himself to Ghandi, Martin Luther,  Nelson Mandela… and other “human rights heroes.”

Well what if he is? More to the point, what if he does somehow, with his Kipling-quoting charm (if you can call it that), somehow convince potential jury members that maybe…it’s not his fault. He is, after all, simply a product of his northwest Chicago culture, where pay to play is just how the game is played.  Isn’t pay to play what politics IS, he seems to be saying.

Shrewd move — RB appoints RB

First, Happy New Year! One of my resolutions (though technically I don’t believe in making them. They just set one up for failure and subsequent disappointment) is to post more often on this blog. And then I thought I should just baby-step it and post today.

I make no predictions or prognostications about 2009, except that maybe Blagojevich won’t go to prison, and won’t be impeached.

Why am I so rosy-eyed about a governor who has been taped pretty much breaking the law? Because this is the land of lawbreakers. Hey, at least he’s honest.  “Isn’t politics a pay-to-play game in the first place?”, he seems to be saying. It certainly is in Chicago, Blagojevich’s home town (and may we say, the home town of many of the soon-to-be aides and officials in the Obama WH. Note: I am by NO means saying any of those aides had ANYTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Blagojevich. No one did, really, except maybe Patti B.).

And I’m sure his recitation of Rudyard Kipling pulled at some heart strings. And the Democrat-controlled legislature can’t even get its act together enough to push through legislation changing the current Illinois law so that Blago couldn’t have appointed a successor.

So, shrewdly, he did. And as Rep. Rush has now famously said, there is currently no African American in the Senate. And that is a national crisis. Roland Burris will represent not only half the voters of Illinois, but also all blacks. (Aren’t blacks in the rest of the country annoyed that it’s not even THEIR governor who is appointing the man who will represent their interests?)

So, I agree with Dan Proft, who recently said (mp3 here) that Roland Burris should be seated. It’s the law. Blagojevich has a right to appoint someone, even someone with the same initials as he has — though that person, sadly for Blago, isn’t Blago.  Republicans and other Dems will have a chance in 2010 to change this appointment (and unseat others).

Three cheers for the rule of law. Huzzah. Sigh.

Blago: Beyond Hubris

If you don’t live in Illinois…well…you’ve missed a lot. One governor in prison, another on his way.  It frankly warms the cockles.

He wanted to play pay for play politics. Well, he played. And he will pay. And hopefully more so than Spitzer, who got a slap on the wrist and a column in Slate (though some may argue that IS a prison term…I tend to think it’s not so much).

Is Blagojevich STUPID? That’s the question I heard a lot today. The answer is Yes. Yes he was. He was your typical Chicago machine politician who believed he was above the law (hey, doesn’t he make the law? So what’s the problem, right?), and who never expected to get caught. Not really.

And can you imagine him as HHS Secretary? When Obama wants to push through universal healthcare?? Thank God for Peter Fitzgerald. I haven’t always said that, but… this time…indeed.

update: But of course, Blago’s chances of becoming HHS Secretary were slim at best. Obama hardly knew him. And really didn’t support him AT ALL. (reading that ABC link did make us pause and say “These people are going to run THE COUNTRY.  Wow. And..uh-oh.” )

Obama’s previous election

Who is surprised the Chicago Tribune endorsed Barack Obama? Umm, no one.

Was it just four short years ago that Barack Obama came to the national stage, wet behind the ears, after being handed the U.S. Senate seat on a silver platter by the Illinois GOP, with help from the Chicago Tribune and other media? Yes. Yes it was.

And how did that happen? People who don’t live in Illinois (or Chicago, really) probably didn’t pay much attention to this sad story, but I think it bears repeating. Know your history, they say.

In 2004, the Illinois GOP was in a bit of a pickle. A mess, actually.  A former governor, George Ryan, was facing corruption charges (and later was found guilty and sent to prison), the party held no state-wide offices except for Treasurer, and the state party’s central committee refused (and still refuses) to allow “rank-and-file” members to vote for members of the central committee. Intra-party feuding was and is common — often due to conflicting beliefs about principles (conservative vs. moderate), and power.

Incumbent Senator Peter Fitzgerald – R, who only served one  term,  would be given no support for a reelection that year (too conservative? I never really figured out the real reason),. Judy Baar Topinka, then State Treasurer, was the most powerful Republican in the state.

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