Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blagojevich and All That Doesn't Meet the Eye

If IL Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich is guilty of the extensive corruption of which he is charged in today's indictment, he deserves to go down hard and in flames.

The degree of venality and cynicism revealed in the statements attributed to Blagojevich is boggling--as is the degree of stupidity. There are no excuses, and if he is guilty, as wiretapped quotes seem to indicate, Democrats will be contending with the shame he has heaped on his party for months, if not years, to come.

My fervent hope, of course--and strong belief--is that Obama's people are not involved in any way, and have never been involved in the filth of Chicago politics. Significantly, according to CNN's reports this morning, Blogojevich himself seems to exhonerate Obama, observing that all that he could squeeze from the people was "appreciation." "Fuck them," Blogojevich said.

Analysis of the alleged crimes and corruption is important. And at the same time, the timing of this federal bust will not have escaped you. It, too, deserves examination. It's always also about context and timing.

One, Blagojevich follows his predecessor governor, Republican George Ryan, on the short walk to the house of shame. Something's pretty rotten in Illinois when two governors in a row are busted on corruption. We've heard for decades about corrupt Illinois politics, but this takes the cake.

Two, the seat of former Illinois Senator, now President-Elect Barack Obama, is involved. It occurs to me is that Obama is at a vulnerable point in his ascendency to the White House.

I'd say the public temper is on a pretty short fuse when it comes to more corruption in high places. Even in stabler times, the mere hint of corruption can tincture reputations permanently. In bitterly partisan, angry times like these, the hint of scandal can significantly weaken anyone whose name arises in the course of its investigation, even when it isn't justifiable. I worry that the GOP will relish having the "Blogojevich-Obama" mantra to hammer into the public mind. The timing this indictment gives commentators like Limbaugh and Hannity a lot of fodder in this sensitive and critical pre-inaugural moment.

Three, both Blagojevich and Obama have come out publicly in support of the workers who are occupying the Chicago-based Republic Windows and Doors factory. You will remember that management gave these workers three days' notice of closure, blaming the bank of America for refusing to make critical operating loans. Because the Bank of America is among recent beneficiaries of a large chunk of public money intended to loosen up loans and preserve jobs, Blagojevich has barred state officials from continuing to do business with the Bank.

Politicians mess with the Bank of America at their peril. If they do so during the most blatantly anti-union, pro-corporatist administration in history, would pay-back surprise anybody? Not me, expecially if the said payback manages to besmirch both the governor and, by proximity, also organized labor.

Let's stay tuned. This is going to get uglier before it gets prettier.

4 comments:

Mberenis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dorothy said...

The plate of the right-wing radio talk show hosts has become full again...

PICO said...

Mberenis, you included a link that may or may not be phishing or worse. I inadvertently posted your comment before I noticed the link. If you'd like to resubmit your comment without a link, feel free.

PICO said...

Dorothy, was their plate ever not full? Oh. I forgot. They don't have to have anything real to blab about, do they!

Thanks for your comment.