we shrug our shoulders because the idea of corruption in the city goes back well over a hundred years. the history of the city around the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries makes fascinating reading in books like The Devil in the White City and Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul, two of the more unique stories.
truthfully, Chicago can be blamed for the ascension of religion into politics that has had the country in a mess for the last 20-30 years. the stage was set right here. if you're familiar with the second book i mentioned, Sex in the Second City, you will discover just how that is the truth.
our biggest amazement is just how stupid Gov. Blago has been. real stupid! one local politician told one of the local TV stations that he is learning sign language to talk with colleagues because "You have to believe that everyone you're talking is wearing a wire." sad, but true.
Rachel Maddow last night pointed out that the media in Chicago was not focusing on what Blago did but on the possibility that he might just be loco. she seemed surprised with it. there are stories popping up about his delusions and behaviours all over the Chicago media. Check out this story in today's Chicago Sun-Times: Hairbrained? Is Blago's hair a sign of sickness?
or the Chicago Tribune: By Chicago standards, Blagojevich isn't crazy.
Illinois' Attorney General, Lisa Madigan [who i wouldn't trust as far as i can spit either] is talking about going to the Illinois Supreme Court to declare Blago unfit: What's next for Blagojevich? Removal?
Obama at his new conference this morning was asked what's wrong with politics in Illinois. he has two views of people involved in government, first as service to others and second as a business; a business that says, "What's in it for me?" he went on to say that there is a great history of Illinois politicians who have been of the former view, but you also have people with bad habits and a culture of politics as a means of self-aggrandizement. that has to change. the latter is the far end of the spectrum, but there are elements that are more subtle in the middle. he mentioned other governments even the federal that do things for political reasons. he hopes his campaign modeled and hi administration will model it. [the previous are more or less my notes while listening to Obama this morning.]
i would add another element - enriching your friends. Bush is using his pen and pencil to do all kinds of orders that Mr. Obama can't do anything about for at least a year. today he doomed polar bears by an order allowing more exploration for oil, gas, etc. and he is about ready to destroy the Utah Redrock wilderness for the same thing.
of course, this is the same thing as Blago did, but Tsar George was willing to wait the eight years to get all the money after he leaves the White House. Blago wanted the money now. it's all a matter of degree.
to paraphrase an old adage:
politicians - you can't live with them...
and you can't kill them.
and you can't kill them.
[for those of you unfamiliar with the original, the word politician was family.]