At 6.15 am yesterday -- as the people of Illinois willed themselves to wake up to the cold and gloom to put in a day's work that didn't involve theft, plunder, or chicanery -- our Governor, Rod Blagojevich, was arrested on evidence that he attempted all three.
The Governor was all over television last night, standing in front of former employees of the shuttered Republic Windows and Doors Company, chastising Bank of America for canceling a credit line to the troubled company. He appeared as happy as a well-fed dictator, wearing the type of black leather jacket favored by Tony Soprano, clenching his jaw in contempt when asked questions about the investigation against him, and flexing his Gubernatorial power. He declared that all Illinois agencies would henceforth cancel their relationship with Bank of America.
I thought several things as I watched the news:
*That kindergartener haircut is ludicrous,
*The Governor dresses like a mobster,
*People losing jobs = great PR for Governor about to go to jail,
*Don't cry for BOA, Argentina, the truth is they're thieves who routinely skim customers bank accounts under the pretext of late fees.
Even the most cynical of us who thought Illinois and Windy City politics less than holy, were cured by the Presidential Election. We are proud that it is in Chicago that Barack Obama reconciled the disparate, various elements of himself--Kansas and Kenya, white and black, Hawaii and Indonesia, community organizer and constitutional law professor. We remember that before he inspired 64 million voters of every hue across the country, he first impressed out-of-luck white farmers in downstate Illinois with his empathy. We recognize that we took him for granted, long before legions around the world considered him exceptional. Our newly discovered faith in politicians turned to dust however, which is to say, to what it always was, when we heard about the sleazy details of Blagojevich's conduct.
We are offended most of all by the Governor's avarice. Which school of politics educated him in the unethical coupling of public service and personal enrichment? Was his dictator complex inborn or nurtured? Did he see no wrong in selling the Senate seat for his own personal gain?
Really, on a cold day in Chicago -- when you're fantasizing about sunlight twinkling like fireflies over Lake Michigan, and trying to make an honest living, and teaching your kids to be honest and kind, and the man you elected is finagling the bagel 20 different ways without any regard for anyone but himself -- what you want is justice incorruptible, and someone noble and good to renew your faith in public servants.
Enter U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald, our Gary Cooper. The sun shines.
Send a "Resign You Punk" e-mail to Blagojevich here:
or call his office 217 782 0244, TTY: 1 888-262-3336