01/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Blago Could've Been Somebody

While Hot Rod Blagojevich cooled his heels in lock-up waiting for lawyers to secure his release, 200 workers who were laid off last week by a Chicago employer turned up the heat, protesting unfair practices and shining a bright light on the real cost of the economic down turn.

At stake is the employer's responsibility to workers when times are tough. In this instance, Republic Windows and Doors ran out of dough and sent workers packing. The problem was they promised to pay severance and vacation time due. They reneged. The workers staged a sit-in.

While Governor Rod Blagojevich was whining about a $300K per annum job with the SEIU and trying to get his wife a gig for about half that, these workers have become an international symbol of grit amid global hard times. As we head into Christmas, the two million Americans who have already lost their jobs since the recession began a year ago now have something to root for in Chicago.

Rod Blagojevich had eyes on a bright horizon that had everything to do with his needs and nothing to do with the needs of the people he was elected to represent. He could have been a hero in his home town. Now he's a disgrace. It seems to be a common narrative these days.

Today Obama distanced himself from the scandal. In the days to come, we hope the president-elect will continue to put in motion the change he promised, and put an end to the nearly decade-long war on moral values that Bush inflicted on this great nation.