Wednesday, December 17, 2008

That wasn't the smell of victory in Grant Park last month...

Today’s Wall Street Journal unfortunately carried this appallingly bad editorial by Thomas Frank, the end of which is excerpted below:

Blago's alleged acts bring us face-to-face with what's wrong with American politics, and this time it can't just be brushed off as part of a Republican "culture of corruption." It goes far deeper than that. The rot is structural; it is trans-partisan; and it stinks to high heaven.

So let President-elect Obama recruit a thousand Patrick Fitzgeralds. Let him turn them loose on Chicago, on Washington, and on every corner of public life where the market-based ideal still survives. Sic semper tyrannis.

(emphasis added)
Honestly, it’s infuriating to the point of being exhausting. After all, Mr. Obama used the Senate seat of the man who actually did recruit Patrick Fitzgerald as a stepping stone to the Presidency, and did more to expose Chicago’s corruption by vacating that seat than he ever did while filling it.

I wonder if Frank ever asked his “liberal friends in Chicago” who “have no use for some of the other bright lights of local Democratic politics -- from patronage hacks to the family that managed to pass the presidency of the Cook County Board from father to son,” if they ever felt frustrated that Mr. Obama enabled the machine with his silence - or, worse, in the case of the Strogers, Daley and Blagojevich, his endorsements? Do they ever express regret that Mr. Obama never used even a fraction of the talent and ambition that he demonstrated on the road to the White House to really, really take on corruption here in Chicago? I wonder if they’re mad that, while he carefully navigated his way to the White House, they’re still stuck in the sewer with Blago?

Maybe they’re not as bitter as I think they should be. Maybe they’re optimistic that a President Obama will now be inspired and emboldened enough to, as Frank suggestions, unleash a pack of Fitzgerald-like corruption busters on Chicago and Washington…..but if they are going to be answering to Marc Rich, I wouldn’t hold my breath – or maybe I would....the stink isn’t going away anytime soon.


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