These Are Our Political Leaders

Among the harshest calls for Rahm Emanuel’s removal as mayor of Chicago comes from Jack Mirkinson at Salon:

It’s equally clear that Emanuel does not deserve to run Chicago for even a second longer. He exemplifies a particularly loathsome breed of Democratic politician—the constantly triangulating, plutocrat-courting, privatizing so-called “centrist,” that so dominated the Bill Clinton years. Emanuel deserves to be buried—along with that tradition—so that someone with a modicum of integrity can take the reins.

Moreover, it’s long past time for President Obama—and the people running to replace him—to weigh in meaningfully on the Emanuel scandal. Carly Fiorina is rarely correct, but she spoke the truth on Wednesday when she said this:

“Just imagine for one moment if the mayor of Chicago were not President Obama’s personal friend. Just imagine for a moment if this were a Republican, what President Obama would be saying and doing. He has been incredibly silent on this tragedy.”

People need to demand that Obama break that silence, and that the disgraceful things happening in Chicago rise to the top of the 2016 campaign agenda.

Let’s recap. Mayor Emanuel’s tenure in office has been characterized by criminal behavior, corruption, cronyism, and incompetence. I’m in broad agreement with Mr. Mirkinson’s criticism but I don’t think he’s casting his net wide enough.

Here in Chicago there’s a political expression: who sent him? Said another way, who is his political patron? In Rahm Emanuel’s case the answer is clear: Bill Clinton sent him. And the very things Mr. Mirkinson complains about were features of the Clinton Administration of which Rahm Emanuel was an important part. The malign convergence of politics with finance, cronyism, winning as the only principle. And yet here we are poised on the brink of electing Hillary Clinton president.

But there is wider yet. The longer President Obama maintains a discreet silence on Mayor Emanuel’s mis-, mal-, and nonfeasance, the more it tarnishes his own administration. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but if he had run on a platform of making Rahm Emanuel his Chief of Staff I would not have done so. It has been obvious that Emanuel was a low character for more than 20 years. Naming such a person CoS is embracing the values he represents.

And I haven’t even started on the Republicans. Poor sods, they think that their own leaders don’t have exactly the same failings. That’s imponderably naive.

20 comments… add one
  • ...

    At least some Republican voters have figured it out. Thus the tea party and now all the support for Trump. There hasn’t been a peep out of Democratic voters, though, who seem completely set on at least four more years of Clinton scandals. Dems are getting exactly what they want.

  • PD Shaw

    Dave, you have my sympathies. I remember when the sh!t hit the fan on Blagojevich and it was clear to everyone in Illinois that he had to go. There were excuses and innocent explanations offered by the national media. Accusations of prosecutors criminalizing traditional politics. But the excuses weren’t credible, and the innocent explanations were still damning. But most important of all, confidence had been lost at the beginning of his second term that pretty much guaranteed bad governance. I wanted him gone; I didn’t care about the criminal case. And I hated the notion that respect for the laws meant waiting until he was convicted before doing anything. That should not be the standard. The ability to raise money from rich California donors should not be the standard.

    But I really don’t see any way out without the state creating a process for recall.

  • There are many things being missed in the discussion but among them is that obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice are felonies, punishable by one to three years in prison.

  • Ken Hoop

    You are so right.

    Here is an example why the Elite of both parties fears Trump.
    Might be justified, might not.
    Had never heard of this blogger and don’t care from what particular angle he is coming from.
    Why would it be good? The arrogant, corrupt and violent on a worldwide basis status quo Elite of both parties needs utter dismantling.

    http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2016/01/who-can-govern-now.html

    “What if Trump can’t win, but his accurate attacks on her (Clinton) make her unable to govern even her own party if elected? She could win by default in an ugly match and be a lame duck on the day she takes office.”

  • It’s really easy to figure out why Obama is keeping his mouth shut, and it’s not ‘friendship.’ Rahm Emmanuel simply knows where too many bodies are buried .

    Among many other things, he likely knows the real story behind the vacant Senate seat Blago tried to sell and President Obama’s involvement in the scandal. Remember this?

    You know, Blago’s first trial ended in a hung jury, and the lone holdout was a long time Democrat activist who knew Blago and thew other players, including Jesse Jr. I figure that was a warning to Blago not to cause any waves.

    During the second trial, I remember being struck by the judge’s restrictions on whom Blagojevich’s attorneys could subpoena, what evidence they were allowed to access and share with the jury on certain matters and the number of overruled objections and side bar rulings that went in favor of the prosecution.

    If Obama pardons him, we all know it’s a reward for services rendered.

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