Friday, February 24, 2006

Gov. Blagojevich vs. the Box of Rocks

Today the Tribune ran an AP story that reported on something that I missed two weeks ago. Gov. Blagojevich (D) IL. appeared on the Daily Show while thinking that it was a serious political program. Besides the fact that either the Trib or the AP waited two weeks to publish this embarrassing article, it is very funny and well worth reading. Blagojevich’s handlers apparently didn’t clue the clueless Governor into the fact that the Daily Show is not an entirely serious undertaking. The Daily Show is on a cable network named Comedy Central, not exactly the National Broadcasting Corp.

Also today, the Sun Times reported that Gov. Blagojevich enlisted a Nation of Islam (NOI) “minister” to serve on the Governor’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. Does this Blagojevich guy even get out? Has he been reading the papers during the last, oh I don’t know, twenty-five years? The Nation of Islam is a very disturbing group. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that their members are not out dealing drugs, shooting people and beating women; but is the only path towards that life one that insists that white people are devils invented by a black scientist? The NOI claim that they are no longer teaching that strange version of history and anthropology, but my guess is that those ideas are not very far from the surface. When NOI members used to peddle the Final Call on downtown streets they were very reluctant to sell me a copy, they likely didn’t want white people to see what they were up to. With good reason; they seemed to have cleaned it up for the internet.

The NOI is having their big annual shindig, Saviours’ Day in Hyde Park (a Chicago neighborhood) this weekend, where Minister Louis Farrakhan will likely wax eloquently (?) on the history of Jews in the slave trade. This would be despite the fact that Mr. Farrakhan is a minister in a perversion of the religion that was extremely active in the slave trade. Strange interpretations of history aside, Mr. Farrakhan has a pretty sharp mind. He was once an amateur concert pianist and he has the ability to sound like a pretty reasonable fellow. Do not believe it. Mr. Farrakhan is a demagogue. Some demagogues use bricks of truth connected by the mortar of lies; Mr. Farrakhan has a tendency to use imaginary bricks.

Mr. Blagojevich is where he is today because his father-in-law is Richard Mell, a powerful Chicago Alderman and all around big time muckety-muck in local Democratic circles. Frankly, although I have never lived in his ward, I have mostly liked Alderman Mell. It seems that somebody has been whispering into Blagojevich’s ear that he is national material and that he is going to have to make hazy his association with his ward boss father-in-law. I seem to recall an old picture of Alderman Mell standing on his chair in the City Council Chambers yelling at then Mayor Harold Washington. Although it was often disgraceful, we didn’t lack for political amusement back then. The whisperers must have been telling Blagojevich that some fellow Democrats and most Republicans would likely attack him as the lackey of a ward boss. If I were advising a candidate (nobody that dumb has yet emerged) my advice would be to stay away from Mell. Alderman Mell is a good, old-time Chicago politician, those guys can be dangerous. Don’t even think about kicking that dog. I believe that the advice to distance himself from Mr. Mell will prove to be harmful to the long-term political prospects of Mr. Blagojevich; it has also likely been tough on his family. I wonder if Blagojevich got that wonderful advice from the same guy who briefed him before his appearance on the Daily Show?


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