Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rahm Emanuel And the Chicago Way

I love John Kass of the Chicago Tribune. He is one of the very, very few columnists who tried to warn us about Obama, Obama's record (or lack thereof), how he came to be a Senator, and all about Chicago Politics. Simply put, he was a voice crying out in the wilderness.

And now, he has turned his pen (or keyboard, as the case may be) to the rumor that Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief Thug And Chicago-Style politician, may be running for mayor of Chicago in this article,

Rahm In The Mayor's Race Would Be Quite A Fish Tale. Indeed. Here is Kass on this possibility:
On my first day back at work after vacation, the political news from Washington hit me like a cold dead fish in the face:

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago?

That's enough to freeze the bowels of every voter in the land.

"Emanuel, the most political animal in this town ... is said to have told people that the ( White House) chief of staff role is an 18-month job and that he is considering a run for mayor of Chicago," wrote columnist Sally Quinn in the Washington Post on Tuesday. (Tribune photo by Jose M. Osorio / December 18, 2008)

With Hollywood continuing to suck up to the Obama administration, imagine the benefits of a Rahmsian mayoral campaign. HBO's "Entourage" could film here. The lead character, a charismatic Hollywood agent named Ari, is based on Rahm's brother, Ari.

Just think of the scenes at Cafe Bionda and Tavern on Rush, and the parts for Rahm's Chicago buddies, the entourage he'll need to run things if he's mayor. State Sen. Jimmy DeLeo (D-How You Doin?) could play Turtle and handle the parties. Corrupt former city water boss Donald Tomczak, who'll be released from federal prison this year, would thrill "Entourage" fans in the role of Donny Drama.

The White House could have thrown cold water on the idea. Instead, a White House source told the Tribune that "Rahm is 100 percent focused on the job at hand -- serving President Obama as his chief of staff."

From such non-denial denials, a demonic campaign may yet be hatched. If so, I might get down on my hands and knees and beg Mayor Richard Daley to stay. This would frighten the mayor and quite possibly unhinge him -- permanently.

Now THAT should give you an idea of what it would be like for Rahm to take the helm of Chicago from someone who lives in Chicago. Kass, undeterred, did something too few journalists seem capable of these days. He picked up the phone to seek answers as opposed to relying on whatever rumor mill put this out:
So I called a mayoral source. "It's news to us," said the source. "The mayor has no intention of not being mayor."

Whew. If the prospect of a Rahm mayoral campaign is frightening, just think if Daley retired and played the geezer, an old man with trousers high, bragging about how he did everything he pleased and nobody could do anything about it.

Of course, he'd want to show up at his old haunts. That's when every politician he terrified over the years would line up to insult him. Don't even mention the cops and firefighters. Daley couldn't handle that kind of retirement.

So if Daley's not the mayor, it means either he's passed on or he's taking a long vacation on some exotic beach, drinking gin and tonics, watching "Entourage" DVDs.

The Washington Post is an esteemed newspaper. But the editors eat in Washington. They don't eat in Chicago. Yes, papers from Washington and New York periodically dispatch their foreign correspondents to our gritty Midwestern precincts to chronicle our quaint, earthy ways. But they never quite get it.

Don't you just love this guy? "Quaint, earthy ways" - too funny. Oh, if a presidency hadn't hinged on that kind of thinking:
Just one year ago, Obama was in his first miracle phase, feeding the multitudes with two fish sandwiches and five hot dog buns. He was applauded as a reformer, even while putting Chicago City Hall guys in charge of the world.

Later, a few journalists were annoyed at Obama's penchant for meekly bowing down before measly foreign kings and emperors. But bowing meekly is what every young Illinois state senator does when summoned to the mayor's office in Chicago.

When the president installed Rahm as his chief of staff, the Washington media were turgid with respect, praising Rahm as a shrewd political alley fighter, a maestro of profanity, a former ballet dancer tough enough to send a dead fish to an enemy, just like a Hollywood gangster.

Naturally, the national media marveled that Obama selected a Clinton guy, Emanuel, to run things.

That is because the National Media didn't bother to do their jobs, as we know all too well:
But Rahm is no Clinton guy. He's a Daley guy.

And if folks in Washington weren't so besotted with all that primo Hopium they've been smoking, they'd have understood this.

Preach it, brother, preach it!

There's more:
And, legend has it that Rahm sprouted fully formed from the navel of mayoral brother Billy Daley. Rich even assisted at the birth, and according to the dusty hieroglyphs, is said to have shrieked:

"Push, Billy! Push! Billy, I can see the head! Don't give up! Push!"

The Washington establishment also ignores how Rahm got elected to Congress in 2002 from Illinois' 5th District. The district's Democratic state central committeeman, DeLeo, had something to do with it. So did all those illegal City Hall patronage workers swarming the precincts, led by Donny Drama, currently in federal stir for the nasty habit of taking bribes.

Exactly the same way they ignored how OBAMA got elected to office, or that the one time he couldn't get everyone OFF the ballot, he LOST. Oh, yeah. Betcha didn't know that. And he only won his US Senate seat because they managed to unseal sealed divorce records, thus forcing the Republican, Jack Ryan, to drop out right before the election. (You may NOT have heard that there was another Democrat, Blair Hull, who also had his sealed divorce records unsealed. Voila, he was out of the race, too. There is reason to believe that it was David Axelrove and Obama who forced that to happen, too, according to the link above. Who knew, right?) So, Obama ran against Alan Keyes. One of my cats could beat Alan Keyes in an election. That was no big feat. But, no. They didn't bother:
Yet as if by tacit agreement, Rahm's Chicago back story doesn't make national news. But neither did the mayor's reaction when Rahm was made chief of staff of the Chicago Way.

"It's a gain," Daley said last year. "It's a real gain, gain, gain."

Unless it's a fish. A real fish, fish, fish.

And it's really cold. (jskass@tribune.com)

A "gain" indeed. And we have seen just what kind of "gain" - Chicago Politics Writ Large.

I guess that is one thing about which Obama told the truth. He isn't a Washington politician - he is something worse - a Chicago politician. And we are seeing exactly how that is playing out across the country now...

6 comments:

Mary Ellen said...

Didn't you LOVE that column yesterday? The only reason I get the Chicago Tribune is because of John Kass (and I do the crossword puzzle everyday). If Kass leaves, I'll drop the paper and buy a crossword puzzle book.

He hit the nail on the head, Obama and Rahm are running this country the Chicago Way. The thought of Rahm as our Mayor is enough to make me want to pack up and move. But then I do think that more people in Chicago hate Rahm more than you think. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Daley lose the next race. He's made some real enemies after he sold the parking meters and tried to shove the Olympics down our throats (a majority of Chicagoan's didn't want the Olympics here). If the Republicans could put up a decent guy to run against Daley (or Rham), they could win easily. Unfortunately, the Republicans keep putting up bigger idiots than Daley.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME -

You know I was thinking abt you when I wrote this! :-) That Kass is something else - and oh, I bet many people wish they had paid attention to him earlier on...

INTERESTING abt Daley. Wouldn't that be something to get rid of him? I was so surprised when he was elected, given the legacy in his family. Holy smokes. I think Chicago politics gives Louisiana a run for its money in terms of corrupt politicians, don't you (I'm thinking along the lines of Huey Long)? Yikes.

Well, who knows - maybe they will find someone to run against one of those two (Rahm and Dick) who will actually listen to the people of Chicago. What a concept, eh?

Oh - and if Kass leaves the Trib., I'll help ply you with crossword puzzle books!

Mary Ellen said...

Rev. Amy--If we ever get a chance to get together, I can fill you in on all kinds of Chicago political history. I had uncles and cousins who worked with many of the Chicago Mayors. In fact, I think I still have one more cousin working in one of the City Hall offices. One of my uncles was the body guard for Dan Ryan, who was President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners from 1954 to his death in 1961. My family on my dad's side was steeped in Chicago politics so I've been hearing behind the scenes stuff since I was a young kid. I think that's why I like John Kass so much...he's right in the thick of it and tells it like it is.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

What do you mean, "If"?? You mean, "when," right? ;-)

Dang, Mary Ellen - that sounds fascinating! I would LOVE to hear the stories abt the inner workings of Chicago politics. I imagine what we get in the news is the mere tip of the iceberg. Is that right?

Knowing that you have that history, and like Kass so much, makes me like him even more! He must be one courageous man, don't you think?

nazareth priest said...

Just an invitation, Mary Ellen: you could come to live here in north central Wisconsin(but the winters are brutal...but considering what you're going through right now, well, maybe it's not so different!).
Rev Amy: Oy vey!
It just makes my little itty bitty head hurt to try to figure out all the "Byzantine" intrigue in these Chicago politics!
And if R. E. is, in fact, running, and wins...what I have to wonder is,
"What is his real contribution/commitment to being in such a powerful position for the American government, for the American people?" Self-aggrandizement?
And Chicago does not need more 'poopy' leadership (I say that as a former Illinois resident...in fact, we, in norther Illinois called Chicago another "state" but be that as it may...).
Ah, what canya do? Just hope for the best; and keep prayin'. And in the Latin "Illigetimus non carborandum"--don't let the bastards get ya down!)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

LOL - Mary Ellen, let me know if you take Nazareth Priest up on the offer to move somewhere even colder!!

Nazareth Priest, I know - it is kind of mind boggling abt R.E., isn't it? I have no doubt that whatever Rahm does, like Obama, is purely for himself and whatever it is he will get from it.

LOL - that is one Latin saying I don't forget! Thanks, Nazareth Priest, and stay warm up there in the frozen tundra...