Obama in the Blago-sphere

Actually, this is not about the Talking Heads, talking heads, or colorful clothing

Actually, this is not about the Talking Heads, talking heads, or colorful clothing

“Facts all come with points of view
Facts don’t do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out”

The latest political scandal in Illinois not only tarnishes the players involved and the state; it also brings a little unwanted heat to Obama’s early winter here in Chicago. Do I think he or anyone on his staff would have stooped to the level of paying to play Rod’s game? Nope – they are not that stupid. But would his staff have talked to Blago or his aides about who would take the open Senate seat? Of course, and why not? The incoming president would have preferences, and relaying those to the gov is not illegal or unethical. What exactly transpired of course, we don’t know yet, but the facts, hopefully will come out. (Though see Mr. Byrne above on those slippery little things.)

Of course, a shortage of facts never stops the blogosphere from working itself up into a lather over just about anything. But when it comes to our pres-elect, some of the bloggers are already working overtime. Now, I have to admit, when I started chronicling the Crisis here, I spent very little time reading blogs. Not surprisingly, the ones I read tended to reinforce my own political and cultural predilections. But thanks to WordPress and the auto-links it sometimes generates, I find myself checking out sites I normally would not know about. And a lot of the stuff out there, as I suggested in a recent post on the weird shit people believe about Obama, makes me wonder about many of my fellow Americans, their sanity, and their ability to live a real life beyond their blogs.

(Athough, I will disclose again the reaction of one friend after she found out about C?WC?: “Someone has too much time on his hands.”)

The other day, I saw the guy who thinks Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s first book is still going off on that, and Obama’s radical roots in general. People, give it a rest. I have read so much about Obama while researching my book on him, and Republicans who worked with him said he seeks consensus, works with everyone, does not throw out wild ideas. No one disputes he is liberal. No one says he’s a Black Panther. Now, I suppose the conspiracy-theory folks will say this is part of Obama’s long-cultivated plan: Create the image of a centrist, get elected president, then it’s wall-to-wall Marxism baby, 24-7! Uh huh.

Now, these all-anti-Obama, all-the-time bloggers are going apeshit over the Blago scandal and Obama’s ties to him. Yes, Obama worked for Rod’s election in 2002. They were both Chicago pols with many of the same contacts and political allies. But when you read the press articles from the mid-90s through today, one theme emerges: Obama of course knew the political players in Chicago, worked with them at times, ignored their shenanigans, but did not take part in them – or challenge them.  Steve Chapman, a Tribune columnist who leans Libertarian, summed it up today: “…though he is not of the Democratic machine, he has never been exactly against it.” Which Chapman thinks is a mark against Obama. So do I. How he can support Daley, given all that’s happened here, the ongoing, systemic coruption and nepotism…but that’s Obama the politician at work, not Obama the ethicist.

Actor, or actual Chicago pol?

Actor, or actual Chicago pol?

I do think there was something calculating about Obama: he wanted to reach ever-higher political offices. Working against the machine in his chosen hometown would not have been conducive to that. So, he tried to stay as clean as he could while still doing what was necessary to not cut himself off entirely from the powers that be. But at times the ambition made him enemies in Chicago politics as well allies. He ran against the politically connected when he started his Senate bid in ’03; I don’t think that endeared him to anyone. I haven’t seen anything about Blago throwing him any early support. And as far as having friends in that world: I have no sense from what I’ve read that Obama was ever friendly with the machine pols (and certainly not with a doofus like Rod). The intellectual arrogance Obama is said to have would have kept him from getting to close to guys who, despite whatever degrees they might possess, could have done the old SNL skits about “Da Bears” without a script.

So what’s my point? Well, it just ticks me off to see these obsessed bloggers using wild speculation and guilt-by-association to taint Obama with the Blago affair. If you have facts, fine, lay them out. If Obama was involved in this or any other corruption, I want to know, and then the legal system can do its thing and I’ll rail against him the way I would any other sleazy pol. But for some of these bloggers, it seems their sole purpose in their blog and in their life is to attack who or whatever they don’t like, truth be damned. As I’ve mentioned before here, the paranoid style is just too alive and well in America.

Now, I admit I have my boogey-men topics that I go off on. But I also try to bring facts into play, (for whatever that’s worth, hmm Mr. Byrne?) and I think I do a pretty good job of admitting my own flaws, including of not always of being objective (of course we know there is no such beast, right?). I also try to show the variety of my life and of human existence in general, as a look at the categories listed in the right margin will show. So I would just say, you Obama haters, maybe you need a hobby. Something to temper your fixation. But I’m sure they would say, “Who the hell are you, and mind your own business.” And I suppose they would be right.


~ by mburgan on December 14, 2008.

3 Responses to “Obama in the Blago-sphere”

  1. Its looks to be that fitzgerald will be coming up with the facts fast as the governor might step down Monday! John Harris, Rezko and maybe the governor will all start giving fitzgerald information! Obama still has problems.


  2. If they talk and they have dirt on Obama, then yeah, he has big problems. I just think he has probably been pretty careful about what he did, though the Rezko stuff in the past may belie that; we’ll see if that’s the only “bonehead” thing he’s done. It would be a shame for him and for the country if’s he’s mired in scandal on Jan 20.

  3. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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