12/09/08 at 10:11 PM
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Psalm 146:3-4 (NIV)
This morning I turned on NPR during breakfast and heard the news that the governor of Illinois was arrested at his house this morning in his blue and black jogging suit. Throughout the day today, in the car, on the train platform and over lunch I’ve had conversation with friends and strangers, all Illinoisans. The consensus was clear: we are all absolutely staggered by how stupid this man was.
For those of you who haven’t been following Illinois politics for the last few years: Thank You. The news out of the governors office has been nothing but an embarrassment to those of us who live in this state. For the last 3 years, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been under heavy investigation. The governor carried on defiant and self-righteous. Just yesterday he said, “If anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it. I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly and notoriously. And those who feel like they wanna sneakily and wear taping devices, I would remind them that it kinda smells like Nixon and Watergate.” according to the Washington Post.
And here’s where the stupidity of biblical proportions comes in. In this context, in which the governor knew he was under intense investigation. He was taped saying “You gotta be careful how you express that and assume everybody’s listening, the whole world is listening. You hear me?” So what did he do? that he decided to sell the Senate seat left vacant by Senator Obama’s resignation. Two of the most blatant quotes from the wire tap:
“I’ve got this thing and its [expletive] golden and I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I’m not going to do it. I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”
What was he thinking? This quote from the wire tap says all we need to know about his basic motivation: “I want to make money.”
I was chatting with a friend from Singapore about the colorful political landscape here in Chicago. I sent him the link to What was Blagojevich thinking?. After reading the expletive laden quotes he said it “read like an Extra-Special RAW edition of WWF.” Personally I think that’s an insult to WWF wrestlers. At least they understand when they are up against the ropes and it’s time to take the fall.
The one good thing about this is that it give all of us Chicagoans something to talk about besides the snowy weather. When I walked unto the El platform this evening, there was already a conversation going on about the governor. I didn’t have to ask what everyone was talking about. We all shared our collective amazement at the governor’s gull. And Chicagoans of all people are used to corruption. Just not corruption this stupid.