Category Archives: chicago olympics

>OBSERVATION: The Chicago-izing of America

>If elected, will Barack Obama save the Chicago Democrat machine? Duh! Of course.

The oldest and arguably most racist and corrupt political machine in American history has been showing signs of a death rattle these days. Thanks to a crusading U.S. Attorney and a growing disenchantment with the point man, Mayor Richard Daley – and the Daley clan, in general – it seems that the political institution launched in the 1930s is tottering.

Most critical has been the loss of patronage leverage. Thanks to the courts and something called the Shakman decree, the Chicago bosses can no longer use government employees as political and personal lackeys. They cannot impose the historic indentured servitude that forced underlings to work precincts and raise political dough. They can no longer safely re-sell government services for campaign contributions.

However, for many years, the law was simply ignored, and monkey business in City Hall continued as usual. That was until a one-term Republican senator, Peter Fitzgerald, refused to play go-along politics in the appointment of a new U.S. Attorney. Over the objections of the good ole boys of both parties, the Senator picked the untouchable Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation).

Now with hundreds of indictments and convictions under his belt, including one governor, a smattering of high profile influence peddlers and Mayor Daley’s closest aides, the machine mischief of the past has come to a screeching halt. In a complete reversal of polarity, the endorsement of an alderman today will most likely kill a job applicant’s potential for a city job.

In addition to the structural problem, Chicago is transforming from a “city that works” to a community beset with critical financial, social and infrastructure problems. What is knows locally as “the corruption tax” has placed Cook County and Chicago in the stratosphere of taxing municipalities. Yet, to the chagrin of the public, children still go uneducated and potholes go unfilled.

Enter President Obama. The irony in having an African-American (even half) breath life into the white-controlled political machine of Chicago is not lost on the locals. Obama would not be the first “window dressing” black political figure to provide a measure of politically correct diversity to the racist machine – gaining a personal piece of the political pie while keeping the greater black community in perma-subservient underclass status.

Despite promises to the contrary, you can rest assured that Obama will most certainly dismiss Patrick Fitzgerald and appoint a patsy recommended by Illinois’ strident partisan U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. Daley, who some believe could be indicted, himself, will breath the loudest sigh of relief. Once again, the effect of reform laws and court decisions will be thwarted by lack of investigation, enforcement and prosecution.

The city’s and state’s financial problems will be provided financial opiates from the federal vault which will temporarily mask the surface symptoms of the mismanaged local economy. Obama & Co. will open the federal treasury to whatever his political padrones need. Chicago’s inefficiencies and costs of corruption will be plastered over with cold cash courtesy of the national taxpayers.

Like Lazarus, an Obama presidency could raise Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid from the dead. While there would be some entertainment value for the people of Chicago – offset by the frustrations attendant to extreme overcrowding – the real winners would be the political insiders who would not only get the best seats at every venue, but would pocket enormous amounts of money from every imaginable skim and scam.

Whatever the Chicago machine has lost in terms of the power over local patronage will be more than made up from the mother lode of jobs available on the federal payrolls. Chicago cronies and family members will be filling moving vans heading east within days of an Obama victory. At least two Cabinet positions will be handed to Chicago Democrats.

With the trifecta of Obama in the White House, Dick Durbin one step away from the top job in the Senate and Rahm Emmanuel as heir-apparent to the speakership of the U.S. House, there is no doubt that the Chicago Democrat machine will be the proverbial kid in grandpa’s candy story.