Friday, December 12, 2008

Blagojevich, Obama and The Machine

So, here’s the story: a sitting Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, literally attempts to sell (or auction, if you will) a United States Senate seat that has been vacated by the incoming President, Barack Obama. In recorded conversations, said Governor, in profanity laced statements, makes it crystal clear that there is a price to be paid for the Senate seat and that he will be the recipient.

The reckless and “in-your-face” nature of this type of corruption leaves one groping for superlatives; “blatant” and “brazen” simply do not seem up to the task.

As for Barack Obama, he has stated unequivocally that he had no conversations with Blagojevich and has called for his resignation. Perhaps they spoke, perhaps they didn’t. Though Obama served as an advisor and assisted Blagojevich in his campaign for Governor in 2002, to his credit, he appears to have distanced himself from Blagojevich shortly thereafter.

I find it difficult to believe that Obama would not have sought, at least from an intermediary, to offer input as to his own replacement, given the Senate is integral in his “change” (whatever that is) agenda. I find it impossible that someone, at least in Obama’s orbit, would not have had contact with Blagojevich on this important issue.

It should be remembered that Barack Obama is, at the very least, a product of the Chicago Political Machine. I’m not saying that Obama is necessarily corrupt, but the system in which he arose from “Community Organizer” to State Senator to U.S. Senator and now to the next President of the United States (in an extraordinarily short period of time) has, over generations, raised corruption to an art form. I can not believe that Mr. Obama’s meteoric rise to the Presidency happened without (at least) the express consent of “the Machine”.

Though Obama swam through the unsavory Chicago political sewer for his entire career, he has shown an amazing ability to come away with nary a whiff of its fetid odor.

Yes, perhaps Mr. Obama was blissfully unaware of the system around him, even as it was consistently promoting and advancing his career. After all, he says he was unaware of the hateful, racist rhetoric that spewed from the mouth of his “spiritual mentor” of 20 years, Reverend Wright. He also seemed unaware that one of his early benefactors, Bill Ayers, was an avowed Communist and legendary domestic terrorist.

Rather I think that Obama has used the system and those around him to his own advantage in the furtherance of his career. When someone who has helped him in the past gets in the way of his current ambition, or proves to be a personal embarrassment, he jettisons them without a second thought. Personal loyalty does not seem to be one of Mr. Obama's virtues.

There is no direct evidence of corruption on Obama’s part in this Blagojevich affair, at least not at this time. There is, however, evidence that Barack Obama is a coldly calculating and cynical politician to whom ends clearly justify means. There is, admittedly, a lot of that characteristic in all politicians but Mr. Obama seems to have considerably more than most.

1 comment:

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