Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chicago, Chicago, Chicago...

After years of being the BushCo lapdog the media has apparently discovered the role of watchdog, sort of. Gov. Blagojevitch may epitomize stupidly incompetent criminality and as a colorful character meet the criteria of interesting media but he is also an individual. The media doesn't seem to be able to separate the individual from the collective and this is important. In any milieu there are individuals of varying character and ideas and when that is not recognized all kinds of fallacious statements become currency. Democrats are anti-gun is an example, the fact that it is a well financed and noisy segment rather than an entirety seems to be beyond their ability to report and has come to the point of it being a man bite dog story when a Democrat openly supports the 2nd Amendment.

There is a noisome segment of Illinois and particularly Chicago politics that is dirty handed and this isn't in debate - anywhere responsible. The piece of that with importance is "segment." The fact that the segment exists says nothing about any particular individual. All Republicans are not Jack Abromoffs and neither are all Illinois Democrats dirty handed Blagojevitchs. Here is where the guilt by association becomes so nasty, people with no record or accusation of misbehavior are required to prove that something doesn't exist. Have you ever watched arguments about the existence of God? You are put in the position of trying to rationally prove something that is taken as an article of faith. The current argument of faith is either than Obama is a good man or that all Chicago pols are de-facto crooked until proven otherwise.

That becomes an entire mess. If Obama produces what 'he says' are records of transition contacts with the crooked Governor it will still only be his assertion that the records are accurate. The immediate response is, "why are we to believe you?" since all Chicago pols are crooked and liars. Obama is in the position of proving a negative that has no direct factual evidence supporting the accusation.

The media has kept pointing out that Fitzgerald stated there was no Obama connection and then kept asking for it to be proven. It is easy enough to prove that such a thing did occur if there are verifiable tapes or photos, but how to document that no such thing occurred? Apparently the Governor referring in taped comments to the "son of a bitch" only willing to give "appreciation" has little or no meaning in the theme of "crooked Chicago pol." It is easy enough to recognize that there is an opposition in existence to Obama who will take any excuse and run with it, the question is why the media participates. Now the metric seems to be that Obama's transparency is threatened because he didn't...well apparently prove he didn't...who the hell actually knows what he did or didn't do that is a threat to his transparency. The media asks questions based on their speculation and is disappointed when the response doesn't match their speculation and so the transition team is guilty of something, even if it only not meeting their speculation. No one has managed to make an accusation of misbehavior, the questions amount to, "Did you misbehave?" and the answer, "No," lacks transparency. It lacks transparency because the answer is not, "Yes," when everyone knows Chicago pols are corrupt.

I am a great fan of keeping politicians and officials accountable, whatever the Party or ideology. I don't care about that part, I care that they are entrusted with power and the exercise of that power needs to be monitored. I may support or oppose an ideology or policy but that doesn't mean I don't want to keep an eye on its exercise. The egregious failures of BushCo aren't just about their incompetence, it is about no one keeping an eye on them and jumping when evidence surfaced. Evidence. Virtually every foul-up by the Bush Administration had early warning signs in nature of actual evidence, not speculation. For the most part neither the media, the Congress nor the public demanded answers to facts and that was the failure. The failure was not a lack of speculation, it was cowering under cover of Wartime President that was the failure.

Calling for a cessation of speculation about "popular" President-elect Obama is not the same thing as asking for a blank check. The Blogojevitch mess needs to be looked at and watched closely. If there is anything regarding Obama it will come out under close attention. People don't keep secrets well and particularly not where power and popularity are the stakes. That is the point, how about a piece of evidence before beating a drum of corruption or cooperation with corruption? How about one person in a position to know actually making an accusation or bringing forth a single piece of fact, first? Oh sure, there are ratings to consider...

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