Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Word of Warning

For anyone who, after the last eight years, may have gotten swept up in the misbegotten notion of Democrats as "good guys" and Republicans as "bad guys" comes yet another reminder of just how tenuous that distinction is, with today's story of Governor Rod Blagojevich, Dem from Illinois, arrested for -- get this -- trying to leverage Barack Obama's now-empty Senate seat for personal payola.

I left Illinois just as Blago was taking office, so I can't say I have any exposure to his governing, but I do remember quite well the cloud of corruption under which his scandal-plagued Repub predecessor, George Ryan, left office. I also remember Blagojevich's campaign pledge to root out such corruption. Clearly that didn't happen.

The flashing red light here for all of us is that Blagojevich swept into office by contrasting himself against his predecessor's failed policies and historic unpopularity. Sound familiar? I guess the point I'm making is that I hope Obama's taking diligent notes right now, because the one thing political history has taught us again and again is that it's easy to talk big when the whole process is at arm's length, but it's a whole lot harder when you're right in the thick of it.

4 comments:

Andy said...

As long as money is society’s main motivation those in power will always be corrupt.

Dragon said...

It is disappointing to see the corruption rampant in our system, but rather than coming out shaking a finger at Obama, we should probably reflect on whether he is involved in this scandal. This corruption is in the political world from which Obama emerged, and so far, it appears that he is not involved. To quote NPR , "Excerpts of conversations secretly taped by federal investigators captured the governor repeatedly and profanely denouncing Obama, and bitterly complaining that the president-elect or members of his team were offering only "appreciation" for consideration of their preferred Senate candidate."

If he is truly not involved, we should be singing his praises for resisting 'playing ball' when it is clearly the way things are usually done in his hometown, not reprimanding him for possible future corruption for which there is no evidence or implication.

Zaki said...

I'm confident he's not involved, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't remain forever on guard against such corruption. That's the point I'm trying to make. Not so much a finger-wag as a "keep your nose clean."

J.R. LeMar said...

I'm pretty sure that President Elect Barack Hussein Obama is well aware of the insanely intense scrutiny that he will be facing within the next four years, as Americas First Black President, and therefor will indeed by forever on guard against corruption.