For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pride Goeth Before Destruction...

...and a haughty spirit before a fall, which is the correct quote from Proverbs 16:18 and the best way to start a post about IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich. By now you have read and heard about the arrest of the soon-to-be-impeached governor of Illinois for trying to auction off Obama's former Senate seat. After being distracted by seasonal, health, and employment issues (all of which have been resolved), it is past time for me to weigh in.

Both Kevin and I grew up in Illinois (Kevin still lives there) and know full well that pay-to-play is nothing new. Many state jobs must be bid upon (literally by donating to campaigns and the like), and Blago is not the first IL governor to get in trouble. Assuming Blagojevich goes to prison (quite likely since it was all caught on tape), he would be the fourth of the most recent six governors of IL to be sent there for various reasons. Govs. Kerner, Walker and Ryan all went to jail, while Ogilvie, Thompson, and Edgar did not. In fact it was Thompson who put Kerner in jail. But I digress...

The reaction of the media is interesting in that it surprises me they devote so much time to this story. I would expect 24/7 coverage on this only if it were a Republican who had ties to Bush. But it isn't surprising the press is not pressing Obama more, considering that he came up through the same corrupt political cesspool from which Blago oozed.

The reaction of fellow Democrats is not surprising. Everyone wants to distance themselves from Blago as if they barely knew him, though several campaigned for him in return for his campaigning for them, or vice versa. The most interesting is from IL State Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, who is trying to get the courts to declare Blago "unfit to serve" as governor, as if Blago had suddenly acquired a mental disorder or had become demon possessed, rather than being corrupt from the get-go. The Democrats would never admit to having a "culture of corruption" of their own. It brings to mind Hitler and the other Nazis declaring Rudolph Hess "crazy" after the attempt by Hess to negotiate a separate peace with Churchill was deemed unsuccessful, except that, unlike Blago, Hess actually thought he was doing the right thing for his country.

Obama calling for Blago's resignation also has a hollow ring to it. As mentioned earlier, Obama rose up through the same system Blagojevich did, but Obama raised much more money for his presidential campaign. How much of the half billion did Blago help Obama get? And how much of it did Blago take home with him? One can only hope that an overly ambitious prosecutor like Patrick Fitzgerald, who went after Lewis Libby when he knew darned well it was Armitage all along, will not stop rounding them all up until he is sitting in the governor's mansion himself, and then fighting his own urge to be corrupt. Chicago Ray appears to be on top of each new development as it happens.

(pic h/t: American Power)