Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Personal Aside: John Stroger and Eugene Sawyer. Two Hacks but Different.


John Stroger.

The newspaper and electronic obits said it as eloquently as they could for John Stroger without being struck by a lightning bolt generated by an angry God who desires some reportorial honesty. They decorously omitted the imperfections. He was a symbol of equality of opportunity in the Democratic machine. Before he came along, the big jobs…save only Bill Dawson’s (and his congressional seat was dependent on the black South Side)…were for pink-cheeked and pinky-ring fingered venal Irishmen and some eastern European hacks. John Stroger paid his dues, hunkered down, became a plantation worker for the Daleys and others, bided his time and rose to president of the Cook county board. They say he was a gentleman. Yes he was. I met with him a number of times and he always remembered to ask about an African American friend of mine with the elegant name of John Tobias Dixon who was the 8th ward Republican committeeman—a man of no power but who nevertheless was a friend of John Stroger. Stroger always meant to help John Tobias Dixon. Not that he ever did but his heart was in the right place. We laughed about John Tobias Dixon from time to time.

Beyond that, John Stroger was beset with the affliction of masterly inattention to detail and an indistinct articulation that was a great asset. More people were fooled believing they heard him right or knew what he meant. It was an innate gift. But in addition, let it be said that he scrupulously blocked any religious sensibilities form interfering with his devotion to the Democratic party. Before him, a fellow Catholic, George Dunne, the last of the old Irish bosses who was from the north side and was a rather lackadaisical chairman of the Cook county Democratic party, was nevertheless a daily communicant. He had his faults, George did: some of them being the ladies. In his widower-hood and long before that when his wife was dying, he got involved in a terribly squalid, embarrassing, humiliating minor scandal with some of the worst-looking and pathetic battle-scarred creatures it was possible to fathom aside from the famed bar scene of “Star Wars.” He was degraded when the news came out but he kept on going to Mass, sitting in the back row of Holy Name. And as president of the Cook county board when the abortion issue started to claim all the Democrats…when Richie sold out along with the others, rising above principle to embrace “a woman’s right to choose”…George served his moral proclivities well by banning taxpayer abortions at Cook county hospital, taking whatever heat there was to take from his party.

Be it noted that his successor Richard Phelan, a one-time seminarian, who succeeded him implemented abortion services at Cook county hospital, marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade arm-in-arm with Joseph Cardinal Bernardin who had a tendency to forget such incidentals. And be it recorded that John Stroger, good Catholic and parishioner of St. Columbanus and friend of the Daleys kept abortion services on at Cook county proclaiming all the while how much the Church meant to him. He couldn’t pronounce it very well with his slurring Arkansas accent and probably wouldn’t have wanted to use the word even if he understood it, but he mastered the art of compartmentalization: the knack of calling yourself a Catholic, of receiving honors at the so-called Red Mass where his fellow hypocrite Catholics awarded him honors for the being the great Catholic lay lawyer he was and giving all due assistance to the poor to kill their progeny at public expense. . He is survived by a long line of egregious Roman Catholic hypocrites who dip their fingers in the holy water, bless themselves and say a Pater and an Ave as to warrant their pedigree of Irishmen and Catholics: Lisa Madigan and Danny Hynes and his father Tommy and Richie Daley and Maggie with their Irish mugs syruping for votes along with the black contingent such as Emil Jones…oh why go into the litany, we know who they are even if the Archdiocese prefers not to single them out because the money and the clout they confer on the Church is very important, don’t you know.

Anyhow John Stroger was the first black to join that august company of rising to the pinnacle and forgetting the moral verities while the media to make them feel better looked the other way and never brought up the contradiction. I visited him once when Orlando Jones, his nephew or whatever, who died in mysterious circumstances was his top aide: the two a symphony of confusion and mismanagement. Topped only by his son Todd. At least John had some political skills. Although I doubt he ever really ran anything because the county under his leadership—“leadership” hah! That’s a laugh—was a heap of penny-ante and major corruption, tax hikes, ineptitude, a haven of waste, a disgrace.

But let it be said that John Stroger became the first black to share the honor and to preside over the pie. In a long line of hacks he was the first to integrate them and became the first black hack. Rest in peace, John. And if before the end you murmured a contrition you just may.

Eugene Sawyer.

Of Eugene Sawyer whom I knew pretty well…not as well as I knew John Stroger…I always felt some sympathy. A man they called rightly “mumbles” he was similar to Stroger in inarticulation but he was a bland, decent soul and it is revelatory to have seen that ace Hispanic demagogue Luis Gutierrez on television feeling a pang of guilt for not giving Sawyer a chance. Instead the liberals like Jacky Grimshaw a beady-eyed operator with a superb sense of wrapping herself in the toga of civil rights being careful to watch out for Jacky all the while, who wanted to save her old job with Harold Washington favored Tim Evans who could make a decent speech but that’s about all. Mumbles tried very hard and had a beatific smile. He was a kind of asterisk but a nice asterisk. Decent instincts although he never really understood how to make a buck in the private sector. But he had a kind of grace that even Harold Washington didn’t have. He was outclassed by Washington and little Looie and the professional civil righter group around Looie destroyed him which paved the way for Richie. Watching Looie feel bad and have some guilt made me feel that Looie has some conscience which all in all is a great surprise knowing Looie. And which is quite edifying really.


  1. Dear Tom:

    Your eulogies today for the late John Stroger and Eugene sawyer were quite apt and to the point. As for the namesake of the former Cook County Hospital where my paternal grandmother insisted on dying in 1947, I didn't know all of the many specifics you listed. Oh the one about the parade tendencies of his late Eminence, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, comes as know surprise--as he was a "seamless" schemer.

  2. A little John McCain Anti Right To Life Straight Talk. From the National Review:

    There is only one candidate on the GOP side who has, in just the last few months and years, vigorously worked to defeat pro-life forces and frustrate the only policies that have a chance to reduce abortions; yet, conservatives have given him a total pass.

    His name is John McCain.

    Senator McCain has engaged in a years-long campaign against Wisconsin Right to Life, an organization dedicated to advancing the pro-life agenda. Conservatives, one might have thought, would be stunned by a grand-slam only the modern Left could love: McCain has (a) urged the courts to judicially legislate a (b) suppression of free-speech rights (c) against an anti-abortion group which was (d) trying to urge the confirmation of conservative Bush judicial nominees.

    And the cherry on top? McCain’s exertions were singularly designed to protect one of the Senate’s most liberal incumbents: Russ Feingold (D., Wis.), McCain’s soul-mate in the evisceration of First Amendment rights (also known as the McCain/Feingold “campaign finance reform” law). A pro-abortion stalwart who scores a whopping 93 percent on NARAL’s pro-choice report card........

  3. http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmVhYjdlYzJjNzI0NGE2MjRlYTNlMDc0ZDlkZGVhNTg=

    It does not fit link box.

  4. Nice try Jason. You post an article because you know most people don't have access to the legal document the article refers to. That case was not about abortion and McCain is a supporter of right to life. Other parties who intervened in the case on the side of Wisconsin Right to Life were the ACLU, the AFL-CIO, the NRA, the Republican National Committee, the Chamber of Commerce and about a dozen other organizations both left and right. Jason, why didn't you say McCain was attacking all those groups and their ideas also? The case was about political advertisements that mention a federal candidate in the 60 days before an election. This case had absolutely nothing to do with abortion. Nice try at a smear though. We will see more of it.

  5. Yes a FAKE. He should change his party affiliation to DEMOCRAT.

    Lets start with his wife that he married for her money.

    Next, his lack of support of investigations into others missing in Vietnam.

    Next is the Keating five situation.

    Next his role in the McCain Feingold Bill.

    Next his lack of support for the Bush Tax Cuts.

    Next his comments and temper tantrum about Conservatives on the ill fated immmigration bill.

    Next his support of Global Warming nonsense.

    And finally throwing in with the Dems and the 14 to block Bush's judicial appointments.


    His sorry rear end should be kicked out of public life.

    But the liberal Media loves him along with fools like Hickey and Nelson!!!! No wonder!

  6. McCain's actual choice was: What's more important to me, defending life or defending the suppression of political speech? He chose to defend the suppression of political speech.

    He could have stayed out of it entirely. Or, choosing to involve himself, he could have filed an amicus brief in support of Wisconsin Right to Life, arguing for the urgency of permitting its message to be heard. He chose, instead, to support restrictions on speech for the benefit of incumbents — particularly, his co-crusader against the First Amendment, Sen. Russ Feingold.

    That is a fact. Add all the context you'd like — it'll still be a fact.

    Another fact - McCain has voted FOR Federal funding for research which requires killing human embroys.

    Rush Limbaugh, George Will and many other top conservatives oppose the liberal McCain. McCain has the support of the liberal Beltway / New York Liberal Press corp because McCain is one of them - always has been and always will be.

    McCain / Lieberman 2008 - Because gun control, affirmative action quotas, global warming, fighting Bush's tax cuts and providing amnesty to every illegal alien (including convicted felons) is the conservative way.

  7. http://www.abanet.org/publiced/preview/briefs/pdfs/06-07/06-970_Petitioner.pdf

    Thankfully Alito and Roberts were able to defeat McCain's restrictions on speech for Wisconsin Right To Life and other Pro Life groups.

    Leave No Incumbent Behind (McCain / Feingold Anti - First Amendment Bill)

    Leave No Illegal Alien Behind (McCain / Kennedy).

    McCain's career is defined by these two signature bills.

    Liberals 2
    Conservatives Nil

  8. The sum of a person's life - not the parts gives him/her place and definition.

    Example, Jason is the name of a an arch breaker of oaths responsible for the deaths of his children by his wife: Acebal =AssociaciĆ³n Regional Central de Balonmano - would that define this person as a Chilean Breaker of Oaths?

    Larry is all beak and feathers, but that surely does not define the ludicrous, sour, unwholesome and pusillanimous whole - there is so much more there.

    Pat - a hearty slap on the back signifiying good fellowship and native Christian Charity.

    Hickey- a huge sucking kiss that leaves a bruising mark.


  9. Seriously, a post from you regarding the issues would be your first. Wife / children deaths? Pathetic.

    I'll link to one of Tom Roeser's favorite conservatives, Rush Limbaugh, as to his comments he made about McCain yesterday:


    The URL link below is John McCain's vote against barring illegal alien terrorists, gang members, aggravated felons, aliens convicted of domestic violence, stalking, crimes against children and child abuse from being granted amnesty and or the Z Visa granting immediate and permanent rights to stay in the United States forever.


    NAYs ---51
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    Obama (D-IL)
    Schumer (D-NY)

    Text of the amendment:


    Straight Talk.

  10. Kid,

    read some books - that was a classical allusion not lost on those of us with serious debate takes place.

    You,obviously, do not make the cut.

    Radio is your friend, stay close to it.

    Rush will talk to you - just try not to talk back.

  11. McCain's mother said John McCain has zero support from the Republican base.


    Glad to see Roberta is on the Straight Talk Express though this can't be good news for you and your McCain blog. Take a break until the primary is complete.

    Why don't you pass the time with a game of solitaire? Rumor has it John plays with special decks given to him from Presidents Calderon and PM Olmert. Perhaps Putin, "President of Germany" has a special deck for McCain as well.

  12. Jason,

    You really strike me as the kind of guy someone would really like to spend some solid quality time getting to know - Larry is not doing or saying much.

    As for me - can I get you a drink? No. No. Here, let me buy. Nualla, A six-pack to go for Jason here! Tell us all about it - walking, Jason! Always good to see you - on the way out the door.

  13. Jason notice how the trolls on this blog like Hickey or Nofsinger NEVER deal with with the issues you bring up. They always go on a personal attack. McCain may as well be a Democrat. No wonder the Media is in love with him. For example when Arizona voters including 40% of the voting Hispanic voters supported Prop. 200, McCain opposed it. McCain also voted for ultra liberal judges like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. None of this means anything to Hickey because Hickey is simply not a Republican but a Democratic parasite. The problem is that the Republican party is full of such trolls these days and people like Tom Roeser are believing them and falling in line with them. For example Roeser PRESUMES that McCain will be the nominee. He gets this from filling his mind with the neo-con stuff he reads like the Weekly Standard. I'll bet Tom Roeser's legs go numb as he sits on the toilet and wolfs down the Weekly Standard. By the way the neo-cons supported McCain over Bush in the 2000 campaign. The trolls and the neo-cons will try to shut you but keep it up and go after them!

  14. It is becoming pointless to come here.

    McCain is the NY Times favorite Republican. Bill Clinton says McCain and Hillary are real close. These two are the absolute worst candidates on each side for conservatives and for the United States of America.

    I wish Tom well with his Right to Life work and his work on behalf of local politics and the Catholic Church.

    I've linked Pat's excellent column below which is summarized as follows:

    The three issues that ruined the Bush presidency are this misbegotten war in Iraq, the failure to secure America’s borders from invasion and a mindless trade policy that has destroyed the dollar and left foreigners with $5 trillion to buy up America at fire-sale prices.

    McCain remains an unthinking advocate of all three.

    But where Bush was at his best, on taxes and judges, McCain was collaborating with Hillary. The question conservatives may face if McCain is nominated is not whom should I vote for, but should I vote.

    God Bless

  15. I am sorry to see that you are disappointed with the blog, Jason. I have read most of your posts and you seem to be reasonably well informed on various issues. As a delegate for Ron Paul in the 9th CD, you have to be aware of the fact that your candidate has not really caught on with many voters in Illinois. It is not your fault. It is simply politics. I do appreciate the fact that many of your postings were entirely civil and issue oriented. Too many of your associates have not displayed the same courtesies when they posted.