Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Personal Aside: Breaking News--Tribune Tells Us Theres No Daley Machine. Imagine That!
Yesterday in a front page article in the weirdly kaleidoscopic Tribune where the editorials arent found in the main paper but behind the obits in the second section (and which I call kaleidoscopic because each day shows a different pattern of subjective judgmentwhat youre told definitely yesterday is different from what youre told today and what you will be told tomorrow) a news story by Rick Pearson and Bob Secter informs us that there may be no more enduring caricature in politics than that of the Chicago machine led by a powerful mayor with life or death say over an army of the citys elected officials.
Hah! Too bad Andy Greeley isnt well enough to read that! Get well, Andy! Im praying you will. When your venue runs out at the tabloid theres a place for you with the kaleidoscope. Now, think that PearsonSecter thought one over for a minute. What you thought was a machine in Chicago is illusory. John Kass that papers premier columnist and the late Mike Royko, columnist for three papers (Trib, Sun-Times and old Daily News) have been in gross error. Pearson and Secter tell you so. But then tomorrow you shake the kaleidoscope and somebodyll tell you different.
There may be no more enduring caricature of the Daley machine holding life or death over its minions. That will be news to the jailed Bob Sorich, Daleys patronage chief convicted of running a scam to promote political hiring out of Daleys office and to his assistant Tim McCarthy and Patrick Slattery and John Sullivan. They were all sentenced to jail as part of an enduring caricature. They willy-nilly rigged a hiring scheme to reward job candidates they imagined were favored by the mayor with jobs and promotions: all the while it was a caricature. Daley didnt want it and does not run an organization that would do such a thing.
It comes as a startling revelation also to Don Tomczak, a boss in the Chicago water department, who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes. Hes in jail because he admitted to doing something wrong to sending an army of workers out to elect Rahm Emanuel in the 5th when nobody on the 5th floor of city hall wanted that done. What a jerk! The mayor didnt want it, Emanuel didnt want it but Tomczak did it anyhow.
If this inclines you to change your thinking about Chicago, dont let it. Remember that this comes from this towns not-long-for-this worlds kaleidoscopic newspaper where every time you shake the box a different picture emerges with special patterns. This comes from a paper that is sick at its soul and shuffling on shifting sands of no absolutes except what pleases people today. Liberalism in addition to being a spiritual disorder and the substitution of a desire for egalitarian attainment of heaven on earth rather than waiting for the Hereafter is the disease of a stupid paper which wonders where its readers and advertisers have gonewonders: why? WHY? Conservatives, high school grads, white blue collars, the staple of readership have been told in so many words by grad school journalistic elites they dont belong. Its a new day dawning!
Pearson whos supposed to be the kaleidoscopes political reporterwhich is a laugh: hes cross-eyed meaning he cant see straight because hes so liberal Democratichas told you the image of Daley the boss of a machine is an enduring caricature. Nice, liberal pretty picture: a non-partisan Daley. Shake the box and theres yet another liberal picture from an earlier story. . Michelle Obama is poised to be the new Oprah and the next Jacqueline Onassiscombined! Shake the box once again on the same day Pearson wrote of no machine on another page, squishy soft cross-eyed John McCarron did a puff piece on David Axelrod. Axelrod an idealist also a pragmatist who likes to see progressive ideas get done, not just voiced [who] helped position Mayor Richard Daley now GET THIS: as one of the worlds true authorities on urban innovation.
More from Pearson: Shake the box again. You find: At the outset of his career, Obama was largely irrelevant to Daley. Shake it hard now and what do you find? While Obama never relied on city patronage workers his ascension as an outsider was aided by powerful people who were also key players inside Daleys sphere of influence. Gee, irrelevant to Daley but helped by his key players. See what I mean by kaleidoscopic? Widely different pictures and almost all in one Pearson-Secter news story.
Give it a hard shake this time. Really hard. Heres Abner Mikva, the dinosaur of liberal party regularity once an independent who sold out to the regulars aeons agothe guy who was Bill Clintons ethics chief and who found nothing to do and what does Honest Ab say? You get a lot of leeway if youre from Hyde Park. Really? You get leeway if you play ball with Daley.
Ab, how did you get elected to Congress after having been beat by the last Spanish American war veteran to serve in the House Barrett OHara? You sold out, Ab. Remember? Thats how you got the wherewithal to move to Evanston, Hyde Park North and get elected. You played ball. Thats how you got the federal judgeship, Ab. Dont con us. You played ball. And from there to the Clinton White House. You played ball. The mayor doesnt give a damn what you think of the countrycheck this out with Bill AyresSO LONG AS YOU PLAY HIS OWN GAME. How did Bill Ayres get to be a distinguished professor? Because hes a distinguished academic? You think? Give up? Because hes in tight with city hall. No, not because his old man was Com Ed boss. Because he Bill Ayres has paid his dues. How did Marilyn Katz get all these big p. r. contracts with the citybecause city hall gives a damn about the 1960s SDS? No, because Katz plays ball.
But at this point the Trib kaleidoscope is stuck. It shows pictures of varied dimensions, many hued colorsbut all cross-eyed liberal. With very few exceptions I can think of only one it wont show the political picture the way it actually is because its another New York Times wanna be. But it never will be. Itll only be what it is: a USA Today xerox near-lefty propaganda circular. Thats why as a paper its not long for this world. I personally hope because I hate defectors it folds up ahead of the Sun-Times. The kaleidoscope paper is a coarse, ugly creature in lurid makeup and not worth the time it takes to spread it on the bottom of a training bin for a not yet housebroken puppy.