Tuesday, January 25, 2011


        “If the law says that,” roared Mr. Bumble in Dickens’ Oliver Twist, “the law is an ass!”
         In plain English the law that would deny Rahm Emanuel from running for mayor because in service of his country he purportedly lost his residence here is an ass and should be overridden ASAP.
         Ultimately because we are a nation founded on John Locke’s unique application of Natural Law which contrary to the original Thomistic concept, links Natural Law  to the will of the people—mature application of Locke will force the Supreme Court of either state or nation to override. 
          I would have preferred the Thomistic Natural Law approach which argued flatly for absolutes as  was Hamilton’s version—but the Founders chose Locke which also precipitated progress though it took much longer…the people raging at Dred Scott…raging at Plessy v. Ferguson.  (Under Thomism these evils would not have been legislated in the first place).  Now…denying Chicagoans the right to vote on a man who served his nation as presidential chief-of-staff on the specious pretext that  by doing so he has surrendered his local residence is so pretentiously absurd that it cannot or should not be allowed to stand—or be defied by the calendar.   It is contrary to Natural Law on Thomistic or Locke and is…indeed as Mr. Bumble has said…an ass.
        It is clear that forces reincarnating the rule-and-ruin of the suddenly reincarnated aldermanic Gray Wolves  system intend to steal the election by disqualifying the likely foregone winner by applying a misbegotten law—but it is as venal was as stealing elections the old fashioned way…means by which current Gray Wolves supporters are closely familiar.  
        Make no mistake the prime beneficiary of this device is the Honorable Edward Burke who with his taxpayer-paid police body guard and unmatched power to elect judges suavely surveys his own greatness.   The question is whether his wife, Supreme Court Justice Ann Marie will vote her husband’s way…recuse herself also her husband’s way—or choose the gutsy third way.  If she is the Anne Marie Burke I admire from the  days when she refused to be rolled by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops she will vote for Emanuel to be on the ballot and let the devil—a description that fits the originator of this cynical device—take the hindmost.
       Do what’s right, Anne! Demand your Court accept the appeal. Then vote to declare that a law that denies voters the right to elect as mayor one who served his country in Washington because he has supposedly lost his residence here defies Aquinas’ and Locke’s criteria of Natural Law and is contrary to longstanding U. S. jurisprudential procedure.
       In these matters it is most instructive to read the stories filed by the brilliant journalist Carol Felsenthal in the Chicago Magazine blog.
        One legal authority has said the Illinois Supreme Court does not have to take this case.  To which I say if they want to know what heat is, let `em turn it down.  He adds recusal for Justice Burke need not be expected since Eddie is not an official “party to the challenge.” Another has told Felsenthal that if residence has one meaning for voting purposes and another for candidacy, it denies equal protection—adding “but that would be a stretch.” In the name of God, WHY?
         Chicago has seen many outrages in election procedure from the days of weighing of ballots from the River Wards on—but we are living in a far more sensitive time….when the ultimate outrage would be “the ballots are ready to go to press and we must print them without Emanuel’s name on them—because not to do so would be omygawd a waste of taxpayers’ money!”
           If this Gray Wolves game produces a Gery Chico, it’s one thing. If it produces a Mayor Carol Moseley Braun…now running second in the polls…who demonstrably cannot run her own finances the ultimate blame will rest on the machine- elected Illinois court system of which the most powerful force is run by the 14th ward alderman, husband of Justice Burke. 
             It took the cavalier, charming Coleman Young twenty years to turn Detroit to a desolate moonscape through incompetence and old-time cynical manipulation while the council played lookout.
           It can be done here from top to bottom in one term.
          It’s just that simple.

1 comment:

  1. “The law is an ass!”

    I just wrote that somewhere else on this topic. But I take a somewhat stricter view. Saying that his 22 months of service in Washington interrupted his residency in Chicago, therefore he is now ineligible to run for Mayor is wrong, but arguable.

    Saying at the same time that Emanuel's DC service did not interrupt his continuous residency in Chicago, therefore he is now qualified to vote here, is absurd.

    If the law says that, then indeed “the law is an ass!”