Yeah, yeah. Second week in, and I'm already late. That's okay. It means I'm moving closer towards azsky's Good News Wednesday, though to be perfectly honest, while I'm honored that she asked me to consider moving my deadline day to Wednesdays, I'm not always talking about good news.
Especially not today. This morning, the Governor of my home state Illinois was arrested on federal corruption charges.
As an Illinoisan, I know there's nothing truly surprising about the allegations that have today been made against Rod Blagojevich. It's not just because of the reputation that Illinois, and it's northern capitol Chicago, have as being politically corrupt. It's also because there hasn't been a moment since Blago first came on the scene when I thought, "hmm, sure, this guy is trustworthy."
It's automatic, when you live in Illinois, to wonder, as soon as some new name pops up on the political scene, just exactly with whom this new person is connected. To whom they owe some kind of debt. To whom they're related.
I'm not going to go into Blago's family tree. It's readily available to anyone who hops on Google and performs a search.
As quoted in my local paper (which, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I write for, as well as mention the fact that the person I'm about to quote is married to my cousin), State Rep. of Western Springs, IL Jim Durkin said, "I hope the governor steps down and does it soon, otherwise next session is going to be a circus atmosphere with press coming in from all over the nation. If he believes he is innocent, he can work on his defense as a citizen."
But I seriously doubt that Rod Blagojevich is going to step down.
From the same article:
Sen. Christine Radogno, R-41st, Lemont, is also calling for the governor to step down, but said that seems an unlikely possibility.
Radogno, recently chosen as Republican leader in the Senate, said the head legislative liaison to Blagojevich made phone calls this morning to remind officials he still holds the governor's seat.
"I think he will be somewhat defiant," Radogno said. "So yes, then impeachment may be a good option to look into."
Radogno apparently knows what many Illinois residents know. That Rod Blagojevich is going to remain as Illinois Governor unless he is stripped of that title. Legislators are talking about changing the current Illinois law that gives Blago the right to appoint someone to Barack Obama's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat.
It's apparent from reading the Criminal Complaint (.pdf) against Rod Blagojevich that he has what we call around these parts a serious set of balls.
And that set of balls is what's going to prevent him from resigning his post as Governor of the State of Illinois.
Now, lots of people have different words for balls. Some of us might say, "He's got some nerve." Some, which shouldn't surprise you, might call it "audacity."
Seriously, you've got to have some balls to expect that you're going to essentially blackmail the President-elect of the United States of America into a high-paying job that you don't really deserve. You'd have to have some serious balls to threaten to withhold state funding to a children's hospital unless you are provided with an addition to your personal bank account.
You've got to really be sporting a pair to demand that a huge media corporation dismiss a big chunk of their editorial staff because they don't say nice things about you.
And yeah, you know what? That's the Chicago way. You got a problem with that?
Because the same inherent Chicago trait that Barack Obama (a Chicago transplant, by the way) called audacity, but most of us regular Chi-town natives call "balls" can take one in different directions.
Two Illinois politicians have made their way into the national spotlight. About both, you could easily say, "Wow, the audacity!" and "Man, he's got balls." And about each man, you'd be right on both counts.
It's not about what you're sportin', fool. It's all about what you choose to do with it. Or them. Whatever. Aim for the highest office in the land on a platform based on hope for a brighter American future or aim to make a couple hundred grand a year as the self-appointed head of a "charitable" foundation or as the self-appointed successor to a Senate seat?
It's all up to you, my friend.