Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Strange Mind of Rod Blagojevich

Before all of the drama happened with Rod Blagojevich, few knew how to say his name. Some still have a great deal of trouble, and some like to say it in funny ways just to be, well, funny (Jon Stewart comes to mind here - every time he says his name he sounds like Jerry Lewis).

In actuality, the man is not very funny at all. He took no responsibility for his actions, and then even used human shields when he took some members of the public on stage with him to plead his case of innocence. He blamed his upcoming impeachment on a Legislature that has blocked his attempts to pass health care reform, among other things. What? He then ended the news conference by quoting a line from Tennyson's "Ulysses," saying "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." He curiously left out the line that applied to him the most (as pointed out by Rachel Maddow), and left the stage. His real offenses never came up.

In the Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman spelled them out for him:
"But to their credit, lawmakers have never been disposed to resort to impeachment just to get rid of someone whose personality or policies they find obnoxious. They treat it as a last resort, to be used only for the most intolerable behavior.

In the case of Blagojevich, that gave them plenty to choose from. From wiretapped conversations, federal law enforcement agents concluded he schemed to trade a U.S. Senate appointment for lucrative favors, tried to coerce the owner of the Chicago Tribune to fire his editorial board and demanded a campaign contribution from an executive at a children's hospital that was hoping to get state reimbursement for pediatric care.

Amid all these revelations, you could almost forget that Blagojevich had been practically begging to be evicted for years. During the bribery trial of Chicago developer Antoin "Tony" Rezno, there was testimony Blagojevich traded state contracts for campaign cash. He tried to import flu vaccines and prescription drugs in defiance of federal law. He expanded a state health-care plan without any legal basis. And along the way, he did just about everything possible to make a buffoon of himself."
I'm not exactly sure what goes on in Blagojevich's mind, but I'm pretty sure there isn't a whole lot of reality there. It seems pretty clear he is beyond narcissistic - let alone that weird obsession with his hairbrush. All the good he has done is only happening in his head.

We can only hope that the next governor coming in will be a better example and make the office more honorable again. And, better yet, maybe we can be spared from hearing a great poet quoted again to erase - and rationalize - corrupt deeds under the disguise of a governor for the people.

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