Kristen McQueary, a member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board has done a masterful job right here of listing how bad Rahm's been for Chicago for nearly five years. Although her list is long, it's far, far, far from exhaustive. (And don't say five years isn't a long time. The entire Soviet Union used to base its whole future on five-year plans.)
I'm not suggesting any fault on McQueary's part for not remembering everything or for ignoring anything.
Because if one tries to make an exhaustive list of our mayor's faults, mistakes, failings and downright nasty and inexcusable behavior, there isn't enough paper to do it. There probably aren't enough gigabytes to explain it all on one computer. And probably not enough space in any one brain to store it all.
The way he treats reporters; the way he pays (on our dime) a big office full of image-makers and PR people to work on nothing but making him look not-so-bad; the incredibly awful hires--two convicted on his watch, one before but hired anyway; not to mention the completely ineffective and incompetent people he brought here to make fools of us--and hash of our infrastructure. And the corruption!
(And don't say it's all Daley's fault; he's been gone for almost five years.)
The junk bond status our mismanaged finances have gotten us into; the fighting with the teachers; the tone-deafness on serious allegations like Homan Square. Taking the red light cameras up and down based on any given moment's political expediency. The lies, the spins, the wasting of the TIF money; the pulling out the red carpet and the giving away of priceless public land for George Lucas' 59 Norman Rockwells and a bunch of old Star Wars memorabilia when even his own hometown said no way, George, your demands are too much for this city; get lost.
Rahm Emanuel is a bully and he's a phony and he thinks we're all stupid. Some solid and reputable pundits are now even calling him a sociopath, without any fear of a defamation lawsuit.
Which brings me back to McQueary's fine column. She's got the goods on the guy, there's no doubt about it. But in the end, she blames us for the sad fact that he's still here. She blames us for re-electing him. We knew all the horrid stuff about him, she says. And yet, we invited him back to the Fifth Floor to keep doing all the horrible stuff he does. And, yes, he keeps doing it. More and more and worse and worse.
I agree with her. How could 55 percent of us have re-elected an incompetent screwball like this? A guy who has failed at absolutely everything he's responsible for. A guy who the entire world is now writing about in the most unflattering ways conceivable.
One main reason, I believe, aside from the outlandish lies Rahm Emanuel told about his runoff opponent, Chuy Garcia--in which one ad actually had this fine man stealing money out of people's wallets like a low-life pickpocket--is the Chicago Tribune editorial board. McQueary's own colleagues on the editorial board gave Rahm a rousing endorsement. Two in fact; one in February and one in March. Even though they knew all the bad. And knew that on the other side of the Chinese wall, they had a whole staff who was getting the goods on this creep.
Apparently, McQueary was unable to convince them, shoulder to shoulder, of the mistake they were making. I don't know what goes on amongst colleagues in an editorial board meeting (even though I was married to a husband for 20 years who at one point in his outstanding and prestigious newspaper career wrote editorials for the Chicago Sun-Times) but I can't help but wonder what went down. Did she try to dissuade her colleagues with a list like she wrote two days ago? If she did, then shame on them.
It sure seems that she was keeping track--and that everything on her list was important to her. Why didn't her colleagues pay it any mind? The bottom line is that a newspaper endorsement goes a long way to convince voters of something--even if it's not in the best interests of the readers. Otherwise, why do editorial boards do it?
And therefore, the Chicago Tribune is just as guilty as we are for re-electing Rahm Emanuel.
In the end, the people listened, I believe, to McQueary's colleagues, fearing that the Tribune knew something that they didn't. But as McQueary explains so eloquently, we all knew what Rahm did and what Rahm was capable of. It was the editorial board that chose to ignore it all. And they, among others, convinced us to ignore what we all knew.
We were too dumb to do anything about it.
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