It’s been two weeks and the condolences are still coming my way. People call, email and talk to me in person: “How are you doing?” they ask as though there’s been a death in the family or the diagnosis of a fatal disease.
They get the picture.
But then I explain that since most of the resources in the city–aside from the money that goes to the Richie Rich Richest–go to the South Loop, all should be well. Rahm seems to be obsessed with growing my neighborhood, which was at one time the promised land for the politically connected who invested head to toe in anticipation of the Chicago Olympics.
And since those types never take “no” for an answer–especially from arrogant foreigners who dissed us so quick–it’s part of Rahm’s job per Daley to make sure those money-men get a return on their investment.
Ergo, we get a basketball court in the neighborhood for us old fans of the Blue Demons–and lots of hotels, entertainment venues, skate parks, the Lucas Museum (if the courts will allow), a much talked about casino, fancy new roadways and much, much more. The South Loop is Chicago these days, the recipient of tons of TIF money in honor of the future.
Problem is, the rest of the city gets nothing. And the voters said two weeks ago that they like that just fine. At least 56 percent of them like it just fine.
So here’s to a future of plunging bond ratings and lots of very interesting tales of corruption. And good times in the South Loop!
Lest we forget, the rest of the city outside the South Loop does get one other thing. A lot of winking from Rahm. A little trick he learned from another brilliant pol and fellow Republican, Sarah Palin.
One of my favorite articles during the few weeks that the reporters of the world were relishing our unexpected run-off election was entitled “Rahm Emanuel and the unraveling of Chicago.” Because I felt, yes, we were coming undone. The Chuy supporters were uncovering so much dirtiness about the running of Chicago in the Modern Age, that we were in fact unraveling a mile a minute.
The emperor was becoming unclothed. The raw look at sociopathic corruption was killing some of us. But totally ignored by others.
The unraveling continues. The CPS investigation–just mere days into the aftermath–I presume Rahm himself alerted the proper authorities to it all so he could get rid of CEO Triple-B while saving face and looking like a reformer. Because Triple-B hasn’t been as nasty to Karen Lewis as he would have liked.
Time for a true union busting, union hating head of the schools, huh, Rahmbo? Someone like your pal Rauner?
And Chuy. Our great brown hope. Oy. Black memories (other than Danny’s, Emil’s and Jessie Senior’s) didn’t go all the way back to Harold Washington, unfortunately. Or Chuy’s gallant and historic efforts 30 years ago to help make a guy who won 36 percent of the primary vote a good mayor, a respected mayor and a mayor who would go down in history would have turned the black vote.
Black voters also didn’t seem to remember the 50 closed schools, no matter how much Chuy reminded them in that one tedious commercial. They only seemed to remember that Mexicans are all over the streets working on new TIF-funded projects (in the South Loop). And Rahm was passing out the chicken and the beer a mile a minute–and mucho promises to the black ministers who warned their parishioners that Hell might await them if Tiny Dancer didn’t get a chance to dance for another four years.
So in the simplest terms, here’s what happened: Rahm and Chuy got the votes they got in the first election–and they pretty much evenly split the 20 percent who didn’t vote for either one of them.
But in the more complex version–which one well-placed good source made clear to me–Chuy threw it. The CTU and the SEIU deliberately blew it. Could that be?
If not wanting to deal with Rahm’s mess provoked that decision, I could see it. But I was told the whole thing, from start to finish, was all for the growth of the progressive political sphere–to uncover leaders, strategies, direction, etc. (I sure hope Chuy had some fun, at least.)
Nothing else but a desire to lose could explain how a fine man, an effective man, a politically experienced man, a truly charismatic leader, Toni Preckwinkle’s floor leader, a man who would have been a fine mayor could have run such a dismal campaign: from lousy commercials to tons of missed opportunities to tell his own wonderful story, and the corrupt story of the bum running against him.
Chuy’s complete lack of defining himself positively and not concentrating on his own career filled with honest politics and coalition building is inexplicable.
Unless it was deliberate.
Chuy handed the mayor’s office back to a con man. And may destiny help us. Because the last thing on Rahm Emanuel’s mind is you. Or me. Or anyone. My archive “I can’t stand Rahm” above will stay available for novices from here on in, and may prove useful for us in understanding what’s going on until Rahm is outta here–sometime very soon, I presume, for greener (money) pastures.
Forrest Claypool will be waiting in the wings to be the new mayor. And by the time heir apparent, City Treasurer Kurt Summers is ready to run, the mess–from 22 years of Daley, a few years of Rahm, and a little dose of Claypool–will be so muddy and mixed up that he will be able to proclaim a new day’s dawn and a farewell to the dark night of the past. (Bankruptcy, perhaps?)
In the meantime, long live the South Loop! And don’t ever forget I can’t stand Rahm!
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