Thursday, March 17, 2011

“Blacker” than Obama. Hit by “tsunami.” What will Rod Blagojevich say next?

BLAGOJEVICH: Now, he's Japanese?
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if it is Rod Blagojevich himself who is peddling the theory that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is on the verge of becoming the head of the FBI.

It’s not that I don’t doubt Fitzgerald’s straight-arrow aggressiveness or his own ambitions. It’s just that I wonder if our state’s former governor is delusional enough that he would believe the departure from Chicago of Fitzgerald MIGHT give him a chance to get out of a second trial.

A PART OF me wonders if it is the stress of having a second trial coming up in U.S. District Court that is causing Blagojevich to make outrageous comments.

Such as his latest comment comparing his impeachment and removal from office by the General Assembly to the tsunami that took out Japan and caused damage to nuclear power plants so extensive that the implications will be global in nature.

Yeah, sure. Blagojevich’s removal from office and broken financial status so bad that he can’t work is really comparable to the Japanese devastation.

The fact that Blagojevich was able to use the same radio frequency that turned Larry Lujack into a broadcast immortal to spew this particular theory convinces me of how far down WLS-AM has sunk in recent decades.

“A TSUNAMI THAT happened to me,” is how Blagojevich described his legal predicament. In one sense, I can see what he is getting at. The legal process has totally overwhelmed his life, destroying any semblance that he was a person of political significance.

Of course, the difference is that the tsunami that hit Japan devastated a nation. The legal process didn’t devastate anybody but Blagojevich. In fact, it may have saved our society in Illinois as a whole.
FITZGERALD: Leaving Chicago?

Not because I think the idea that Blagojevich wanted to know what he would get in return for giving some public official an appointment to the U.S. Senate is the most outrageous offense that can be conceived.

It is because Blagojevich continues to rant about the state officials (“cynical scoundrels,” he calls Gov. Pat Quinn and the Legislature’s leaders) over the income tax increase that got passed to help raise money to start closing the ridiculously absurd gap that exists in the Illinois budgetary situation.

“A FEEDING FRENZY.” “Lunching up on your money.” “A deal with the devil.” That was just some of Blagojevich’s over-the-top rhetoric.

Now I wasn’t enthused about the income tax increase, particularly since as a free-lance writer, no one is withholding any money for my taxes and I have to calculate and pay them myself. I am fully aware of how much of my piddling income will be going to the state of Illinois.

Yet I realize the essentialness of the increase because of how large the budget gap had become. The idea that a significant increase of some type wasn’t going to be part of the solution is ridiculous.

Yet that is the impression Blagojevich would like to create. Which as far as I’m concerned makes him a significant part of the state’s financial problem.

PERHAPS SOME SERIOUS action back when he was governor would have helped prevent the budget gap from ever getting so big! Perhaps Blagojevich could have averted the problem.

Instead, he enhanced it by being more obsessed with engaging in rhetoric as governor that was meant more to show those legislative leaders that HE was the boss. He was obsessed with putting them in their place. If anything, I can’t help but think that Blagojevich is still overly concerned with putting political people in their place – rather than worrying about his own legal defense.

If Blagojevich does wind up doing some serious prison time (in all honesty, the people who talk about the former governor doing a decade or more in prison are being ridiculous), he’s not going to have much of anyone to blame but himself.

His personality has ticked off so many people that it seems the world is now gunning for him. Fitzgerald can go to Washington to be the modern-day J. Edgar Hoover. His successor will be just as eager to put Blagojevich away. Perhaps that is the real tsunami that is waiting to hit Blagojevich once his trial (scheduled to begin April 20) concludes.

AS FOR BLAGOJEVICH and his reference to the tsunami, it is tasteless. But I suppose we really shouldn’t be shocked.

This is, after all, the man who once described himself as being, “blacker than Barack Obama” (remember Esquire?). So after thinking of himself as a (sort-of) African-American, now he wants to be Japanese?

In his mind, Blagojevich thinks he’s all of us. All I can say is if he ever gets any delusion to try to claim solidarity with Latinos, this is one person with ethnic origins in Latin America who is willing to say right now, “No, thanks.” We don’t want him.


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