Friday, March 9, 2012

Seven more days for 40892-424

One week from now, federal inmate number 40892-424 will have gone through orientation and will have completed his first night in prison – a lifestyle that he’s going to have to endure for just over a decade.
BLAGOJEVICH: Soon to lose the suit

That inmate, of course, is Rod Blagojevich, who has to report to prison (possibly a minimum-security facility in Colorado) come Thursday. Which means he’s now going through his final week of freedom.

EVERYTHING HE DOES in coming days will take on the aura of “one last time” – both for himself and for his family.

It even seems that we’re going to get “one last statement” from Blagojevich. The Associated Press reported that a Blagojevich “spokesman” said the former governor himself will make some sort of public statement some time in coming days.

Then, he will go off to prison – which makes me wonder if his final day of freedom will resemble the scenes in the film “Goodfellas” where actor Ray Liotta’s “Henry Hill” character engaged in a final party of booze and drugs and floozies, only to climb into a limousine and tell the driver, “Now, take me to jail.”

Although as much as I might joke here, and some people will eagerly be awaiting this week with glee (a fact that still bothers me more than anything Blagojevich might have actually done while in public office), the truth is that there really is nothing funny about what is going to happen a week from now.

HE’S STILL A human being, and he will have a wife and two daughters who will be devastated by what will happen. I’m not about to start up the charity fund for the family Blagojevich. But we shouldn’t overlook the loss that is created by a 14-year prison term (even if that translates into 11-plus years of REAL time).

Which is why I can’t help but feel a bit of sympathy these days. But not so much sympathy that I really care much what Blagojevich has to say in a final statement. In fact, a part of me desperately wants to ignore whatever the former governor has to say for his final words as a “free” man.

Because I’m convinced that if we really wanted to inflict a “blow” to the ego of Blagojevich, we’d blow it off. We wouldn’t cover it. We would let his statement twist in the wind, and we’d seriously debate that old philosophical cliché, “If a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

If Blagojevich speaks and no one records it, does it really matter?

BECAUSE I CAN’T really envision anything he’d say that needs to be recorded for posterity. He still thinks he ‘didn’t do it.’ He’s been framed?

Even if he were to do an about-face and admit some sort of “guilt” or “responsibility” (which some law-and-order types always claim they want to hear), would it really make a difference now?

He’s going to have to endure prison. It’s going to be a demeaning experience, particularly for someone like Blagojevich who had such an over-bloated view of his self-importance to begin with.

My own trivial question is to wonder how Blagojevich will cope with the fact that the prison barbers will likely be incapable of (and unwilling to try to) maintaining that helmet-like hairdo he has spouted for years.

BLAGOJEVICH WITH A buzz-cut?!? What horrors it will be for him!

Although I wonder if he’ll get another ego-blow come March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day. That is a holiday that Chicago political types like to make a big deal of, regardless of their ethnic origins.

It will be a “first” – as in, the first holiday Blagojevich will miss out on due to his incarceration.


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