Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How often are gestures legitimate? Dems will figure out another way to get cash

Political people like to take actions that they believe give off the appearance of a grand gesture – even though they usually don’t amount to squat.
EMANUEL: Needs to focus? Who's kidding whom

That may be a bit crude. But it pretty much sums up what I think of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s claim that he won’t do any fundraising for the time being on behalf of “Super PACs” meant to bolster the finances of groups that back Barack Obama for president.

I DON’T THINK the gesture really means much. Even though Emanuel is trying to make it appear as though he is making a substantial sacrifice – all on behalf of the effort to try to resolve the strike that caused the Chicago Public Schools to be shuttered on Monday.

Emanuel decided not to attend a House Majority political action committee event scheduled in Chicago on Monday afternoon. The Chicago Committee told the Chicago Tribune that Emanuel’s “first priority is the residents of the city of Chicago.”

As though engaging in any political activity would detract his time and attention from trying to smack the Chicago Public Schools officials in line so that they can reach agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union on a new contract.

All of which would allow for classes to resume. The sooner, the better. Because this labor dispute that some will say Emanuel provoked with his hard-line attitude threatens to become a national embarrassment to the Emanuel political reputation.

HOW “TOUGH” A guy can he be if he can get smacked about by a batch of school teachers? Although I’ll be the first to admit that Karen Lewis of the teachers’ union strikes me as a tough broad who can hold her own with anybody – even the mighty “Rahm-bo” himself.

But back to the point? Was this really essential an act to do?

Couldn’t Emanuel have somehow carried out his duties as a national political leader in addition to his parochial concerns?

It’s called multi-tasking, and many political people take a certain pride in being able to keep dozens of issues clear in their heads at any given time.

THE FACT THAT I doubt I could do it is the reason I couldn’t ever see myself running for electoral office, no matter how much the political process intrigues me. I have enough troubles keeping it straight what dozens of politicians think about the issues.

Besides, I was the one who thought it ridiculous last week when political people were giving Emanuel grief over the fact that he attended the Democratic National Convention in its early hours, before returning to Chicago to immerse himself in education and labor issues.

I don’t believe the reason we now have teachers on strike is because Emanuel wasn’t paying full attention to what was happening with the city’s negotiations with the teachers’ union.

So I certainly don’t think we’re going to resolve the resulting strike any time sooner just because Emanuel says he won’t be participating in any super PAC events until the labor dispute is resolved!

JUST THINK OF the mess this city would become if we didn’t have officials who could keep up with multiple issues and causes – which is the essence of what municipal government is all about.

An entity that maintains the services that we rely upon to live our lives in something resembling comfort.

Or should we suddenly expect trash collection to go straight down the toilet bowl on account of the fact that city officials are “focusing” on a new union contract for school teachers?

And somehow, I suspect that Democratic Party officials will figure out some way of getting those financially-loaded backers who would have written out checks on Monday to crack open the checkbooks on some other date in the next couple of months on behalf of somebody willing to call themselves a Donkey without feeling shame!


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