Served Chicago Style
Posted by aogWednesday, 01 October 2008 at 19:51 TrackBack Ping URL

I have been exchanging email with my Evil Brother (who found the 2004 Fannie Mae hearings video quite the eye opener) and the subject of Gwen Ifill’s conflict of interest in moderating the Vice Presidential debate. One thing I said, and my brother also noted, was the question of how the McCain campaign could have been blindedsided on this, since the book was not in any sense a secret.

But it still kind of bothered me, and while writing an email back to Evil Brother I realized what the underlying issue was.

If we take as a basis that Senator McCain was stupid for having agreed to the debate, are we not accepting the proposition that McCain was stupid for presuming any sort of non-partisanship on the part of the debate organizers? Is that really where we want to go, where our candidates are mocked for not treating every single thing as a Machiavellian plot? That way, it seems to me, lies Chicago style politics.

I noted earlier how Senator Obama was a Chicago style thug. I think that this is also an example of the road to Chicago style politics, aided by the Obama campaign and Old Media. The act of shrugging it off, saying “McCain should have been more suspiscious” is an acceptance of that style, that anything goes if you get away with it, and no honor in honesty and trust. It brings to mind a recent essay (which, sadly, I cannot find now) about how cities fall not when the barbarian hordes over run them, but when people decide that what has been lost can’t be recaptured. To lose the ability to have any trust, any neutrality, in our political process and have people just shrug it off seems a piece of that.

P.S. Am I the only one old enough to remember the fears of the Clintons bringing in the sleaze and back room dealing of Arkansas politics to the national level? Well, I have lived in Illinois for decades and and very familiar with Chicago politics and it just flat out boggles my mind that we’re now getting ready to import politics from a place that makes the Clintons’ Arkansas look rustic.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Gronker Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 07:56

I dont think its unreasonable to expect our chief executive to have people around them that do their jobs. Vetting nominations, for instance, is critical.

The issue with Gwen Aweful is that she is black and a woman. My guess is that the campaign DID know about the book, but was certain that they had to let someone else raise that flag, not them. And the later in the game they raise the flag, the better chance they have to either get someone else to their liking do moderate or to make sure that she is more likely to be “fair”.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 08:27

If that’s true, then we also shouldn’t be blaming the McCain campaign, but congratulating them on a well played hand.

cjm Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 11:43

i think the article you can’t find was by Bill whittle, on the National Review website.

fyi: your main page isn’t loading (under firefox); the sidebar does, but not the main panel.

maybe the mccain campaign has something up its sleeve, ala a “surprise”, and so aren’t sweating the little stuff. maybe they are just lame. hard to tell the difference at this point. they certainly seem to be dead in the water as far as actively working the media and congress.

there is so much msm noise, and the blogs i (used to) read are all filled with reaction to the noise, that i have stopped reading all politically oriented sites. i have gone to ground until election day. if mccain wins i will resume reading, if he loses i will go further to ground to avoid seeing or hearing that sack of crap obama. god the gop sucks.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 13:17

Which version of Firefox? It loads for me under and 3.0.1.

I have been trying to write on things other than just the election noise.

cjm Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 14:06

firefox 3.03

it’s ok now; looked like a couple of ad links were dragging.

cjm Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 14:07

what do you think of woodward’s reporting of a “manhattan project” type breakthrough secret weapon? the one that can track people from the air, even inside of buildings.

pj Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 14:11

I don’t see why McCain couldn’t have insisted on someone fair and respected by both parties, like Juan Williams. Gwen Ifill is a partisan and has been recognized as such for years. We know the Dems won’t accept a Republican moderator, just as they won’t appear on Fox, but on what basis could they reject a decent and fair Democrat?

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 14:40


I haven’t heard of that, but I have come over time to not put much faith in anything Woodward reports. Do you have a link?


It’s the big mystery of McCain (and Bush as well) why he is so willing to fight against the GOP but a meek little poodle for his political opponents.

I would also note that Gronker’s theory is looking tattered, as McCain has apparently announced yesterday that he’s fine with Ifill as a moderator, which effectively gives her a pass to be as partisan as she likes and then defend herself with McCain’s statement.

cjm Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 18:59

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 21:13

I would bet that it’s listening in on the signals a cell phone constantly exchanges with a tower as long as it is turned on.

Or, alternatively, we’re injecting RFID chips in to suspects and ping those from the UAV.

Or Woodware is just making stuff up again.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 04 October 2008 at 13:43

Hmmm. How about Alaska sleaze?

Although it seems not to be getting any attention, you have a governor who ran on an anticorruptionist platform but, once elected, did not do anything abour corruption in her own party, except to refuse to allow an open investigatoon into her own suspect behavior.

She’d have fitted right into the Bush Justice Dept.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 04 October 2008 at 14:44

Is this going to pan out the same way as Palin’s lie about religion? I have been following this issue as well, so bring it on.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 05 October 2008 at 13:22

Just sayin’. For an alleged anticorruptionist to start off stonewalling an ethics investigation is, well, odd.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 05 October 2008 at 14:19

Not after the comments of the lead legislator it isn’t (via this post which has a lot of other interesting data on the subject). Or this another case where having a (D) after your name means you don’t have to take responsibility for anything you say?

As far as I can tell, Palin’s effort is to move the investigation over to a less prejudicial group, which is legally responsible for performing such investigations. Had she done that arbitrarily, you might have a point. But to do it after the French’s comment strikes me as good political sense.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 05 October 2008 at 21:03

Beats the heck out of me. I am at work and as I passed the editors’ desks, I saw a hedline reading ‘7 to testify.’

Don’t know any more about it than that, but if they were going to testify (assuming they are planning to be responsive, maybe a too big assumption), then seems to me it would have been more of a confidence-builder if they had just gone ahead and agreed in the first place.

Since I have nothing whatever invested in any candidate — unlike some others — I can watch all this with amusement.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 05 October 2008 at 22:08

So you have no idea what’s going on, but you’re sure Governor Palin is at fault? That’s investigative journalism at its best.

Harry Eagar Monday, 06 October 2008 at 00:56

No, I have no idea whether Palin is at fault or not, or whether there was a fault to find.

I’m just observing that the behavior of the investigatees matches up OK with a suspicion that they have something to hide.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 06 October 2008 at 07:51

I saw a headline reading ‘7 to testify.’ […] Don’t know any more about it than that

I.e., you don’t know anything about the investigatee’s behavior, including whether it “matches up” with any pattern. Further, based on this self claimed lack of knowledge, you stated authoritatively that Palin

refuse[d] to allow an open investigatoon into her own suspect behavior

Could you explain how you feel comfortable in making such statements on what you admit is a complete lack of information?

Harry Eagar Monday, 06 October 2008 at 13:05

Sure I do. It was in all the papers. Stonewalling is stonewalling. So is venue shopping.

What I only knew when I wrote that post was that the stonewallers have changed their minds. En masse. So there’s no reason to suspect that somebody was pulling wires, is there?

It looks bad. Whether it is bad might come out in an investigation. If there are no documents (who knows?), then testimony by the possible actors would be the only way to try to answer the question.

I take it Palin is smart enough to have figured out that this looked bad, but not smart enough to anticipate how bad it was going to look.


Annoying Old Guy Monday, 06 October 2008 at 13:45

So there’s no reason to suspect that somebody was pulling wires, is there?

Well, there’s this

After a judge rejected a similar challenge brought by state lawmakers last week, the employees decided to testify

I take it then you are accusing the judge of pulling the strings? Or do you just find it odd that people resisting a subpoena would change their minds after a legal ruling on that precise subject?

It’s precisely that kind of shallow analysis on things I can easily verify that make me a doubter on many of your other claims.

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