Bill Cutshall’s Weblog

December 9, 2008

Rod Blagojevich is an Ass

Filed under: Politics — billcutshall @ 11:50 am

Right on the heels of my rant regarding the mediocritization of our society, the Chicago political machine provides me with a great example of the effects of our tolerance for bad decisions.

In case you haven’t been following the national news, we are in the middle of some financial hard times the results of which are apparently being experienced by the Republic Windows and Doors company of Chicago.  Recently Bank of America reviewed the line of credit they have extended to Republic and decided to freeze it.  Basically this is similar to when a credit card company freezes the account of a person who misses their minimum monthly payment even though they are below the limit of their credit line.  Republic, as a consequence, did not have enough liquid funds to meet their liabilities, particularly those to their 240 employees, and had to close down giving their workers 72 hours notice which is 57 days shy of their obligation.

It is a sad state of affairs for everyone involved, particularly the 240 unemployed workers trying to figure out how to provide a good Christmas to their families, but this is where it starts to get interesting.

The employees, realizing that someone has failed to meet a contractual obligation to them (and honestly left with nothing else to do) stage a sit-in demanding back pay, severance pay, and compensation for accrued sick and holiday time.

Think about that for a minute.  The employees are demanding money from a company which has closed because it doesn’t have any money.  Clearly even they realized the tenuousness of their situation and turned their ire to the bank “responsible” for their situation, Bank of America.  With chants of “You got bailed out, we got sold out” the employees make their position known that they believe the bank should provide the now defunct Republic Window and Doors company with more money so they can pay their employees the money they owe them regardless of the fact that any money provided will clearly never return.

I expect that sort of illogic from people in their position.  It’s understandable.  But it gets weirder.

The Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, then takes it upon himself to stand up for his constituants and denounce the Bank of America’s decision (understandable) stating that the Bank had received federal funds to bail out the economy and thus had a responsibility to bail out this company.

Wait, what?  He can’t be serious.

To reinforce the point that he was serious, he issued instructions to all governmental entities of the state of Illinois to cease doing business with Bank of America.

OK, he was serious, but surely he can’t do that, can he?  I mean, banks handing out money to people that could never pay it back was what got us into this situation in the first place, wasn’t it?  He can’t seriously try to enforce a reversal of a logical but tough decision using his influence and position as governor, can he?  As it turns out, we may never find out because it keeps getting weirder.

This morning Rod Blagojevich was arrested and charged with solicitation of bribery and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud unrelated to his actions in the Repubilic Window and Doors / Bank of America situation.  His arrest centers around his attempt to sell the appointment of Barak Obama’s vacated senate seat.  You heard that right, the governor of Illinois was attempting to profit from his position as appoint-er of Barak Obama’s replacement in the US Senate.  He was snared while being investigated for ties to the influence-peddling scandal surrounding Tony Resco so it is doubtful this is his first foray across the line of criminal conduct.

That kind of corruption doesn’t just happen overnight.  It takes practice and assistance and an environment of tolerance for unethical behavior on a massive scale, an environment for which “the Chicago machine” is notorious.  This essentially implies that people on nearly every level of state politics in Illinois are corrupt or tolerant of corruption.  It means that the people that elected them are tolerant of this behavior.  They are enablers.

It is time that we started treating corrupt politicians in the same way we treat alcoholics.  We should require that they admit to unethical behavior, promise to refrain from future unethical behavior, and most importantly, never put themselves in positions where they will be tempted towards unethical behavior in the future.

I leave it to someone else to determine how to identify these people.

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2 Comments »

  1. Blagojevich has been so successful at making himself and his office look ridiculous that about a million people are now able to remember and maybe even spell his crazy name — that’s sort of like an accomplishment, right?

    Comment by coffee fiend — January 7, 2009 @ 4:18 am | Reply

    • Unfortunately you are likely correct. Our standards for politicians may currently be so low that the business adage of “any publicity is good publicity” could apply to them. In that sense he might be a pioneer.

      Comment by billcutshall — January 7, 2009 @ 12:19 pm | Reply


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