Speaking of Chicago

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70 Responses

  1. Avatar Chris says:

    Looking for lessons for Clinton in this particular election is absurd. Chicago’s internal politics operate as a closed system, and this election was about what’s going on in Chicago, which the rest of the country has been remarkably apathetic about until just recently. The reason Rahm is in a runoff is not because he’s a neoliberal, but because Chicago has real problems and he’s done shit to deal with them, choosing instead to spend his time helping out out his buddies. He’ll still win, though, and the reason he will is what he does have in common with Hillary: he’s got so much more money behind him than his opposition that, in the end, it’d take a miracle for him to lose.Report

  2. Avatar Michelle says:

    Ah, Chicago politics. Looks like Emmanuel is finishing off what Daley Jr. started–selling off the city’s assets to the highest bidder in the name of “privatization.” Sad that one of the greatest cities in the world is plagued by so much corruption.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    For progressives, New York had hosted the pro bowl; Chicago would host the super bowl.

    apropos of nothing, that’s a terrible analogy, Weigel.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Also as a mostly irrelevant aside, from the Perlstein piece:

      Red light cameras and school boards independent of the political process are quite often, and maybe, even most of the time, things progressives are in favor of. At least the ones that write for GreaterGreaterWashington and other urbanist blogs.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        I think there is a difference between being independent of the political process and being packed with cronies by the mayor who use the school board for private gain.

        As a liberal, one of my big concerns is the private-public revolving door where people go back and forth between public sector work and lucrative private sector work. There is a lot of research that shows that this is where the real corruption comes in:


        The School Board story in the Perlstein piece is rank corruption in my mind.Report

        • Avatar j r says:

          As a liberal, one of my big concerns is the private-public revolving door where people go back and forth between public sector work and lucrative private sector work.

          When I read that, what I hear is, I want a large and robust government bureaucracy with the power to enforce a large and robust set of rules and regulations on the private sector, but I also don’t want anyone working in that bureaucracy to have any experience working in the private sector.

          What could go wrong?Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        both some of our most cost-effective programs, and some of our worst run programs, have come out of people who weren’t private sector beforehand.

        There’s nothing saying we can’t hire private sector folks… for other industries. (note: there may be specific industries where you don’t have comparable other industries.).Report

      • Avatar LWA says:

        I would have said the same, that regulators need to have experience in the private sector.

        But doing something and overseeing something are two different skill sets.

        Certainly, the regulator needs to be conversant and knowledgeable about the industry, but is isn’t necessary for them to have the same skills; they have different objectives and metrics.

        I see this in my industry, where an architect sometimes has to tell a tradesman, who has been doing something for 20 years, that he is doing it wrong. And likewise, a building inspector has to tell the architect the design doesn’t work, according to a set of metrics he never considered.

        I can’t think of a single industry where there aren’t these sorts of overlapping and often contradictory goals- which is why we need all the stakeholders to be represented even- and especially- when they have different backgrounds and experiences.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I want a regulatory regime where the best career path is to join the private sector and consult about how to find loopholes in the regulations.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        If private companies have non-compete clauses, why can’t government institutions?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        I think the concern is the only way. Politician X passes Law Y that makes Practice Z for the Acme Corp. Six months later Politician X is hired to be CEO X of the Acme Corp that doubles down on Practice Z. That can be concerning.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        There is always going to be some revolving between private and public practice especially as parties go in and out of power and what not. There are still problems with corruption though.

        What is wrong with telling the person “You can serve on board X but your company won’t be given any contracts” while you are serving on board X.

        It is also concerning to see people line up for staffing and political positions as mainly a way of serving their own needs and interests instead of the public good.

        The school story is just one of many things Rahm has apparently done ot enrich is campaign donors.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I would like to point out that Republicans do this too and I’d like to question why I am the first person to bring this up.

        Why aren’t we talking about Bush?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Republicans in Chicago… heh… heheh… heheheh…. AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy says:

    When did we start talking about Clinton?Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      I mentioned Zombie Clinton yesterday…Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      To be honest, I think it’s because Clinton represents all of the eggs currently in the Democrats’ basket.

      (Imagine if Hillary had been elected in 2008 with Obama as VP. Imagine Obama running in 2016. Unstoppable, right? Well… as it is now… well… the democrats don’t seem to have much of a bench. Elizabeth Warren, maybe?)Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Yeah, talking about Clinton a lot makes sense. Trying to draw lessons for her from Chicago’s local politics is sorta like trying to figure out when the Nile will flood by looking at the color of the water in the Snake River.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Well, I think it’s more that we could tell that there were going to be problems for the Republicans in 2008 by looking at what was going on with Republicans in deeply red areas and how even the True Believers were wobbly.

        Chicago is, to some degree, a category unto itself. That said, there may be tea leaves talking about Establishment Democratic Players at the bottom of this here cup.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Is everyone forgetting that there are long standing professional and personal connections between Mayor Emanuel and the Clinton political empire?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Nah, not forgetting. Just don’t think it’s particularly relevant, their personal connection.

        And in Chicago, Emmanuel is the Republican. It’d be nice if what happened in Chicago signaled a change in the direction of the Democratic Party. It doesn’t.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        left wing discontent with the Greater Clinton Co-Prosperity Sphere is how we got the Bush restoration. You don’t think an early expression of that discontent matters?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        left wing discontent with the Greater Clinton Co-Prosperity Sphere is how we got the Bush restoration.

        Really? Discontent lefties escorted Bush into office? Why does that strike me as too simplistic? I mean, it does, but you know a whole lot more about this stuff than I do.

        Personally, I’d’ve thought that it was something positive about the Bush campaign – the promise of Rugged, Real-American, Texas-style Conservatism, now giddee-UP! – than the feelings of the disenfranchised left.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Oh, and the campaign promise of WAR. Lots of folks were giddy at the prospect of that.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        If liberals feel like establishment Democrats have been as aloof and corrupt as Emmanuel, they’re fucked, but that’s the case regardless of what happened in Chicago.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:


        I don’t know whether they feel that way or not. But I do find it (personally) ironic that just a couple days ago I was talking about the ChrisCristie scandal and, after recounting some of the allegations in play, said something like “Democrat corruption isn’t as bad as GOP corruption. At least they throw the electorate a bone while doing so.”


        And here we are.

        Well, we are talking about Chicago….

        (But then there’s the Dem. governor of Oregon…)Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        And to follow up on that, criticisms of Rahm’s policies as Mayor extend back a ways – including charges of corruption – so it’s not like there hasn’t been a case against him for some while. But apparently articles like Perlstein’s, which collate the corruption into discrete, easily digestible packets, represent a tipping point.

        I’ve never liked the guy all that much, so I hope he loses.

        On the other hand, Garcia sounds like a decent guy, so I hope he wins.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        as far as I know, nothing’s as bad as football corruption.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:


        I agree. When that German player crossed from the sideline onto the foot of his team-mate right in front of the goal to win the worldcup over Argentina, I instantly thought: the fix is in.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Wrong football. what I was thinking of involved deliberate cutting of people (I presume for sexual enjoyment).Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Actually, I apologize for the snark, Kimmie. I just have no idea what you mean. In what way do you think football is more corrupt than Emanuel’s mayorality?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Do you mean cutting them from the roster? That’s something agreed upon during the CB process. It’s why the really good players demand guaranteed money. So that doesn’t seem to me like evidence of corruption. I’m probably misunderstanding you, tho.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Oh, and the campaign promise of WAR. Lots of folks were giddy at the prospect of that.

        I am probably misremembering but I misremember that Bush campaigned on limiting our adventurism and getting rid of nation building.

        Remember the 2000 movie “The Contender”? Good times. The big closing scene of the movie had Joan Allen giving a fairly decent cri de coeur.

        It contains the line “I stand for a strong and growing Armed Forces because we must stomp out genocide on this planet, and I believe that that is a cause worth dying for.”

        This was *NOT* a right-wing movie. That line was one of the cudgels used to hit the isolationist Republican party.

        But maybe I misremember.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I do recall Bush’s “no nation building” — the military was for winning wars and then going home.

        0 for 2.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “Really? Discontent lefties escorted Bush into office? Why does that strike me as too simplistic?”

        Bush ran a competent enough campaign (and not a pro-war* one), but the reason why the de facto incumbent didn’t crush the popular vote and electoral college to pre-empt any Florida & SCOTUS contretemps was that certain people voted for Nader, or more often, stayed home.

        *heck, the Decider decided to channel his inner Elsa at the first foreign policy crisis of his administration – the EP-3 Hainan island incident – much to the chagrin of the Republican hawks.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Unfortunately for you, you’re talking about fiction while I’m talking about fact.

        Unfortunately for me, I’m talking about facts but can’t seem to find any references to them!

        Ima keep looking. I know this wasn’t a figment of my reimagination.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:


        No, it was during the campaign. Early in it, actually. He said he wanted to get involved in Iraq, militarily. Some sorta repayment to a slight against his dad. Something.

        Still looking (but my Google-fu is weak!)Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I know Bush advisers had done serious talk about invading Iraq before he even announced he was running, but I don’t remember him mentioning it during the campaign. That it was part of his overall plan was well known in Texas (so much so that on the morning of September 11, 2001, one of my first thoughts was, “They’ll use this as a reason to attack Iraq,” which…), but I recall him running on a relatively isolationist foreign policy platform publicly.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        OK, I concede.

        Can’t find a dang thing.

        Sucks gettin old, tho. I can say that without any citations.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:


        Yeah, I think what you said is right, and I think I confused that fact (or awareness) with some stuff he said shortly after he was elected.

        Still, I have this lingering sense….

        No. NO. I concede. Full stop.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Woodward wrote in his first Bush book (which was written a year before the Iraq invasion kicked off) that the people in the high level meetings on the afternoon of September 11, 2001, were talking about Iraq (to which other people at the meeting said or thought, wtf dudes? and the subject was changed and no more mentions of Iraq were made in that book).

        So while several of Bush’s foreign policy advisers were for going into Iraq from the get go, none of these people were particularly publicized on the campaign trail and really didn’t have the sway they did in the administration until 9/11 actually happened.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I thought I was talking about “culture” but, sure. How about the “trifecta” kerfuffle?

        Whether or not he “really” meant it, Republicans had spent the last few years complaining about Clinton getting all adventurous and Bush attempted to capitalize on that anti-adventurism.

        9/11 gave Bush all of the excuses he needed in order to claim that everything had changed and his old promises no longer applied and, for that, sure. Excoriate him for that (call it “enhanced interrogation”!) but, seriously, he didn’t promise WAR (which, of course, is not the same as saying that he promised PEACE… it’s just pointing out that WAR wasn’t his big theme and my bringing up “fiction” is to show an elided version of the differences between the two ideologies loosely associated with the two parties as they existed in a post-Clinton but pre-Bush world).Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        (Whoops, sorry. Didn’t mean to pile on.)Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:


        So while several of Bush’s foreign policy advisers were for going into Iraq from the get go, none of these people were particularly publicized on the campaign trail and really didn’t have the sway they did in the administration until 9/11 actually happened.

        Well, the PNAC letter advocating military intervention was signed by

        Elliott Abrams
        Richard L. Armitage
        William J. Bennett
        Jeffrey Bergner
        John Bolton
        Paula Dobriansky
        Francis Fukuyama
        Robert Kagan
        Zalmay Khalilzad
        William Kristol
        Richard Perle
        Peter W. Rodman
        Donald Rumsfeld
        William Schneider, Jr.
        Vin Weber
        Paul Wolfowitz

        quite a few of which held a lot of sway in the Bush Admin.

        But … I’m not gonna push the point any further since what I said was wrong.


        Don’t think you’re piling on. You’re not. You’re correcting what I said. Significant difference there.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        “Do you mean cutting them from the roster? That’s something agreed upon during the CB process. It’s why the really good players demand guaranteed money. So that doesn’t seem to me like evidence of corruption. I’m probably misunderstanding you, tho.”

        … no, I mean cutting people to watch them bleed. Not being the best football fan in the world (no tv), the alternative meaning didn’t even occur to me.

        PennState isn’t the only school that people know about abuses going on at. It’s just the only school that got publicized. Some of the other stuff is worse, and I doubt we’ll hear about it in our lifetimes. If you’re a good enough coach, and you teach at some of these places, you can get away with a lot of nasty stuff.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    this gives the party lion on Iraq in the 2000 presidential campaign

    MODERATOR: People watching here tonight are very interested in Middle East policy, and they are so interested they want to base their vote on differences between the two of you as president how you would handle Middle East policy. Is there any difference?

    GORE: I haven’t heard a big difference in the last few exchanges.

    BUSH: That’s hard to tell. I think that, you know, I would hope to be able to convince people I could handle the Iraqi situation better.

    MODERATOR: Saddam Hussein, you mean, get him out of there?

    BUSH: I would like to, of course, and I presume this administration would as well. We don’t know — there are no inspectors now in Iraq, the coalition that was in place isn’t as strong as it used to be. He is a danger. We don’t want him fishing in troubled waters in the Middle East. And it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be important to rebuild that coalition to keep the pressure on him.

    So, yes, you can kinda sorta see the seeds of war in that exchange. On the other hand, in context, it’s the same multilateral international diplomacy and wish list that Gore (and Clinton, and any other mainstream Democratic internationalist) would want.

    That is, translating to the present day, it’s stated policy of the Obama administration to prevent Iran from getting nukes, by the use of international diplomacy, multilateral sanctions, and also ‘keeping all options on the table’. The administration isn’t going to say it, but they would also be more than happy for the mullahs to be deposed – or sidelined into a constitutional theocracy role the way Juan Carlos moved Spain after Franco. It’s the implied endstate of modern Democratic internationalism for each nation to be governed by some sort of democracy with political plurality. Now the difference is that the Republicans will say outright ‘the mullahs have to go’. But lack the political viability to make such a statement be more than aspirational bluster absent a large galvanizing event like 9/11 was.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:


      MODERATOR: You feel that is a failure of the Clinton administration?

      BUSH: I do.

      GORE: Well, when I got to be a part of the current administration, it was right after — I was one of the few members of my political party to support former President Bush in the Persian Gulf War resolution, and at the end of that war, for whatever reason, it was not finished in a way that removed Saddam Hussein from power. I know there are all kinds of circumstances and explanations. But the fact is that that’s the situation that was left when I got there. And we have maintained the sanctions. Now I want to go further. I want to give robust support to the groups that are trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein, and I know there are allegations that they’re too weak to do it, but that’s what they said about the forces that were opposing Milosevic in Serbia, and you know, the policy of enforcing sanctions against Serbia has just resulted in a spectacular victory for democracy just in the past week, and it seems to me that having taken so long to see the sanctions work there, building upon the policy of containment that was successful over a much longer period of time against the former Soviet Union in the communist block, seems a little early to declare that we should give up on the sanctions. I know the governor’s not necessarily saying that but, you know, all of these flights that have come in, all of them have been in accordance with the sanctions regime, I’m told, except for three where they notified, and they’re trying to break out of the box, there’s no question about it. I don’t think they should be allowed to.


      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Thanks for that K.

        I appreciate the research into the issue, which – unfortunately – indicates that Gore is the more likely candidate to engage in warfare. But for the record, that isn’t the comment from George that lives in my mind as revealing his war-like intentions. I don’t think that comment exists anymore. It’s been wiped from the pages of history!

        Nah. I was just confused.

        In my defense, once I saw the Team he constructed during the primary (I think) I was already primed for the worst. And when Cheney was tasked with finding him the best possible VP candidate, and after months of rigorous vetting Cheney chose … Cheney! … my priminations were moreorless confirmed.

        Those were dark times for me, I admit.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I don’t think it suggests Gore was more likely to engage in a ground war. He is endorsing the sanctions regime, under which I’m sure he includes punative bombing and arming the Kurds and maybe Shiite militias (though they hated us because Bush the First abandoned them to slaughter). And he implies that Bush the Second might abandon the sanctions regime to accomplish what they both want: the removal from power of Saddam Hussein.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Yup, it’s Bush who’s expressing impatience and saying that something more should have been done,Report

  6. Avatar Damon says:

    Ah the joys of one party machine rule.Report

  7. Avatar Notme says:

    Either way it looks like Chicago is in trouble. I supose the answer will be to raise taxes as usual.