Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I’m saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Ness: Anything and everything in my power. Malone: And then what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way because they’re not gonna give up the fight until one of you is dead.
Ness: How do you do it then?
Malone: You wanna know how you do it? Here’s how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way…
Many of us familiar with Chicago politics have been wondering for months at the apparent disconnect of the media regarding Obama’s relationship to the Chicago political machine. Where did they think this guy came from?
The lack of curiosity by the press about Obama’s connections to one of the most corrupt city governments in the United States should be one of the big media stories of this campaign. While it is true that Obama’s connections to the Machine are not as extensive as many other politicians, I’ve got news for you Obama apologists; try running for any office in Chicago – local, state, or federal – and see how far you get without support from the regular Democrats.
Moran's article is a tour de force. There's just one thing I don't get. The guys down at the NYT can read the Chicago Tribune just as well as anyone else. New York may be big, but Chicago isn't that small a ville. So why would political events roiling that town give the national news a miss? What else is going on? What explains the curious media blindness towards Chicago, Rezko and -- coming in from left field -- Auchi? The blindness isn't caused by illiteracy, it's not even caused by bias.
The blinders were probably caused by the Audacity of Hope. The inability to look closely at Obama was rooted in what they feared to see. It's not as if Obama's media admirers didn't know about the Chicago Way. They just didn't want to think about it; that would break their own spell.
The more bankrupt an ideology, the more more manic-depressive it is. The more manic-depressive it needs to be. In Orwell's 1984 the Two Minutes' Hate regularly alternated with ecstatic news bulletins about mythical victories on the Eurasian Front. True believers oscillated from a state of outrage to ecstasy with the permission of the Party because both were safe states. It was the quiet that was haunted. It was the moment of calm realization that the Party feared. Bankrupt ideologies require prodigies and miracles to keep its world spinning on its axis. As long as it spins you can't look around. And in the 21st century, which has been shorn of miracles, the wows are supplied by appearance, rhetoric, youth and glitz. Liberalism needed Obama as much as he needed them. He gave them dreams and they would give him power.
To truly accept tha the existence of the "Chicago Way" is to simultaneously concede the necessity of the painstaking, often morally ambiguous ways needed to deal with it. The "Chicago Way" is the domestic expression of the International Way. Not the fairy-tale United Nations paradise imagined by some, but as it really is: a sad place thronged with tyrants, psychopaths and dangerous people, the Capones, Rezkos and Daleys of the world stage.
People who need to believe Barack Obama can solve the world crisis by calling a Muslim summit must of necessity need to forget you can't clear corruption from Chicago by meeting with the aldermen of that great city. To believe in the Audacity of Hope you need to dis-remember the Chicago Way. Especially if you plan on voting for the man representing Hope who came from there.
Mayor Richard Daley making an argument for raising real estate taxes to fund a bankrupt rapid transit system.
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