December 12, 2008
Illinois is famous for its sleazy politicians. Republican and Democratic governors have gone to jail for their corrupt practices. And Chicago is the seedbed for much of that corruption.
But it’s hard to top the allegations that have been made by the U.S. attorney for Chicago against Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich.
In a 76-page indictment, Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell the Senate seat recently vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Even a children’s hospital was allegedly the target of the governor’s shakedown antics.
Politics has not been the place one normally looks for virtue, but this is beyond the pale. As Fitzgerald notes, Abraham Lincoln must be spinning in his grave.
In a nation that focuses on power more than principle and pleasure more than virtue, it gets what it deserves. One can’t wink at and even celebrate bad behavior and then be appalled when we get more of it. Look at the magazine covers and see who we celebrate.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.