Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama "not willing to give me anything except appreciation. F*** them.”

The first moral test of the Obama administration has been administered by someone Obama knew from days before he arrived on the national stage. When presented with the essay question on what he would give for the opportunity to choose a Senator - a reliable ally in the seat he was leaving - Obama wrote a one word answer and left the exam room. "Appreciation".

Circle the first letter and give the man an "A".

It did not have to be that way. Any politician at Obama's level knows how to reward someone without bribing them. Blagojevich himself, the filthy crook (allegedly, IUPG), showed that he knows how to make things happen without exchanging envelopes stuffed with cash - "let's not talk about the Senate appointment just yet . . . don't you think I'd make a great person for a well-paying political appointment? Do you have any close friends with corporations or foundations that might be looking for someone with my skill set? Or my wife's?"

And there, on that phone call, with nobody (apparently) watching, we could have seen a political pragmatist make it happen. They could have verbally separated the transactions enough that it wouldn't have even felt like a bribe. "Look, Rod, we aren't going to do any tit for tat here, but you know we look out for people who help us out, and we were just talking the other day about how you have the right stuff to make a great ambassador to Tahiti. But that's a different issue, and we ought to discuss that over a drink sometime real soon. In the meantime, though, I know we both want to get a good person in that Senate seat, and Obama really thinks that X is the person. If you make that appointment, he'll be really happy, and we look forward to seeing you at the inauguration. We can talk details about how you can fit into the administration's goals then, okay?" And, assuming that Blagojevich trusts Obama to deliver, the deal gets done.

Does anybody doubt that Bush's team did similar things hundreds of times? Does anybody doubt that people who did Bush favors wound up on the board of Halliburton, or had their spouses suddenly chosen for sweet jobs? If you do doubt that, then I'm happy for you, because you've avoided the cynicism that the Bush administration has fostered in me.

I'm so cynical that I'm a little surprised - even inspired - by the boyscout behavior of the Obama administration. You mean, it's really true?! The man we elected really, truly, when offered an opportunity to select a Senator, offered nothing except appreciation?!


Maybe it's just the season, but I'm honestly feeling a little bit like the Grinch looking down on Whoville when everyone was singing - my heart grew a size or two when I saw that Obama didn't play ball with a fellow Illinois politician. I'm glad our law enforcement agencies got a warrant and worked effectively caught Blagojevich (IUPG), and that somebody tipped them off.

I have nothing to offer all the heroes in this little vignette - nothing except my appreciation. My deepest, most sincere appreciation.

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12 Comments:

Blogger I Travel for JOOLS said...

Of course Obama didn't know about any corruption or have any intimate association with the seedier sides of Wright, Ayres, Rezko, Acorn, and now Blagojevich.

Hogan's Heros Sergeant Schultz comes to mind, "I KNOW NOTHING!"

But Bush, now that's different.

12/10/2008 8:44 AM  
Anonymous RogueReporter said...

"The first moral test of the Obama administration has been administered by someone Obama knew from days before he arrived on the national stage. When presented with the essay question on what he would give for the opportunity to choose a Senator - a reliable ally in the seat he was leaving - Obama wrote a one word answer and left the exam room. "Appreciation"."

I can't find any source that can support that statement. Would the KC Star Reporters make that statement without providing a source. -Is this just fantasy?

--The Chicago Sun Times has a pretty good coverage. CLICK HERE

12/10/2008 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Kingsfield said...

I think Dan was talking metaphorically, not claiming that Obama really sat down and took such a test. If you misunderstood that, and really thought that Dan was reporting on an actual examination that Obama took, I would really like to get to know you - you could be ver humorous to have around.

Dan's metaphor is based on a quotation included in the article you cite - “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.”

12/10/2008 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Your Favorite PR Guy said...

Hey Rogue, when did he KC Star have reporters?

I know they retype a lot of "news" releases but that is not exactly being a reporter -- and the (canned) quotes were always attributed to someone so deciding when to protect a source never came up.

Give us a break. The KC Star is no paragon of journalism. It has barely been a paper since they put their competition out of business 20 years ago.

Look at it this way, for The Star to win a Pulitzer, a lot of people had to die within a few blocks of the main office. That is not journalism.

12/10/2008 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, go easy on the gov, after all “Sometimes you get into gray areas, and before you know it, you’ve crossed a line that you didn’t expect to cross.”

12/10/2008 12:37 PM  
Anonymous the wife said...

This is the same "above the law" arrogance and elitism that has infected Funkhouser - only on a much larger scale.

Politicians sometimes think laws that keep them from abusing their power shouldn't apply to them. They'll do anything to spit in the face of their constituents for their own personal gain. It's disgusting - whether it's mismanaging campaign funds or using your office for non-government business or putting a “for sale” sign on a seat in the Senate it’s living above the law the rest of us “regular folk” have to play by the rules.

12/10/2008 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has never been proven that Funk broke the law!!

After all, he said he only had to pay a "fee" for that campaign violation thing.

12/10/2008 5:01 PM  
Anonymous the wife said...

Nobody has proven that Blagojevich broke the law either!

People are "FINED" when they break the law.

12/10/2008 5:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I received an email from a friend worried that my lovely wife had suffered some kind of head injury, leaving her unable to focus on the topic.

I'm extremely happy to let everyone know that "The Wife" is not MY wife. Extremely happy.

My wife disagrees with me frequently, but as oddly off-base and off-topic as "The Wife". She also is less likely to try to attribute motives someone she does not know, or fail so badly at it.

12/10/2008 6:11 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Oops - that was supposed to be "NEVER as oddly . . ."

12/10/2008 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Kingsfield said...

I think The Wife might be the wife of a failed politician who couldn't raise enough money to make it worth stealing for personal gain.

12/10/2008 6:20 PM  
Anonymous the wife said...

Kingsfield:
I consider a politician to be "failed" when he loses his moral compass - not when he loses an election. There are a lot of "failed" politicians - like Blagojevich - sitting in office right now.

Maybe your moral compass is adjusted differently from mine...


Dan:
What's off-topic about wanting ALL elected leaders to play by the rules? (not just ones from Illinois)

12/10/2008 8:05 PM  

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