(Photo: The Chicago Tribune has had enough of allegedly virile Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.)
I swear I almost did a spit-take with my coffee when I read it: an editorial in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune suggesting that the Illinois constitution be rewritten to allow for the recall of Governor Rod Blagojevich. The paper didn’t mince words:
“The Blagojevich experience suggests that the answer is yes, Illinois should write a recall mechanism into its constitution. Having endured the Blagojevich era, we believe voters never should have to endure another one like it. They instead should have the power to recall an inept governor…Blagojevich is an intentionally divisive governor and a profoundly unhelpful influence…He is the governor who cannot govern.”
Did you get all that? And here I thought it was just me.
When your most respected–not to mention most conservative–citywide daily labels the governor as “inept” and calls for the state’s founding document to be rewritten to allow for his ouster, you know the status quo is straining to its limit.
Earlier this month, I opined that the potential death of Chicagoland mass transit might be Blago’s proud legacy–and not his much self-touted virility. My cheek was easily topped by the laundry list of gubernatorial embarrassments the Trib laid out yesterday, which also included the governor’s “self-diagnosed testicular virility”, along with:
–Unending federal and state investigations into cronyism and corruption;
–A total inability to move any legislation when his own Democratic party controls both houses of the state legislature;
–No solutions except for repeated lip service for public-school accountability and current and future state pension debt;
–Using taxpayers’ monies to bankroll plans and projects that have no legislative support (those additional casino licenses, anyone?); and
–Of course, the straw that likely broke the editors’ backs: the impending “implosion” of Chicago mass transit, due to the failure of government to act.
Boot Blago? I couldn’t agree more. I come from a State, New York, where the legislature tends not to be the same party as the governor, and in my 33 years as a resident there, the word “Doomsday” was never used in the same sentence as “public transit”.
Not long ago, the Chicago Reader wondered whether the Sun-Times would be able to follow-through on its newfound desire to be the progressive voice of Chicago. (Columns like yesterday’s ignorantly homophobic rant by Sun-Times editorial board writer Deborah Douglas leave me thinking no).
But on Sunday, at least, the progressive word was owned in this city by the Chicago Tribune. It was a brave and unexpected editorial. And it was about time someone said it.