Rolling Stone: Blago's Revenge
On the eve of Obama's historic inauguration, the Democrats allowed themselves to be outfoxed by a craven scum eater
MATT TAIBBI Posted Feb 05, 2009 9:02 AM
God knows if any of thisis the president's fault, but in their handling of the preposterous scandal surrounding Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic Party leaders under Barack Obama have brought us all hurtling back to the nightmarish prevarication of the Clinton years — those horrifying days when the party's enduring inability to act decisively allowed Barnum-esque con men like Ken Starr to hold all of America hostage.
For almost two decades now, the Democrats have blazed up every joint in sight, only to freeze at the crucial moment of inhalation. Clinton kicked off two excruciating terms of Solomon-esque waffling by splitting gays in the military right down the middle and ended by only half-admitting to being swallowed whole by an intern named Monica Lewinsky. Then came history's first three-base balk in Florida (with James Baker waving Bush around to score), followed by a senseless war in Iraq that Democrats thought to oppose only once it became inexpedient to support.
All this bullshit, we hoped, might end with Barack Obama. But then came Blagojevich, a sleazeball whose massively publicized success in scheming a way to drop turd in the new president's inaugural punch bowl is a gate-crashing leap above station on the order of Paris Hilton screwing her way into a speaking role in Gandhi or Amadeus. It's a political disaster that happened only after Democrats once again froze in the headlights at the crucial moment, trying to flee in two different directions at once while a third-rate bookie in a tracksuit seized control of the U.S. Senate.
The irony is, before the curtain on his act got pulled back by the FBI, Blagojevich somehow got himself elected as an Obama-style reformer, railing against corruption and entrenched power. In fact, Obama himself helped craft Blagojevich's first campaign in 2002 against the "business as usual" administration of his Republican predecessor, George Ryan, serving as a key adviser along with current Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.