Tuesday, January 13, 2009
We Illinoisans are lucky. We had the privilege of hating Blagojevich for six years while the rest of the country have only been exposed to his wonderful world of self aggrandizement and delusions of grandeur for a few weeks. Now when I turn on the Daily Show or Colbert Report, it's like they joined my club, as they destroy his "muskrat smuggling" hairdo or riff on his emperor-has-no-clothes press conferences.
Watching Blago shoot shit-colored rainbows onto the brows of journalists, just hours after his impeachment, was almost enough to bring a tear to my cold, cold blue eyes. But our little Blago has grown up so much. It seems like just yesterday everyone in my hometown — the capital of Illinois, Springfield — couldn't stand the fact that he refused to move to the governor's mansion and remained living in the Chicago area. The man flew a taxpayer-funded jet to the capital whenever he had actual "work" to do, which we now know means shaking down a children's hospital, or anything else that only he would think he could get away with.
Friday's post-impeachment press conference was the best 15 minutes of political television I have ever watched. He spoke for at least 10 minutes about his wonderfully irrelevant health care reforms, but managed to avoid his shady deal to bring in foreign meds that he knew couldn't be sold here. He even implied that his scandal and impeachment was all political payback because he had been such a steward of the people. After reading his laundry list of accomplishments, the man pointed to an uncomfortable crowd of disease survivors (beneficiaries of his benevolent gubernatorial work) he shamelessly propped on stage like a scandal-deflecting force field. As John Stewart said, Blago acts like we can't see him, and it would just be too awkward for us to, you know, spoil the moment by telling him he's less than a little transparent.
The magnificently staged bullshit ended with a poetry reading, a fucking POETRY READING, and not a mention of his pending trial in the Senate, nor even a slight break or pause from his infinite hubris. Like the slime flowing underneath NY in Ghostbusters II (haha), he is a creation generated by the populous' growing cynicism, hatred and unflinching post-modern shame.