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January 2, 2009
Obama's no gentle faun
John Kass of the Chicago Tribune rings in the new year with another winner:
President-elect Barack Obama was not found as an infant, floating in a reed basket along the banks of the Chicago River. He is not the gentle faun, the Mr. Tumnus, of the Daley machine. Obama could have forcefully and publicly demanded that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and fellow Illinois Democrats support legislation for a special election to fill his vacated Senate seat. Obama had a responsibility to the people of Illinois to do so. But he kept his mouth shut. As always, he avoided conflict with machine political bosses, a consistent character trait stubbornly ignored by his media cheerleaders.
His top White House strategist and his chief of staff are creatures of the Daley machine, and Democrats didn't want to risk the Senate seat. What happened to the promise of transcending the old politics?
So when the freak show comes to Washington next week and political hack Roland "I'm a tool of the people" Burris is denied entry to the Senate, and the national political class shrieks in fake outrage and Blagojevich surrounds himself with African-American ministers and he sings "Let my people go!" remember who could have stopped all this: Obama, Madigan, Daley and the Illinois Democrats.