More 'Chicago Way' politics from Barone
Dodge facts, skip details, govern Chicago-style
First, Obama likes to execute long-range strategies but suffers from cognitive dissonance when new facts render them inappropriate. His 2008 campaign was a largely flawless execution of a smart strategy, but he was flummoxed momentarily when the Russians invaded Georgia and when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Oh reality when those pesky fact interfere. Obama's mild reaction to the inconvenience of the post election chaos in Iran (so different from Chicago, where voter fraud, long before ACORN, is built into the system with few complaints) where he just extended an open fist in friendship is a perfect example.
Second, he does not seem to care much about the details of policy.
Eight million US Muslims when there are, at most, only two million; let's close Guantanamo, who cares where we put the detainees, are just the most recent examples.
Third, he does business Chicago-style. His first political ambition was to be mayor of Chicago, the boss of all he surveyed; he has had to settle for the broader but less complete hegemony of the presidency. From Chicago he brings the assumption that there will always be a bounteous private sector that can be plundered endlessly on behalf of political favorites.
And thus Obama is puzzled that some complain that Walpin can't be fired for punishing one of his political favorites, Mayor Johnson of Sacramento, for diverting a few (relatively speaking Chicago style corruption) federal dollars for his own use. Hey, in Chicago, that's how most politicians supplement their income.
Chicago-style, he has kept the Republicans out of serious policy negotiations but has allowed left-wing Democrats to veto a measure upholding his own decision not to release interrogation photos. While promising a politics of mutual respect, he peppers both his speeches and impromptu responses with jabs at his predecessor.
Chicago is a sanctuary city; like North Korea or Iran, opposition is mocked and/or neutered.
And our trains aren't running on time.