Obama breaks out the brass knuckles

Politics is a tough game. And there are few venues where it is tougher than the genteel neighborhoods and blighted wards of Chicago where Democrats have been practicing their own brand of groin kicking, blackjack clubbing, kneecapping, means of persuasion since before Al Capone had Mayor "Big Jim" Thompson in his pocket.

Case in point: Obama's opponents just got blindsided by a hard right cross to the chin. Consider what just happened to Arizona Senator Jim Kyle who made the mild, and eminently reasonable suggestion that since the stimulus bill wasn't working, perhaps it was a good idea to suspend its implementation before we waste any more hundreds of billions in taxpayer monies.

According to Jonathan Martin of Politico, Obama struck back with true Chicago political thuggery:

Earlier this week, the administration launched a coordinated effort to jam Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican who's argued that the government should "cancel the rest of the stimulus spending." No fewer than four Cabinet secretaries wrote to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer - also a Republican - to ask her if she agreed with Kyl that it was time to turn off the state's stimulus spigot.
"If you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Sen. Kyl suggests, please let me know," wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. For good measure, he attached a three-page addendum listing each of the Arizona projects paid for by the $521 million the state is getting. 

Brewer knew she'd been thrown a high, hard one. 

"The governor is hopeful that these federal Cabinet officials are not threatening to deny Arizona citizens the portion of federal stimulus funds to which they are entitled," her spokesman said in a statement. "She believes that would be a tremendous mistake by the administration. And the governor is grateful for the strong leadership and representation that Arizonans enjoy in the United States Senate." 

Don't blame Governor Brewer. Her reaction is the same as those unfortunates in Chicago who get this kind of treatment; grovel before the Machine. And note that Obama dispatched Ray LaHood, a nominal Republican, to do the dirty work. This also, is the Chicago Way; get a "friend" to slip the knife in if you can.

It is no accident there has never been a politician from Chicago elected president before Obama. The way the game is played there seemed too raw, too uncivilized for the national stage.

Until now.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky