Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A general disappointment.

Photo by Fuzzy Gerdes
A few words on Rod Blagojevich. I've been slightly sickened by the piranha-like response to his conviction. And I feel bad that the guy's going to prison for not actually doing anything wrong. Or at least I believe he didn't really think he was doing something wrong; nothing every other politician sitting in office doesn't do every single day. If you think your elected representative isn't wheeling and dealing to further his or her political future then you are an idiot. Blagojevich's main stumble was that he was caught with a truckload of embarrassing tapes of him strutting and huffing and puffing his chest about it.

One of the jurors justified their decision by making the analogy that if someone talks about robbing a bank over and over again then they intend on robbing a bank, so in their eyes Blogojevich was guilty. Charming, but guilty. That's complete bullshit. We talk about stuff we'd never do all the time. If we could get convicted for saying something over and over again then 80% of the population would be in jail for thinking about murdering their boss. Ludicrous.

If anything I've come to view Rod as a slightly clueless and hugely egotistical guy. He thought he deserved something political in return for a political favor. That's not exactly unusual. And yes, people will pipe up that's just exactly one of the main things that's wrong with our government today -- there's too much wheeling and dealing without actually taking into account the public good -- but I posit the best way to deal with that is by throwing the bums out of office. If they get caught taking bribes for their favors then yes, by all means, convict the bums. But if they just talk about it a whole lot, and curse just as much as your next door neighbor (or lover, or mother, or priest) does then I say you just put someone else in their place and see if they can do any better.

But you know what you don't do? Gleefully convict a man, drag his family screaming behind a herd of ravenous media Nightmares and then rub your hands whilst drooling over the huge sentence he's going to have to serve for his actions in office. For letting the people down. For talking big but ultimately doing nothing.

Is Rod Blagojevich a somewhat embarrassing buffoon? Yes. And we put him into office. But were his actions so terrible he deserves to quite possibly spend the next ten plus years in prison?


Bill V said...

I don't agree on how the case was handled but do think he deserves some prison time. He was certainly trying to rip-off the public in several different ways.

Shoeshine Boy said...

It is true that he was doing what nearly every politician does on a regular basis, but that doesn't make it right. Furthermore, most of these politicians know how not to get caught and/or don't realize how close to breaking the law they get.

The biggest problem here is not that he got caught, but that he angered the wrong people. Those people decided to make a mockery of him. And that's why he is where he is today and where he will be after August's sentencing. regardless, it is a sad day for Illinois all around. Here is a good summation...