The Sound and the Fury
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, . . .
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
William Shakespeare could have been a correspondent describing the proceedings in Charlotte. I think that the immortal Bard would at have been at a loss for words to describe the exhibition put on by the former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.
After almost forty-eight months, with no record of meaningful accomplishments, domestic or foreign, to boast about all that Democrats could do was to act as spin doctors. Let us talk about tomorrow, they suggested, because it was and is better than dwelling upon today’s unpleasant truths: massive debts, high unemployment, two unpopular foreign wars, including one seemingly endless war, prolonged and worsened by the Commander in Chief’s indecisiveness and lack of purpose and resolve, a radical agenda opposed by the American public and a President who seems woefully out of his depth. Just read the opinion polls or Bob Woodward’s latest Book of the Month Club offering as proof of the previous assertion.
Can you remember when Democratic leftists proclaimed “Bush lied and people died” on a daily basis? The number of military casualties under the Obama administration has far surpassed those which took place during the Bush presidency, but no one in the media talks about that or keeps an updated scorecard tally of the dead and wounded. It is unclear precisely what Obama’s military policy is, but, hey, Osama Bin Laden’s dead and Tammy Duckworth has moved again to run for Congress from a new district!
I am not much of a fan of televising the proceedings of national political party conventions. The days of meaningful floor fights at the nominating conventions where delegations actually selected presidential nominees is long past. Modern conventions are merely lengthy infomercials. Nevertheless, despite my cynicism and low expectations, the 2012 Democratic National Convention has proven to be an absolute train wreck. At times, the official proceedings have bordered upon surrealism (for example, Governor Granholm). I fully expected Jerry Springer to appear and announce that he was acting as the presiding officer of the convention. Who else could better moderate a convention where our ally Israel is maligned and God Almighty is openly mocked?
Citing the weather, Obama’s valedictory convention speech has been moved to an indoor arena with a smaller seating capacity. There was no Temple of Zeus stage to replicate Obama’s choreographed acceptance speech in Denver. Attempts to fill an outdoor stadium failed when thousands of North Carolinians declined to get on buses to cheer for Obama. Others were locked out of the hall. The Democratic organizers claimed that an imminent storm necessitated the change of venue. Of course, another plausible explanation may have been a justifiable fear of lightning bolts being loosed upon the delegates by an irate Jehovah.
If it was not difficult enough for the assembled Democratic delegates to re-nominate the damaged goods ticket of Obama and Biden, the “Happy Days Are Here Again” performance was assigned to former President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, the disbarred Arkansas attorney who became the first American president to be impeached since Reconstruction. His patient and long suffering wife did not accompany Clinton to Charlotte.
Listen up, dude, Slick Willie balanced budget!
Yes, but he did so with a solidly Republican Congress, which left him with no alternative other than balancing the budget.
The ethically challenged Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, who has not attempted to call a budget vote in several years, accused Romney being secretive for not releasing more income tax returns. Of course, President Obama has steadfastly refused to release complete documentation concerning his grades, medical records, passports, Social Security identification and basic vital statistics information concerning his murky paternity. There are double standards as to transparency.
No honest mention could be made to the delegates of the disastrous Community Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President James Earl Carter, expanded by Clinton, championed by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, and allegedly superintended by Rahm Emanuel.
Hey, it’s all Bush’s fault! The Subprime Mortgage bubble burst on his watch.
Of course, it is impolite to recollect that Bush officials pleaded before Congress that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needed to be reined in to avert a potential economic crash, but Dodd, Frank and Waters shouted down opponents of their massive social engineering scheme. The Democrats succeeded in blocking Bush, so Bush is to blame and we are all penniless.
Closer to home, calling upon Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn to criticize Mitt Romney’s gubernatorial record in Massachusetts seemed to be decidedly odd. To begin with, given Quinn’s own abysmal performance since he succeeded Rod Blagojevich following his impeachment, it seemed peculiar to permit Quinn to address the convention at all. Quinn has been harshly criticized by organized labor leaders in Illinois and was literally booed off stage by union activists when he appeared on Democrat Day at the Illinois State Fairgrounds a few weeks ago.
To compound Quinn’s blundering mediocrity, his pardons of two politically connected felons received widespread negative publicity during convention week. The pardons were actually issued earlier, but the story was repeated in the Chicago media as the convention came to order.
George Alpogianis, a favorite of the current Democratic regime in the Chicago suburb of Niles, where Alpogianis operates a coffee shop and pancake restaurant much favored by the local police, was actually elected as a Village Trustee in 2009. As a convicted felon, however, he was ineligible to serve and was forced to resign. Now, with his recent pardon, obtained courtesy of Quinn, Alpogianis has pledged to seek elected office again in 2013.
Alpogianis pleaded guilty to placing a pipe bomb in a Chicago fast food restaurant in 1983. While serving a probation sentence for this minor offense, he joined members of the Insane Popes street gang and attacked three men outside of a North side residence where a party was in progress. The gang bangers were armed with pipes and wooden boards studded with nails. He was convicted of six counts of aggravated battery after that youthful escapade. Today, he also operates several retail hot dog restaurants not unlike the business that he once tried to blow up.
Juan Elias, an associate of 1st Ward Alderman Joe Lopez, the same Emanuel dupe who wanted to deny Chik-fil-A building permits and business licenses due to the fact that the national restaurant chain’s chief operating officer publicly opposed same sex marriage, had a series of convictions dating back to 1984. He had been apprehended for stealing tires and a car radio, he was arrested for possession of over $4,400 worth of marijuana, he was associated with a Humboldt Park street gang, the Latin Lovers, but, most impressively, he also was convicted of election fraud following his grand jury indictment in 1996. Naturally enough, Elias still managed to secure a well paid position in the Chicago Department of Health, despite his criminal background. Engaging in election fraud is not an automatic disqualifier for a municipal employee in Chicago.
Prosecutors from the Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney had successfully opposed both pardons in the past, while Richard Devine was in office, but, despite continued opposition from the current State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, Quinn was swayed by testimonial letters evidencing the loyalty of the two applicants to the Cook County Democratic Party. Unfortunately for Quinn, the pardons, which were more than vaguely reminiscent of the of those issued by former Governor Len Small, made headlines for a second time when he was scheduled to address the Democratic National Convention.
For weeks and months, Democratic apologists such as Carol Marin have decried attempts by Republicans to condemn President Barack and his campaign managers as practitioners of “Chicago style politics.” Quinn’s controversial pardons provide a textbook example of what passes for insider politics in Chicago, Illinois.
George Orwell once wrote a persuasive essay on the use of euphemisms to mask the truth in modern politics. First Lady Michelle Obama waxed eloquent about the humble origins of her husband and herself. Taking care not to refer to her own expensive globe trotting junkets and well paid public sector sinecures, Michelle spoke about her student loan debts and her late father who worked at a municipal water plant. Of course, she took care not to mention that her daddy was a precinct captain and that his job was a political patronage position doled out by the Chicago Machine.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, possibly fearing a fate similar to Carter Harrison, Sr., or Anton Cermak, required fifty Chicago police officers to escort him to the convention. Once in Charlotte, he defended Obama’s steadfast leadership abilities while advance copies of Bob Woodward’s latest book depicted Obama as an undisciplined incompetent. How bad is Obama? According to Woodward, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had occasion to press the mute button on her telephone rather than listen to rants from her party’s Chief Executive.
As for Obama’s own oratory, I was completely underwhelmed. Sam Donaldson compared the President’s speech to a desperate poker player trying to bluff a winning hand and rake in a sizeable pot with a pair of deuces. At times, Obama seemed almost defeatist.
Four more years? Seriously?
For what? To restore the Ottoman Empire or an Islamic Caliphate while Israel is obliterated from the map? To outlaw coal and petroleum distillate while Air Force One delivers Obama to another luxury golf course?
Clint Eastwood was and is right. It is simply time to let Obama go.
Daniel J. Kelley is a contributor to “The Chicago Daily Observer.”