Posts Tagged ‘Illinois politics’

The Red Badge of Kirkage

Posted in General on June 2nd, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – 2 Comments

My congressman–and aspiring senator–is Mark Kirk.  He represents Illinois’ bland and somewhat smug North Shore suburbs, where our teen drug dealers are just earning the tuition and course credits to become anestheologists.  Here the Republicans are Tories; they will concede that Darwin was right if unfortunately tactless.  (A vice president of the Rotary Club does not want to be reminded of his Australopithecine relatives  in Africa.) This is a bellweather district with a sizable number of Jewish voters.  (I did mention the future anestheologists.)  The pragmatic Mr. Kirk has proved very ecumenical, and gives the impression that he co-sponsored the Torah or at least the Balfour Declaration.

And heretofore Mr. Kirk has also been very fortunate.  The Democratic candidate for the Senate seems to be a 14-year-old you wouldn’t trust with a paper route.  As long as Kirk didn’t swing regressively right and try mating with Sarah Palin, I was thinking of voting for him.  But never underestimate a politician’s vanity.  Kirk decided to inflate his military record.  He actually had one, a reservist in a naval intelligence unit.  The man had to serve in Italy during the Kossovo conflict.  Don’t dismiss his peril; Vesuvius could have erupted.  And his unit received a commendation for its paperwork.  However, Congressman Kirk decided that he alone deserved that award, and claimed it in speeches and in his biography.  Aside from monopolizing the award, he embellished it–anointing himself “Intelligence Officer of the Year.”

What a pity that the Navy’s records did not quite concur with Kirk’s.  The Congressman could denounce the Navy as just a bunch of New York liberals–and he may yet; so far, he says that there was a clerical mistake.  His website stated that he had won “the Intelligence Officer of the Year.”  Apparently, Kirk read it and, since the Internet is renowned for its accuracy, he assumed that it was true and began mentioning his award.   Believe it or not, he is still sticking by that story.  He won’t be getting an Intelligence award this year; but that has never been a criterion for the U.S. Senate.

While Flossin’ My Teeth With My Unibrow….

Posted in General on May 13th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

The New York Times has a preconception of me. Forsakened in the Midwestern wilderness, I am presumed to be unibrowed, toothless and married to a first cousin. My Masters’ degree–being only from Northwestern–must be in manual labor. Yes, I do vote Democratic–as the Times would wish–but it is only because my unibrowed, toothless alderman promised me a garbage can lid, which I would use as a plate and an umbrella.

So imagine the shock to my drooling neanderthal sensibilities to read the Times article on the dynamic, presidential, charismatic Rod Blagojevich. (Apparently, Senator Obama does not have a monopoly on those adjectives.) That glowing description of Illinois’ governor is all the surprising because I don’t know anyone who likes him. Blagojevich is sleazy, corrupt, incompetent and abrasive. The governor has practically institutionalized bribery. His Republican predecessor went to prison for corruption–and he was more subtle. Blagojevich even has a bad haircut; a page boy does not suit his fifty-year old head. The man is a Democrat but I would gladly vote against him.

Unfortunately, the Republican party of Illinois cannot decide whether it is dead or just surreal. Its last senatorial candidate was Alan Keyes, who lives in Maryland. (Yes, but he was a documented migrant worker.) The party’s senior statesman is the Presbyterian Ru Paul; who knew that kilts came in hot pink! Against the execrable Blagojevich, the G.O.P. slated a lady who looked like she owned 18 cats and never seemed quite sober. The National G.O.P. has simply written off Illinois, at least until the Second Coming and Lincoln’s resurrection (although Lincoln now would be a Democrat.) In other words, we are stuck with Blagojevich–at least until he decides to run for President.

So what does the New York Times see in him that evidently escaped the notice of everyone in Illinois? He is not “IVY” and he did not name his children for his favorite characters from Proust. Perhaps incompetence, corruption and outlandish hair are post-modernist irony. I have long suspected the Times despises the “people:” Government of the vulgar, by the vulgar and for the vulgar. Now it is no longer a suspicion.