I would say that Rahm Emanuel’s “chickens have come home to roost.” In my mind, I would be quoting Malcolm X. But since Rev. Jeremiah Wright has corrupted and tainted the context of the phrase, it is no longer in my vocabulary. I shouldn’t be surprised. It is the Chicago way.
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel is starting to feel the bite of the political machine he spent decades protecting as more calls come for his resignation. When poverty pimp Al Sharpton calls for you to resign, you know it’s time to leave your vacation in Cuba and handle the powder keg set to explode in your city. Maybe Emanuel could pick up a few pointers from Fidel Castro on how to handle protesters before returning to the Windy City.
Honestly, I believe we are more worried about the conditions in Chicago than Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel was brought up in the political machine. He is Barack Obama with an actual spine. He knows and understands the hierarchy of patronage. He helped build the modern structure of the Chicago political machine, and he knows how to destroy it just as easily.
In his book Safire’s Political Dictionary, the late William Safire—syndicated writer for the New York Times—defines “political machine” as “the election of officials and the passage of legislation through the power of an organization created for political action.” A political machine is created through community organizing that results in rules, regulations, and laws to push a political purpose. Those of us that don’t spend our lives dreaming of ways to control a population for political power will say CORRUPTION, simple.
There are rules to this. Democrat Edward Flynn described it best: “[…] the so-called ‘independent’ voter is foolish to assume that a political machine is run solely on good will, or patronage. For it is not only a machine; it is an army. And in any organization as in any army, there must be discipline.”
And this is how Rahm Emanuel is thinking. Rahm Emanuel isn’t cutting his vacation short to address the concerns of Chicago citizens. He is returning to Chicago to discipline his army for speaking up against him. Specifically, Al Sharpton. I predict those that have paid patronage to the Chicago machine will get Al Sharpton served on a political platter, the equivalent of finding a horse head in your bed.
The best historical context I could use is Tammany Hall. For nearly 200 years the “political machine” Tammany Hall held a monolithic grip over New York City politics. They operated off a basic patronage system. If you wanted to remove some red tape, you paid a small fee, and the political weight of Tammany Hall would remove your barriers. You know…basic Democratic political welfare.
Tammany Hall was brought to its knees when it challenged Democrat Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Governor Roosevelt limited Tammany Hall’s access to state political favors and stripped it of all federal favors once he became president. The Democrat Party had to show the political machine, and the patrons of that machine, they had over stepped their bounds and disobedience would not be tolerated.
How do I know that was Roosevelt’s thought process? Edward Flynn was an adviser to Roosevelt through his entire governorship and presidency. He was raised in Tammany Hall politics and had no apprehension taking it down when it was a political necessity.
So here’s the question for Rahm Emanuel: are you a member of the Democrat Party or the head of the Chicago political machine? Do the two still hold the same interest, or is the Democrat Party willing to destroy the political machine to appease the aggrieved? Or will this be the first time in US history where a political machine is destroyed by the army it created?
Okay, that was three questions, but Rahm Emanuel has time to ponder as he reflects on his experiences in Communist Cuba.
Or maybe not…
“If any person has a good word for the previous government that is good enough for me to have him shot.” — Che Guevara