I've always loved Chicago. I love the buildings, the food, the larger than life people, the history, and the culture. I was raised on gangster movies and movies about the Chicago political machine. I thought it was all fascinating and glamorous. As I got older, of course, I saw the seediness and destruction of organized crime and understood how bad it was. But, Chicago was still always endearing as a pocket of the country where the remnants of that bygone era still hang on, albeit in slightly less bloody forms.
Well, life may well imitate art if the White House gets its way now.
Buried as a news item everywhere except deep on the Fox News website, the White House has announced that the Big O's chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, will be in charge of conducting the 2010 census, even though operations will "technically" stay within the Commerce Department:
"White House officials have announced that the census will technically remain part of the Commerce Department, but that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will oversee it at the White House, raising eyebrows among critics who say he can't be expected to be neutral in the task. Emanuel ran the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 and was instrumental in getting Democrats elected into the majority."
Since the outcome of the census determines funding levels for many federal programs to the states in addition to defining Congressional district lines for the next ten years, it is essential that it is done accurately and without any partisan involvement, which is why the Commerce Department does it and not, say, ACORN.
Now it looks like our First Community Organizer will have the opportunity - and the muscle - to truly remake the country in his image for at least the next ten years. What we will witness is the development of a federal numbers racket designed to systemically entrench Democrats' power throughout the country and all but eliminate any chance of Republicans even gaining enough ground to be competitive, much less gain control of Congress again for at least a decade.
This is exactly how Chicago style politics is run for real. The wards are divided up to ensure easy margins of victory for certain groups of people, virtually guaranteeing that those in power stay in power. Deals that don't pass the public sniff test - like the notion of turning the census into a list builder program for the Democrats - are done behind closed doors and slid past the public eye with disguises and subterfuge. Meanwhile, public adoration is purchased by giving money to orphanages and churches, calculatingly following the old adage that all politics is local.
Think it can't happen? It already has. The foundation for the infrastructure was built early in the Big O's campaign with all the ACORN activity searching out and registering new voters. How easy will it be to call up those same workers with the same training and tactics to do the sampling surveys the Democrats like to use so they can overcount their constituents and undercount ours? They've already done it once, under the public scrutiny of a presidential campaign. Doing the same thing for the - yawn - US Census is like taking candy from a baby.
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, bless her heart, is calling for an investigation into the decision. Not that it matters. Republicans have no numbers, we have no media, and we have no public sympathy. The Big O has it all, and he has Rahm Emanuel to enforce his agenda with absolute discipline behind the scenes. Forget breaking legs or getting kneecapped. The only thing members of Congress truly fear is not being able to raise money for their war chests. How many phone calls do you think Emanuel would need to make to stop the flow of cash to a recalcitant Congressperson? We have a bloodless mob war in the making.
We may not realize it yet, but we are watching the Democrat party transform itself into an organized crime ring - each major player with his or her own territory and racket across the nation and an unending stream of revenue from the labor unions, Hollywood and other typical mob co-conspirators. And the Don lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.