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Skip the Details, What's in it for Me?

When Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass first coined the phrase "The Chicago Way" in one of many quotable articles he has written for that tabloid, it was in a context which escapes my porous memory at the moment. But the concept of it encompasses a whole pattern of behavior made infamous by those who run the criminal enterprise known as "city and state government" around these parts, so it's not terribly important what the context was.

Judging from the headlines they ran the last few days however, the Tribune (a truly horrible newspaper except for Kass' terrific column) understands and even promotes the concept of the Chicago Way.
Leaving aside the inane content of the articles accompanying those headlines, let's look at them for a moment.

On the first day "Post Shame", the headline read, "House Passes Health Reform". Excusing the editorial word "reform" as understandable license, so far so good. But the "under headline" said, "Republicans unanimously reject the plan as too expensive."

If the latter is actually true, (and for some Republicans we can assume it is) we are in even deeper dung than we thought and should be terrified of the future instead of merely frightened.

The idea they are trying to impart is, if it didn't cost so much, Republicans would be on board. The Trib certainly didn't want to entertain the bizarre notion that perhaps most of them (and us) actually opposed it on principle. (There are so many principles to oppose it on that I'll leave that until another day in an effort to keep you awake long enough to finish this commentary.)

Which brings us to the "headline" of this short essay. It refers to the Tribune headline the following day. It read, "What's In It For You?" Apparently the Trib understands how most folks approach issues in this town. And the criminals who run things around here have a stranglehold on the concept that most voters have zero interest in whether a law or policy is for the good of the people at large, as long as it benefits them personally.

Recent events suggest that The Chicago Way has gone national, but it probably has always been that way. Maybe it just seemed less cynical in the past.

In either case, it's not exactly the change I had hoped for.


Left Coast Rebel said...

Glad to meet you, you're off to a great start here. Blogrolled at the Left Coast Rebel...

Grant Davies said...

Thank you. It's a welcome compliment coming from your excellent blog. I'm hopeful we can send each other readers. I think they will be better off than they otherwise would be.