Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Another Chicago Politician

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Transparency and accountability were key buzzwords during The One's "Yes We Can" rock concert tour last year. As it turns out, it was the same old empty rhetoric Americans have been dealt by politicians of all stripes for too long. Liberal political reporter Michael Isikoff discovers that President Obama's pledge for openness in government has already been closed in commenting on the Administration's decision to block the release of the identity of White House visitors, in this case, coal executives lobbying the President on clean coal technology. "The refusal, approved by White House counsel Greg Craig's office, is the latest in a series of cases in which Obama officials have opted against public disclosure," Isikoff writes.

"It's amusing to watch the Washington political establishment feign shock, now that President Barack Obama's reform administration has used a clay foot to vigorously kick one inspector general and boot another out the door," writes Chicago Tribune political columnist John Kass. Kass continues:

What's the big surprise? What strange, exotic land do they think Obama comes from?

Do they think Obama learned his politics in Narnia, while cavorting with gentle forest creatures, some of which have hooves and serve tea and cakes to journalists and well-mannered English schoolgirls on snowy winter afternoons?

Did Obama learn politics in Camelot, the magical kingdom where federal czars sit at a great round table, all for the good of the simple peasants? Or did he learn politics along that famous highway, you know, the one that's always paved with good intentions?

No. Obama learned his politics in Chicago.

And now all of Washington can learn it, too.


Mike Kole said...

Great quotes from Kass, and Isikoff's are even more greatly appreciated, coming from the left. The Administration is going to have a tin ear for criticism from the right so long as Obama's personal approval numbers are high enough, so it's hard to imagine any other means for correction but criticism from the left.

We'll see if transparency really matters to the left, as judged on whether criticism builds or withers.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Kass is great. He's got these guys figured out and he lays it bare in each of his columns. Kass is hated by politicians of all stripes in Illinois, but they felt the same way about Mike Royko.