- Oct 25, 2005
In this Christmas season, let us spare a thought for the good Rod Blagojevich who is going through a difficult period:
The stoning of Rod Blagojevich recalls Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” a sinister short story about the inhabitants of an otherwise placid village where, periodically, someone’s name is chosen out of a hat for a public stoning....
This scandal is noteworthy because of the honesty and purity of its protagonist, the Illinois governor who has become a leper in the political universe because he didn’t deign to dress up his avarice and power-lust in the language of “public service” and altruism. With his fishwife of a first lady swearing in the background, the governor laid it all on the table, demanding cash for political favors, trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder, and seeking to have members of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board fired as the price for state aid to the beleaguered Tribune Company. He was, in short, doing what all politicians do: dispensing favors to his supporters and punishing his enemies by withholding the same. “Why,” asked H.L. Mencken, “should democracy rise against bribery? It is itself a form of wholesale bribery.”