GADFLY: Behold the Exploits of Blagoman! 

The governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, is becoming a folk hero. Have you noticed? Among other things, he has succeeded in sticking his thumb in the collective eye of the politicians, not just in Illinois, but in D.C. as well. While those politicians run around in apoplectic circles, trying to figure out how to clip Blago's wings, he outflanks and outmaneuvers them at every turn. Resign from office---up yours (and watch as the Illinois Supreme Court refuses to remove him). Refrain from appointing a replacement for Barrack Obama's Senate seat---fahgitaboutit (and watch as the Senate's Democrats are forced to seat Blago's appointment). Impeachment---a mere technicality, a political hatchet job. After all, we know how bogus Bill Clinton's impeachment was (not to mention that he survived it quite nicely, thank you).

Blago is, if nothing else, a lovable rogue, if only because he's figured out he doesn't have to buckle under the pressure of the "powers-that-be." He has managed to survive the all-out collective onslaught of the State of Illinois, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Senate. Talk about grace under fire! With the full arsenal of state and federal government aimed at him, what does he do? Goes jogging, of course. Oh sure, everyone says that someone who's charged with a crime is innocent until they're proven guilty, but we all know that's an exercise in lip service. Everyone knows Blago is guilty, if only because everyone has already decided he is. How can anyone with that much hair, or who reveres Elvis, not be guilty of something. Right to trial? Just a formality. And yet, many capable criminal law practitioners believe he may very well not be guilty of any crimes, based on what has come to light about his conduct so far.

Think about it. We idolize criminals, convicted or not. We may not admire them, but we sure do erect legends around them. How else to explain the Bonnie and Clyde phenomenon. Or D.B. Cooper, Jesse James, John Dillinger, Billy the Kid (or Captain Kidd, for that matter). How about the entire "Mafia" (a la "The Godfather," and "The Sopranos"). We even name products after criminals (e.g., "Captain Morgan" rum, named for the famous pirate). Sometimes, we even secretly hope they outwit the "authorities," if only because we know the "authorities" aren't always right, and there, but for the grace of luck, go we. Remember, even Robin Hood was considered a criminal by the "authorities." It's no accident that "true crime" books are perennially best sellers (especially the kind that have pictures). We are fascinated by anyone who can commit crimes, and sometimes, for however long, even get away with them.

Don't get me wrong. We pick and choose which criminals we idolize. No one idolized Jeffery Dahmer, and yet the film, loosely replicating his exploits, was a multiple Academy Award winner, and one of the most popular films of all time. Same for Don Corleone or Tony Soprano.

There's no telling how much longer Blago will survive the withering pressure he's under, both politically and criminally, but in the meantime we can all watch his exploits and marvel at his chutzpah.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Partisanship vs. Solidarity?

      County Commission wrestles with interim House appointment and the school-voucher issue.
    • Dual Decisions in District 95

      Commissioners prepare to appoint a successor for Mark Lovell; Haslam sets schedule for a special election.

Blogs

Beyond the Arc

Notes on “Grit and Grind: Burned in a Pale Fire”

Tiger Blue

Tubby Smith: "Learning Experience"

News Blog

City Wants Input on Road Projects, Bike Lanes

Beyond the Arc

The Grizzlies' Bad Springtime Trip

Beyond the Arc

Beyond the Arc Podcast #74: Good Gasol/Bad Gasol

News Blog

Pedaltown Bicycle Co. Headed to Broad

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: MonoNeon & A Weirdo From Memphis

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Marty Aussenberg

  • Union Made

    At this low point in labor history, the Gadfly is on strike from the consensus.
    • Jun 28, 2012
  • GADFLY: It's Fall Already, but "Occupy Wall Street" Has Finally Brought an American Spring

    "The media were faced with the problem of how best to discredit this rising tide of protest, and settled on suggesting that the protesters didn't even know what they were protesting about.... Strange how that criticism was never leveled at the Tea Party...."
    • Oct 3, 2011
  • GADFLY: Our 9/11 Mourning is Misdirected

    "I would rather mourn the lack of accountability of the people who let it happen, or the people who continue to be its victims, far-removed from where it happened though they may be...."
    • Sep 13, 2011
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jill Stein in Memphis

    An impressive turnout for Green Party presidential nominee at Amurica.
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Wellspring Politics in Memphis

    With a crucial deadline approaching next week, the local “Protect the Aquifier” movement picks up steam.
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • The Buddy System

    Harris and Kelsey hope to effect a good public outcome on the TVA/aquifer issue.
    • Feb 2, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation