Washing Machine Clean: I simply hope, as appears so far, that President-Elect Obama is as he says he is, an agent for change and that he did not play in this pay-for-play corruption scheme of Illinois Governor Blagojevich. His record appears clean. The fact that I woke up, though, and the first thing on my mind was I hope there are no negative Obama headlines about the Blagovevich mess, is dismaying and distracting to the amelioration of the country's serious issues which Barack Obama was elected to solve. President-Elect Obama, indeed, was instrumental in pushing for Illinois ethics legislation which, by overriding a Blagojevich veto, passed. Blagojevich was trying feverishly to shake down as much cash, jobs, and goodies as he could before this legislation was due to go into effect after January 1, 2009.
No matter what career one chooses one has to interact with a variety of human beings. Behaviors and character on the human spectrum are diverse. This is especially true in things political, a career which, by its very nature, is defined as the accumulation and distribution of power. One, in that endeavor, will often be in the mix with some less than savory characters. It cannot be avoided.
However, a society whereby merely associating with someone at some time in one's life or career becomes cause for indictment is a hallmark of tyranny. We cannot let that happen. Obama was unfortunate enough to pick Chicago -- the South Side -- as his base to sprint to the presidency. Illinois politics is a small world and corruption is part of its tapestry. Guilt by association, though, should be no yardstick with which to judge anyone. They must be judged by the evidence of what they do or say not with whom they share a political milieu. My advice to the President-Elect is tell the truth and do so quickly. In this age of technology, wiretaps, cell phone records and cameras photographing every move one can be sure it all will come out in the wash anyway!