OK, OK! It is only a satire. I am not really running for mayor of Chicago, but I do have something in common with someone who is running for mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel. Neither I nor Rahm qualifies for residency in Chicago, though my family traces its roots in the city back to the 19th century, and I was at least born in Chicago. If Rahm bullies his way to residency, Chicago's big shoulders are not what they once were. He gave no thought to running until a few weeks back, when Mayor Richard M. Daley announced his retirement, and now Rahm has no place to live.
Our second shared attribute is that the idea of campaigning is repellent to both of us. I could no more stand at a bus station and shake hands than, well, Rahm, and he is proving his disrelish for the glad hand on this "listening tour." People do not like him. They approach him as though he were an enemy alien, and he is. He is from Washington, D.C. He wants to take their money. My guess is that he will lose.
The only thing going for Rahm is that the election is next year. By then, things might improve. On the other hand, they might get worse. Right now, they are getting worse. Reasonable estimates are that the Republicans will win between 48 and 52 seats in the Senate. In the House, they will gain between 50 and 70 seats. We are sitting on a volcano, and to think that a little more than a year ago, all the talk was of Republican moribundity. There was a book out, "The Death of Conservatism." Perhaps you heard of it. It was by Sam Tanenhaus. He is the editor of The New York Times Book Review, so he cannot very well go into hiding. But he can patrol his publication to be sure that no book hinting at the truth gets into his pages. Thus, readers of the Review all happily anticipate further ruin to the Republican Party this fall. What will they do when it does not happen?
The scenario already is being written. They will claim that the electorate was brainwashed by the press -- their press, mind you, but for some reason, it was duped or made a mistake. Then, too, they will claim the huge Republican vote was bought. The groundwork for this whopper already is being laid. In fact, it is part of what passes for a last-gasp strategy to grab a seat here, a seat there.
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