Unhappy Democrat

First of all, King Richie, the rusty chainsaw is to your left. Kindly use it as you see fit.

Yeah. Daley is telling Durbin what the latter Dick should apologize for. Yeah. The list of scandals on Daley’s watch has surpassed both my arms in length and in fact in cumulative weight would stun a team of oxen in its tracks, but you go, Boy King, you tell somebody else what they have to be ashamed of. Good God. Whenever someone mentions my mayoral spoiled brat as a presidential candidate I feel the nausea rising like it’s a warm day by the Chicago River; the Republicans have a Dauphin, therefore we should have one too, and this is exactly why this greasy weasel disgusts me. STFU, Daley. Go back to acting shocked that there’s nepotism in the city water department and other stunning discoveries nobody can even pretend to be aghast at anymore.

Second, if you’re going to engage the wingnuts on this topic, and I wouldn’t just because continuing to presume they both feel shame and recognize right tends to make my hangovers worse, but if you’re going to undertake that thankless task, I suggest you read the actual text of what is being called by Chicago’s typically fatuous TV hairdos “Durbin’s apology.”

“There’s usually a quote from Abraham Lincoln that you can turn to in moments like this. Maybe this is the right one. Lincoln said, ‘If the end brings me out right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, 10,000 angels swearing I was right wouldn’t make any difference.’”

My real problem with Durbin making the statement he made today isn’t that a politician made a decision to back off a political statement because of political pressure. That would be right up there with Daley being surprised that every guy in Streets and San has the same last name. My problem is that Durbin’s “apology” didn’t just undermine Durbin’s credibility on this issue.

My problem is that by giving in to these yowling nutcases, Durbin, a man with wealth and status and power and media presence and a staff to take the angry phone calls and answer the angry letters, just pulled the rug out from under everybody who would criticize the real abuses in Guantanamo Bay, the abuses that have endangered our troops and led to the deaths of innocents, something we’ll have on our consciences whether the wingnuts recognize that or not. Plenty of people have spoken up against the detention camp there, people who didn’t have Durbin’s support or his money or his power, people who didn’t have the microphone thrust in their faces like he did, but they spoke up nonetheless. And when the criticism rained down on them, they weathered it and kept speaking out. What does it mean to them, to the families of innocent people detained, to the principled opponents of the abuses of this war on terrorism, when a U.S. Senator can be so cowed? If he cannot speak, who can?

And the good little Democrat in me says maybe we weren’t loud enough. Maybe we didn’t say it enough in the last week, that there were hundreds of thousands of people who supported what Dick Durbin said, who would have replaced every dollar that he lost tenfold and walked every precinct that so much as breathed opposition to him until we wore out our shoes. Maybe we — maybe I — counted a little too much on him knowing how many of us there were, who were awed and inspired by his courage, knowing that he may not have spoken for Rush and Hannity, but he spoke for hundreds of thousands of us, and we would have been there.

But in the end I would have expected that he knew that already, and that disheartens me the most, that he had so little faith in the good people of Illinois, for whom he’s worked for so long.