Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mr. Un-Popularity

I was reading Chicago magazine's story about the governor. It was quite thorough and to be honesty it could be to do one thing I never thought I would, feel sorry for him. To be sure it's all of his doing and you can't feel very sorry for a guy who refuses to learn from his mistakes.

That's what we got to do sometimes right learn from our mistakes. There are plenty that are mentioned here for example he refuses to stop campaigning and doesn't seem to have an interest in the policy aspect of the job. It is said he governs by press release and offers (or promises) big programs that sadly doesn't have any way of gaining support.

Take his GRT or his health care program last year. It was grand but there was no support and it went down with a thud! And another problem that reared it's ugly head. It was mentioned in this article...
The problem may come in part because Blagojevich grew up on Chicago politics. "He wants to govern like Daley," says Miller, explaining that Blagojevich wants a legislature that is a rubber stamp, as the city council has been for much of the Daley era. "But you can't automatically govern like Daley." Miller says it took Daley years to build relationships with council members and establish his iron-tight grip on the chamber.

From the moment he took office, Blagojevich tried to exert more executive authority over state government, much to the chagrin of House Speaker Madigan, who has held the position since 1983 (except for a brief two-year period in the mid-1990s when Republicans captured his chamber).
Heh, good luck. Surely it took patience in years for not only Chicago's current mayor, but also his dad to be able to exert the influence they were able to as mayor. You can't come into it thinking that you got it. Perhaps this is partially endemic of the main problem that I figured out already. Back to the article...
Blagojevich's critics complain that he would rather appeal to voters over the heads of legislators and promote himself than do the legislative dealing to pass real policies. It's as if he's in a continual campaign mode, they say—holding news conferences on slow news days to announce grandiose ideas that are quixotically appealing but have little chance of ever becoming law. Kent Redfield, a political studies professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, says Blagojevich never made a smooth transition from being a no-namer among 435 legislators in Congress to being the leader. "Governing is a process that survives on compromise," Redfield says, adding that Blagojevich "has gone out of his way to thumb his nose at that."
Yeah to be undistinguished in your legislative career is a big leap. It also doesn't help that you've never held a leadership position in a legislative body. His election victories were handed to him on a platter and he turned his back on the man who gave it to him. Oh wait there's another problem right there...
Many political observers say the contentious budget battle in 2003 came as the tipping point. After the legislature had painstakingly negotiated and passed a budget agreement, Blagojevich turned around and vetoed millions of dollars from the state operating budget, including funding for a project he promised to lawmakers. Jacobs recalls how, earlier that year, Blagojevich had visited a school in his district and presented an oversize check for $13 million for school construction. The governor later vetoed funding for the project. "At some point, you gotta be straight with people," Jacobs says.

"In Springfield, the budget is like a holy agreement, and it's entirely based on trust," Miller explains. "So when Rod decided he was going to break that agreement, it had a cataclysmic impact. The whole town has never been the same since."

Distrust of Blagojevich became so deep after that episode that lawmakers publicly branded him a "liar" and likened him to a "used-car salesman." And in an unprecedented move, they demanded that Blagojevich put any promises on paper in so-called memorandums of understanding.
A lack of credibility, an inability to keep his promises. Well he's certainly guilty of that in probably more ways than one to the point that well lawmakers don't trust him down there. It's quite unfortunate really and again it almost seems like he's learned nothing.

Let's get back to he's had his victories handed to him on a silver platter. Yup that story is going to be in this article about how his father-in-law Ald. Richard Mell helped his son-in-law from the statehouse to Congress to even the Governor's mansion only for Blagojevich to turn his back on him. Kind of ungrateful isn't it? If he hadn't had Mell's support then who knows perhaps we could have really seen what kind of leader Blagojevich really is. Instead we get a brat in what amounts to be a big time position unable to get things done!

My mother and others don't like the fact that he doesn't work in Springfield especially while the General Assembly is in session. I could always say that he doesn't seem to like working in the state capital, let alone work! ZING! Doesn't it seem that way though?

Anyway I can contend that most of these things came easy for him. Going to Congress and who knows perhaps Blagojevich thought being governor was nothing, piece of cake. Then it turns out he's out of his depth and took on more than he can chew.

You know I tend to think the signs were there. He may have been alright in the beginning, well at the start of his political career. Then he does the one thing people can do at times, start trippin'! In his case it's a power trip. He has more responsibilities than in Congress but more ways to flex his muscle. If you don't have a good head on your shoulders how can you not trip!

Still the signs were there since he became governor in 2003 that he wasn't proving to be a good one. For what happened in '07 I can blame a lot of people but his re-election gave us the monster we saw. The gridlock we saw last year and even I suppose the prospect of gridlock for this year.

You know I don't know whether or not we should bust out the popcorn for entertainment or we should be about ready to lead a march to Springfield and express our consternation.

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