Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How is the game played?

Do you remember the Illinois Leader?

In year one of this blog I would often link to that formerly active online publication. By 2006, that site no longer existed, but during that time we could read about people who were active Republicans or conservatives in Illinois. These individuals are either on the grassroots end or they were literally on the front lines. That is running for office somewhere in the state.

I'm sure Chicago Heights Mayor Anthony DeLuca had a story for that late publication. A Republican elected mayor in the south suburbs. An area that is increasingly turning more and more Democrat. It was probably true at the beginning of DeLuca's tenure and probably more true in 2009.

However I'm sure the news that he's accepting an appointment by Democrats in that area to represent them in the General Assembly would be a disappointment. From the Southtown:
Congratulations are in order for Anthony Deluca, mayor of Chicago Heights, and recently appointed successor to state Rep. George Scully, who gave up the seat to become a Cook County judge. The 80th legislative district he now represents encompasses Chicago Heights, South Chicago Heights, Steger, Crete and small parts of Rich and Thornton townships.

Deluca will be my state representative. He is a nice fellow. And with what would be considered movie star good looks, he will certainly cut a fine figure on the floor of the General Assembly - to the dismay of some Democratic Party officials outside of Bloom Township. I suspect there may be a few inside of Bloom who would fall into this category as well.

The 80th is an overwhelmingly Democratic district and by all rights the seat should have gone to a longtime card-carrying Democrat. Anyone who has followed local politics for the past six years knows Deluca, a one-time Republican, has tissue-thin Democratic credentials.

However, I consider myself an independent Democrat, and want to sincerely congratulate Deluca and wish him well. If he is supportive of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s effort to build an airport in the Southland, he will be performing a major public service for the region he is charged with serving.
Well, how is the game supposed to be played?

One could play ideological game and get absolutely nothing in the process or you can make friends across the aisle. Of course depending on who's more powerful and and why they aren't willing to shake you hand for the greater good (whatever that's supposed to be) is another question. DeLuca was a Republican, but was smart enough to make Democratic friends to move up the ladder.

You know looking at this post from The Bench that rails against Illinois' GOP establishment, it could be a very shrewd move. Perhaps it's not what a very loyal partisan should do, however, if the party you're apart of can't seem to function as the state Republican party has been as of late, then the next best thing is to join the party that is functioning and winning.

Here's the more racial or heady part of this piece:
I think a clinical assessment of Chicago Heights would be instructive. A similar analysis of Chicago and the state of Illinois would be equally revealing. What is it that binds Michael and Lisa Madigan, Richard and Bill Daley, Dick Durbin and Pat Quinn, other than their Democratic Party affiliation?

That link has largely gone unnoticed by people in the African-American political establishment, who should understand the American political system and how it works. I think Deluca and his supporters, to their credit, have figured it out. That is why Deluca, a pedigreed Republican and only recent Democratic convert, was able to get appointed state representative in a district so overwhelmingly Democratic.

The issue for me, in this instance, is not whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, but how ethnic groups, which have experienced success in the organization of their families, neighborhoods, communities and cities, are able to work together, and distribute the vast majority of their resources.

Think of these ideas or elements as containers. What is it that enables someone or some group to fill up all of these containers in ways that serve and protect their interests?

The answer is found in strategies based on culture and values or a coherent sense of identity, history, spirituality and connection, which enables people to align themselves in ways that make change and a positive future possible.
Interesting analysis. A combination of political science and sociology. Cross-check different backgrounds with the larger political structure.

Is this why Mayor DeLuca was able to become a state legislator, but leaving his elected party for another. I'm not criticizing him at all, however, it's just interesting how this comes about.

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