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December 31, 2008

Capping The Year

Blago Burris.jpg

It seems all too sobering that 2008 — a year enshrined by the intermingling of politics and hope — would close out with such an image.   

In form, the situation is routine. A governor announcing a Senate replacement. In one character, however, we see the proud face of a politician unconcerned with deliverance to a higher plane upon the wings of the devil. In the other, we see a politician starring in his own mental breakdown, his grandiose delusional state peeling back any pretense that the difference between political acts and moral or ethical ones grow much more ambiguous behind the screen of self-consciousness.

As someone who lives, breathes and sees politics everywhere, I’m thoroughly grateful to have survived the horribly painful and disastrous “W” era. And, indeed, I am profoundly hopeful for a sea change in the way America, and American politics, does business. At the same time, however, because politics is an art governed by human beings, I also enter 2009 with my larger illusions in check.

Thank you so much for sharing this space and this mission with me over the past year. I wish all of you a New Year filled with joy, strength and growth.

(image: Amanda Rivkin for The New York Times. Chicago, IL. December 30, 2008. caption: Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, right, named Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate.)

  • Sergei Andropov

    Man, does he look sleazy.

  • Karen

    Blagojevich…what a survivor! What talent at making himself the center of gravity. And he puts out just enough of a treat to reel unthinking victims in. How stupid of the Democrats not to plan for that. I’m not sure what they could have done except reach out and propose a helping committee divorced from the controversy…maybe there were other options.
    Anyway, Happy New Years, Bag.

  • bystander

    I dunno, Michael… Sometimes I think a bit more reality will kill me.
    Best in ‘09 to you and all of the contributors to The Bag.
    I expect the next trip around the sun to be an exciting one. Glad to have you bookmarked to chronicle it for us.
    Happy New Year everyone.

  • cenoxo

    To the tiny minority who say that moral and ethical considerations always tend to kowtow to the political and the monetary, the good Guvnor demonstrates a laudable and laughable — but not ridiculous — lack of pretension.
    Make ‘em give ya a jailhouse haircut, Rod — no place for a Progressive to go but up, baby.

  • richard dent

    And I thought Blago was going to name Caroline Kennedy, and flummox us all!
    Let 2009 be a year of hope, and of hope realized.

  • Clem Guttata

    All the best for 2009!
    What’s the old quote, something like: “The wisest neither fear nor idolize any other.”

  • Kathryn in MA

    Happy New Year! 19 1/2 days of this nightmare. Thank you for helping us navigate the year’s kaleidoscope of images.

  • Blake Incarnate

    “the proud face of a politician unconcerned with deliverance to a higher plane upon the wings of the devil.”
    What a great way to phrase this situation. Amazing that someone could write that so well. I agree that the Obama administration is a disinfectant, but the scum layer that he needs to clean through is deep.

  • sohbet

    lack of pretension.

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