Chicago on the Potomac
By Dr. Robert Owens
Back in the Dream Time, elders were honored because of their accumulated knowledge, if Pops knew a better way to saddle horses that knowledge helped Junior since he saddled horses. Today if Pops knows how to tune-up cars what good is that when cars don't need to be tuned-up anymore? Now the old are relegated to extolling their own relevance while exclaiming, "I've never seen that before." Doddering ancients who use their cell phones merely to talk wonder why their grandchildren never answer their emails as Gen Z tweet each other: "Don't trust anyone over 15."
The world is moving so fast not only is today tomorrow's yesterday the generations are living in different todays today as we continue to charge our Chinese living standard to our grandchildren. Gen X and Y parents with their once hip lap-tops under their arms stare in wonder as their pre-teen Gen Zs text with one hand while Wii skydiving in the backseat. For these new additions to middle-age who're just old enough to remember Star Trek imagine Captain Kirk visiting Captain Picard pointing at Commander Data and saying, "What's that?"
After years of being treated as if the Wisdom of the Ages were as relevant as Confucius in a fortune cookie now that we have Chicago on the Potomac the wisdom gained in the City that Works is suddenly spot-on. Of course George the Second's doctrine of pre-emptive war made one old saying make sense beyond the Southside, "Never start fights but if you have to hit someone back first once in a while that's all right." Then again ACORN before it morphed into numerous faceless organizations with the same mission and different names or just became part of the nomenclature exemplified the everlasting relevance of Chicago's best known adage, "Vote early and vote often."
With the Democrats large-and-in-charge even when they lose elections, Windy City Proverbs may help many understand what kind of change we've stepped in. Such as "Everybody cheats so if you don't cheat you're a cheater," or "What's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable." Maybe the taxman could use, "They must not have wanted it they didn't have their hand on it." Looking at our Congress, "If you're going to get mad at thieves you'll never have any friends" comes to mind. Thinking of the proposed Green Home Efficiency Inspectors we may one day deal with when buying or selling a home are reminiscent of the Chicago Fire Marshal conscientiously telling a business owner, "We'll save the city some gas money if we just do the inspection right here in my office," while patting his desk indicating where to place the money.
The most transparent administration in history started off with some Southside swag calling the biggest earmark in history a stimulus, continued the virtuoso performance calling ward-heelers czars and followed a time-honored Second City tradition in Al Franken's endless Minnesota recount by finding a bag of votes. Who says you can't go home again? They may turn the old neighborhood into Yuppie Heaven by knocking down the middleclass housing and putting up three-story imitation Victorians but right here right now the machine that gave no-show jobs to half the wise-guys on the corner as well as Michelle at the hospital is in the process of not just fixing tickets but fixing everything else. The political descendants of Big Bill Thompson, Richard the First and Richard the Second parlayed community organizing into a national organization that should make the Five Families green with envy.
Having fixed the economy, health care, hate-crimes, immigration, and cap-and-trade BHO has also had the opportunity to fix the highest court in the land. In the Chicago justice system lawyers give out printed pricelists stating how much acquittals cost verses dismissals and the old saying concerning courthouses goes, "It may say justice on the outside but that doesn't mean there's any on the inside." Since the Democratic Machine and their Me-To Republican allies rubber-stamped Mr. O's picks for the A-Team how do the prospects for judicial restraint and the Constitution look? Fine if you fit the profile for the protected or promoted classes not too good if you naively look for that lady wearing the blindfold and holding the scales. Well at least we have Chief Justice Roberts there to stop the train on its way to totalitarianism, oh wait, we don't.
Joining the sisterhood on the bench, Ms. Sotomayor feels her gender and her race make her uniquely qualified to reach wise decisions and believes international law should be consulted when weighing appeals. She should feel right at home with the former chief counsel for the ACLU Ruth Bader Ginsburg who apparently believes American Citizenship is the right of all mankind. In one decision she said, "You would have a huge statelessness problem if you don't consider a child born abroad a U.S. citizen."
Ah justice, what is it good for? Or as they say in Chi-town, "How much justice can you afford?" The difference between Chicago Prime and Chicago on the Potomac is in the original version Mayors serve for life, or as long as they want, followed by a power struggle. Hopefully in the DC version we will get a change in 2017. I wonder if it will be a Bush or a Clinton.
Vive la Différence! Or as the French also say, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future and can be found at http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Written for non-historians Dr. Robert Owen's new book is a handy easy-to-read condensed look at Early American History!