If nothing else during Obama’s tenure as president, we’re all going to get a better feel for Chicago-style politics. Native Chicagoan John Kass, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, explains how the Obama Administration is adapting Daley machine tactics to suit its purposes.
Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from Southern California, has sent a stern letter to Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff of the Chicago Way White House.
Issa's letter asks Emanuel to stop using Chicago-style political rough stuff against Republican critics of President Barack Obama's gazillion-dollar economic stimulus program.
This new Republican thriftiness is curious. When they ran Washington, they spent like drunken sailors, though now they've sobered up and cling numbly to their conservative fiscal roots. Meanwhile, Democrats are out-drunken-sailoring the Republicans, perhaps fueled by "weezy," which I learned the other day is a mixture of champagne and ecstasy.
Either way, Issa is demanding to know who is behind a series of letters sent by several Obama Cabinet secretaries to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that subtly threaten to withhold federal dollars from the state if Republican critics like Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona don't shut up. The letters are curiously Rahmsian in tone:
"However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state ... please let me know," wrote Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, a former Illinois congressman who is no stranger to how things work in Chicago.
Wow! It would seem the “new politics” candidate Obama promised to bring to Washington has a lot in common with the old politics of Chicago, his adopted hometown.