Back when the Chick Fil-A controversy erupted and we learned that certain Democratic mayors and city councilmen were party to a conspiracy to use the powers of local government to shut down public debate and deprive the owner of that company of his right to freedom of speech, I was -- when it came to penning posts -- indisposed. Pneumonia can really take it out of you.
I was not, however, asleep, and I read much of the ensuing commentary. The thing that stuck in my mind throughout the ensuing debate was Rahm Emanuel's appeal to what he called "Chicago Values." Now I do not know about you, but, when I think of Chicago, highmindedness, decency, and public morality are not what comes to mind.
I associate Chicago with thuggery. It is, after all, the murder capital of the United States. It is renowned for political corruption. It is the city where the graveyards are most likely to turn out in force on election day. It is the city where, to do business, you have to donate to the machine. It is the city where sealed divorce records become public knowledge if you dare to take on the Democratic Party. It is the place where the mob has a working relationship with the mayor. It is the home of Tony Rezko, Jesse Jackson Jr., Rod Blagojevich, and Saul Alinsky -- and, like Illinois more generally, it has been so thoroughly looted by the political crooks that it teeters on the verge of bankruptcy. It is the very model for the system of crony capitalism, fixed elections, and political intimidation that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have been trying to introduce into the country at large.
So, when Mitt Romney decries the tactics of the Obama campaign and says, "Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago," as he said yesterday, I am inclined to hope that he keeps hammering away at that theme. My bet is that it resonates throughout the country -- especially in the suburbs of Chicago.
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