• Barry Commoner

I happened to be writing a column about Mayor Rahm Emanuel when I heard the news that Barry Commoner had died.

How’s that for irony—one man is everything the other man was not.

Mayor Rahm is, of course, a slick, opportunistic political operator with no apparent core conviction or purpose, other than raising money and accumulating power.

Which he’s very good at.

Commoner, in contrast, was a deep thinker, a man of principle, and a brilliant environmentalist who couldn’t win an election if his life depended on it.

And thank goodness, it didn’t.