With Mayor Emanuel on the ropes over his handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting, a day doesn’t pass without some excited rumor of political insurrection or mayoral retreat.
Here’s my favorite, which I heard the other day from a politico on the southwest side: Rahm’s going to step down. Toni Preckwinkle’s going to run in a special mayoral election to fill out his term. And Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s going to be ushered in to replace Toni as president of the Cook County Board.
As political fantasies go, it’s entertaining. But it’s not going to happen.
For one thing, Preckwinkle had her chance to run for mayor. In the summer of 2014, the polls had her clobbering Emanuel. Then she chickened out and stayed in the safe seat.
For that matter, you all had your chance to bounce Rahm—and you blew it!
About 56 percent of those of you who voted chose Emanuel in April’s election race against Garcia. And only about 40 percent of you even bothered to vote.
That’s one thing I’ll never understand about Chicagoans.
You take great pride in your reputation for two-fisted toughness, but when it comes to elections, you’re as soft as the Bulls fourth-quarter defense in Monday’s game against the Suns.
Year after year, you tell yourself this is gonna be the year we throw out the bums. And year after year you keep reelecting them.
Oh, I can hear your excuses.
If we’d only seen the video of Jason Van Dyke gunning down Laquan McDonald before the election . . .
What? It took a video to teach you there’s a code of silence in the police department in which cops look the other way when the bad apples do their thing?
Let me remind you that police officer Jon Burge was torturing confessions from suspects in the back rooms of police stations during the 1980s, when Richard Daley was state’s attorney.
And you elected Daley six times as your mayor.
You’d probably still be electing him if he hadn’t gotten tired of the gig and walk away.
In the last election, Rahm won reelection thanks to a commercial in which he softened his image by wearing a sweater and saying “I own that.”
That’s pretty much all it took to get Chicagoans to forgive him for four years of cuts, closings, and shady TIF deals.
I’ll now run down a few of the responses I got last spring when I asked Chicagoans why they planned to vote for Mayor Emanuel in the general election:
“I thought we already had an election.”
“Who’s he running against?”
“Chuy doesn’t have a plan.”
“How can you trust a guy to police the streets when he can’t keep his own kid out of a gang?”
“I know a guy who knows Chuy, and you should hear the stuff he tells me.”
“Lots of cities have corruption.”
“Have you ever seen Detroit?”
“You need an asshole to run Chicago.”
“There’s always been a historical alliance between blacks and Jews.”
“He’s gonna give all the jobs to the Mexicans.”
“Chuy’s gonna raise our taxes and give it to the unions.”
“Benny, when you gonna learn—no one gives a shit about the TIFs.”
“I don’t think Chuy’s up for the job.”
“The city is not where it needs to be, but it’s moving in the right direction. And Emanuel knows where he’s going.”
Wait, that last one doesn’t come from an ordinary citizen. It was written by our friends at the Chicago Tribune‘s editorial board who are now foaming at the mouth over the deceit displayed by Emanuel in his handling of the McDonald video.
I hate to say it, Chicago. But as the mayor might put it—you own this.