Poor Rahm Emanuel: how could he have guessed that the interview would fall the morning after he received Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s resignation, following the release of video evidence of a nearly execution-style shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, then the apparent erasure of the evidence of the crime gathered by security cameras at a nearby Burger King—this all coming out 400 days after the death and the erasure occurred. The tape was only released when a judge ruled against the city on a Freedom of Information Act Request. The talk here is of cover-up at the highest levels, old-school Chicago style. “First public remarks about it, right?” says one man in an expensive suit. “Maybe he’ll leverage it,” says another.Part of being a power in The Combination is saving accountability for the little people, as these out-of-town press types are about to find out.
Mayor Emanuel of all people knows this.By breakfast's end, the out-of-town press droids are begging for mercy.
But he, or his consultants, figured out a clever way not to answer the question. He shot off a one-liner instead: “You are reflecting the immediacy of cable television.”
In black and white, the words read pretty damningly, don’t they? They didn’t to this room, full of Chicago elites. You had to be there. Instead of a collective shudder—“he did not just blame the fact that evidence is available to the public for keeping evidence from the public”—he earned appreciative guffaws. Rahm just got off a zinger! He sure showed her!
Mike Allen tries to chime in. It’s pathetic: Mr. Playbook doesn’t exactly have an instinct for the jugular, and lacks command of certain details. He asks His Honor why he doesn’t plan to resign. In response, the bully has some fun flicking away this obsequious supplicant who’s pathetically trying to puff out his chest: “Because I was looking forward so much to this interview.”
Local columnist John Kass is made of sterner stuff.
Would Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been re-elected if voters had seen the video of Laquan McDonald's execution?The video thus stays tied up in litigation until the cemetery vote is counted.
Rahm would have lost the election. Why? Because he would have lost Chicago's black vote.
Without the black vote, Rahm Emanuel would not be the 9.5-fingered boss of Bartertown.
Black political figures would have been uneasy standing with Rahm. They would have run away. They couldn't stand with him.
Not if that video came out during the election campaign, the video showing white cop Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald, hitting him with two rounds, and then, with McDonald on the ground, hitting him with 14 more shots.
Emanuel could have even sat in President Barack Obama's lap for a photo -- both of them wearing matching Dr. Denton pajamas (the kind with the feet) and sipping identical cups of cocoa.
And accountability is for the little people.
You can see the truth of it by watching the other politicians scrambling for cover in the wake of the Laquan McDonald video release.Good Tsar, bad courtiers.
They don't like questions about how they helped Rahm win. That puts the jacket on them. And they don't want to wear the jacket.
So they're stitching one up for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who charged Van Dyke with murder the other day.
They want Alvarez to wear the jacket for it all.
Rahm seems to be throwing her under his bus, but he doesn't want his fingerprints on her. So his ally, David Axelrod, threw her under.
Axelrod is a Rahm pal, but for years he was also the mouthpiece for former Mayor Richard Daley, and was the top political and media strategist for Obama. It's a Chicago thing.
"Why did it take a year to indict a CPD officer who shot a kid 16 times?" Axelrod tweeted Tuesday night. "Would it have happened today if judge hadn't ordered video release?"
That puts it on Alvarez. Does she deserve it?
I don't think so. To me, she's not the issue.
The video threatened Rahm Emanuel and his pursuit of power. Alvarez told reporters she'd been waiting for the feds to issue a joint announcement with her office. That didn't happen.
Funny how things work out.
Axelrod's tweet legitimizes a self-preservation tactic Chicago politicians have been pursuing for the last day or so: They know people are angry over what happened to 17-year-old McDonald. They want to be safe from that anger. So they're directing the mob to go against Alvarez.
Good Stalin, bad commissars.
Good (Democrat) politician, bad (Democrat) appointments.
Sic semper tyrannis.