Friday, December 12, 2008

A Response to Blagojevich

For some perspective on a scandal that hits right across the river here in St. Louis, we look to Ira Forman, Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, who Y? and I met last weekend in New York

Ira Forman is at the forefront of the policy-shaping process in the Jewish community, as the Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. So who better to provide some context and analysis of the recent scandal embroiling Rod Blagojeivch, the embattled governor of Illinois?

For those who don't know, Governor Blagojevich was taken into federal custody earlier this week for allegedly attempting to sell Barack Obama's now vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. Clearly one of the most brazen acts of corruption in recent political history to say the least.

As St. Louis Jews, this scandal matters because what happens in Illinois matters. The St. Louis region really does encompass two states, and the governor of one of those states is going down.

Check out Forman's reponse here, where he says that the scandal reminds Democrats how vigilant we have to be in order to keep the power we now have from turning corruptive.

What do you think? Is Forman just seeing the scandal through rose-colored glasses, or is this really an opportunity for Democrats? Do Blagojevich's actions taint the Democratic party as a whole, or does the blame stay with him and not spread farther? It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the days and weeks to come, both here at home and nation-wide.


M-teen said...

I think that's a pretty politically partisan response. Blagojevich's brazenly corrupt actions (trying to sell a friggen senate seat?!) reflect the nature of how corrupt our political system has become, and that's a bi-partisan reality. Both Dems and Republicans have been guilty in the past. So pardon my cynicism, but finding a silver lining in this scandal seems almost as bad as what Blagojevich allegedly did.

Zuz said...

I agree that it's hard to say look on the bright side when it comes to Rod Blagojevich... However, isn't trying to find a silver lining a way to find some sort of benefit out of an otherwise horribly terrible situation? If we can use the scandal to really highlight the need for ethics reform, aren't we almost compelled to do so?

M-teen said...

Oh, for sure. It definitely points out the desperate need for ethics reform. I guess I'm just less optimistic that it will actually happen.

And another thing- his comment struck me as such a typical partisan talking point, but I guess that's just politics and I shouldn't be surprised.