October 9, 2009
Beginning in the 2008 Presidential campaign and continuing through the awarding of the 2016 Summer Olympics, the great American city of Chicago has been the recipient of unnecessary ridicule from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett and numerous other Republicans who have proved incapable of separating an individual from the city in which he resides.
Attack President Obama all you want, but leave the “Windy City” alone, it does not deserve this level of scorn.
Continuing the age old GOP tactic of “guilt by association,” Sen. McCain tried his very best to link Candidate Obama to some of the unsavory characters who have served Chicago and Illinois in elected office throughout history.
“Barack Obama, born of the corrupt Chicago political machine,” exclaimed the announcer during a McCain campaign commercial last fall.
Evidently, because a history of corruption exists in Chicago, nobody from that city is allowed to be elected into any level of federal office? If this is the case, then I suppose Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is also immediately disqualified from any future presidential ambition due to the long history of corruption and questionable behavior of Bayou State politicians. Does the very recent prostitution scandal of Republican Senator David Vitter (LA) ring a bell?
The great irony here is that our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln and Republican idol, President Ronald Reagan are both products of the state of Illinois. If they were running for President today, apparently they would already be disqualified from consideration.
Fast forward to the present, the downright glee shown by some on the right regarding the International Olympic Committee’s decision to choose Rio de Janeiro over Chicago as the host site for the 2016 games is old news by now. The aspect of this that still strikes me involves the flurry of anti-Chicago rhetoric that was expressed in the last few weeks. The very idea of disparaging the quintessential American city, in favor of a South American city, because it is President Obama’s hometown is sad and bizarre. Normally, the idea of hosting the Olympics would be considered a patriotic endeavor. But, in this case, it was ok to speak ill of the nation’s third largest city, as if it were geographically located somewhere in Europe.
Sean Hannity served as one of the ring leaders of this “Chicago Sucks” campaign. As part of this effort, he dedicated the first segment of his show on FOX News to this very subject prior to Mr. Obama’s trip to Copenhagen.
“Tonight, gang violence in Chicago leaves a teenager dead and the shocking events are caught on tape. Should the president be pushing to bring the Olympics to this city,” exclaimed Hannity during the opening tease of his program.
He later went on to describe the horrific murder of 16-year old Chicago boy who was tragically caught in the middle of a gang altercation. Somehow this unspeakable crime was the fault of the President.
“This is absolutely chilling. Well, now the story has turned political. This Thursday President Obama will travel to Denmark to support Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. But in light of this tragedy and all of the pressing issues facing the country, is the president making the right move,” continued Hannity.
The great irony here is that Rio’s crime rate dwarfs that of Chicago. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of State deemed Rio’s criminal threat to be critical. There is no evidence of any country issuing an equivalent threat involving Chicago.
Right Wing political commentator Bill Bennett also took the opportunity to participate in the “Chicago Sucks” campaign while appearing on CNN.
“I'm actually for Rio. In Rio, its beautiful women at the beach, and in Chicago, its fat people eating,” uttered Bennett.
This is a particularly weird comment coming from a man [Bennett] whose body shape more closely resembles Chicago Bear Super Bowl Champion William “the Refrigerator” Perry than that of Chicago Bulls Legend Michael Jordan.
Chicago is an absolutely wonderful place. It is ultra modern, yet full of character. Cosmopolitan, yet loaded with wonderful neighborhoods. A healthy combination of fast pace and Midwestern sensibility, and it possesses world class restaurants and drinking establishments.
It is a city that could only exist in the United States. I am not from Chicago, but I am proud to call it the great American city. I wish these folks who claim to love the USA, would stop going out of their way to throw one of the country’s greatest assets under the proverbial bus.