Red State/Blue State
Okay, Illinois, home to the Outfit, is officially a Blue State—we voted Democrat even down to Todd Stroger, who was appointed by the local polit-buro—sorry, Cook County Democratic Organization—to head the county ticket after his father suffered a stroke in the middle of the primary. Cook County’s budget is over $3 billion, with some 30000 employees, a patronage nest that makes the county presidency a prize worth fighting hard to keep. But is Illinois a liberal state? Is Chicago a liberal city? TurnLeft.com has some interesting comments on this.
I first came to Chicago in 1966, when Dr. Martin Luther King was here, trying to support Al Raby and others in their fight to integrate what is widely thought of as the most segregated city in America. The white south side erupted in violence that shook Dr. King to his core, as Taylor Branch reports in At Canaan’s Edge. ( Like a lot of bloggers, I’m a new and enthusiastic Branch reader.)
The white south side was furious with Mayor Daley for sending police out to Marquette Park to protect Dr. King. Shouting the kind of epithets that got Richards in trouble on national TV this week, they vowed never to vote Democratic again. They packed up their marbles and stomped off to the western suburbs, where they formed a Republican machine every bit as corrupt, powerful and dangerous as the old Daley or the new Stroger operations. And they send some of the reddest of the reds to Congress, including Judy Biggert, Illinois 13th and the outgoing speaker, Dennis Hastert, Illinois 14th. So whether we’re red or blue or progressive or reactionary—it’s all where you’re registered to use that Diebold machine!