More Rahmnesia: Chicagoans trying to forget they elected Mayor Rahm

Posted by Ben Joravsky on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Rahm says, Dont forget that you voted for me!
This just in—Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not win last year's mayoral election and he isn't, therefore, our mayor!

By my calculation, that race should have gone into a runoff between the two top vote getters: Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle.

I'm not sure why the official results had Emanuel getting over 50 percent of the vote.

I say this because of the reaction to a recent post in which I chided teachers in particular and Chicagoans in general for electing Emanuel. The response was overwhelming. As in—we didn't vote for him!

So, if so many people say they didn't vote for him, I guess he must have lost. Quick—search the City Hall basement for missing ballots.

OK, I know what you're thinking . . .

You're thinking my circle's small, my sampling skewed. I only congregate with people who wouldn't dream of voting for Emanuel.

And it's true, most of my friends tend to fall on the Democratic side of the Democratic Party, as opposed to the Republican one the mayor represents.

In fact, at this moment, I know of only one person who plans to vote for Mitt Romney.

What up, Nadja!

But my survey of Chicagoans is more widespread than you think.

Wherever I go—bowling alleys, bars, sporting events—the reaction's the same . . .

Don't blame me! I didn't vote for him. I swear!

Well, it's not that I don't believe my fellow Chicagoans, but I don't believe you.

It's pretty obvious that a lot of voters are just too embarrassed to admit that they really did vote for Rahm.

It reminds me of the amnesia that gripped white Chicago back in the mid 1980s after white people, scared out of their wits, voted for a white Republican named Bernie Epton for mayor.

In time they woke up to the realization that the far better candidate was the black man they were afraid of: Mayor Harold Washington, the greatest mayor Chicago's ever had!

Eventually, it was hard to find a white voter who remembered voting for Epton, even though well over 500,000 did just that.

They were always like: "You know, I can't remember who I voted for. Let me ask the wife."

In this case, Mayor Rahm brought on the denials by pissing off bunches of voters with his goofy ideas. For instance, he alienated many CPS parents by unilaterally ordering a longer school day without giving the schools any money to do something meaningful with the time.

Then he doubled down on black parents by closing schools in their neighborhoods. Then he tripled down on black voters by privatizing good middle-class jobs that are the bedrock of south and west side communities.

The mayor really must have faith in those President Obama coattails.

He also upset police and firefighters by stalling on contract negotiations. And now he's upset part of his base—the artsy fartsy crowd—by green-lighting the demolition of Prentice Hospital.

You should have known better, preservationists.

The only people he hasn't alienated are his cronies in the one percent, who he fortifies with inside deals and contracts.

They can be counted on to pour in the money for his campaign commercials should he temporarily postpone his ambitions for higher office and run for reelection.

I got to give the mayor credit—it's a sound campaign strategy. As Mitt Romney knows, it's always a good idea to make friends with deep pockets.

Comments (63)

Showing 1-25 of 63

I"m not in the 1%, Ben. I'm above average, income-wise, but I'm not even in the 5%. But I supported Rahm and, for the most part, still do. If you're not hearing from other Rahm supporters in person, perhaps it's because people know how rabidly anti-Rahm, anti-Daley, anti-establishment you are in your writing and have better things to do with their time than get into a political argument with someone who likely will never be convinced otherwise.

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Posted by ericmathiasen on 11/02/2012 at 1:05 PM

I think Rahm is doing a good job. I also try not to pick fights with writers/commenters on the internet. Nothing I say is going to change anyone's mind. I would guess that there are a lot of people like me that read this stuff and don't leave comments.

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Posted by Reader on 11/02/2012 at 1:09 PM

I'm in the top 5% income-wise and would vote for Zombie Bernie Epton over Rahm Emanuel.

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Posted by FGFM on 11/02/2012 at 1:48 PM

Your cynicism turns my stomach. I'm a democrat and can't wrap my head around your all or nothing perspective. Easy to govern from the sidelines.

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Posted by Dr. Spaceman on 11/02/2012 at 2:14 PM

Your problem may be you aren't talking to enough people who would jump off of a cliff if Barack Obama told them to.

But, the fact is the vast majority of us didn't vote for Rahm Emmanuel. He got 323,546 votes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_mayor…

The problem is TOO MANY PEOPLE DON'T VOTE.

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Posted by The Welshman on 11/02/2012 at 2:21 PM

Ben, the problem may be you aren't talking to enough people who would jump off of a cliff if Barack Obama told them to.

Regardless, the fact is the vast majority of us didn't vote for Rahm Emmanuel. He got 323,546 votes, which is 55%.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_mayor

But that leaves another 2,000,000 Chicagoans who didn't participate in the election at all. A good chunk of those may be kids, but the problem is still TOO MANY PEOPLE DON'T VOTE.

btw, while trying in vain to find out what percentage of Chicagoans voted in the infamous Washington-Epton election, I noticed that 3% of Epton's votes came from black Chicagoans.

Now if you can find just *one* who would admit to doing so, now that would be an accomplishment on par with finding the Ark of the Covenant.

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Posted by The Welshman on 11/02/2012 at 2:30 PM

pfft. what's up with website? I thought it ensucted my first comment as it took 10 minutes to post (and only after I reposted a more wordy variation), sorry for the redundancy.

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Posted by The Welshman on 11/02/2012 at 2:33 PM

For all Rahm's faults, I shudder to think what life under an Ed Burke, I mean Gery Chico, administration would be like.

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Posted by Farmer Jim on 11/02/2012 at 2:58 PM

I've never been a fan of our little golem. I was a reader at Dan Sinker's @MayorEmanuel book-launch at the Hideout last year and watched Emanuel waltz in, trailing a couple of his security gorillas, and transform a packed room of seemingly-intelligent people into a squealing throng of autograph-seeking teenage girls. He left before the actual reading started, of course, as his photo-op window would've closed by then. The man's no dummy but he's certainly no friend of the vast majority of Chicago's citizens.

Let's hope it's true that he just sees his current gig as a stepping-stone to wider world domination and that he goes away soon.

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Posted by Dmitry Samarov on 11/02/2012 at 3:07 PM

i actually did NOT vote for Rahm -- I voted for Miguel Del Valle, as he was the best voice out there, and was talking about making NEIGHBORHOODS a priority. I partially blam black leaders, who inisisted on pushing out James Meeks and Danny Davis, in favor of Carol Moseley Braun. That divided the black community, and disocuraged people who would have enthusiastically voted for Davis or Meeks, but hated CMB. (those votes could have push Rahm under 50%, necessitating a runoff).

Also, Rahm was never held accountable to avoiding the many mayoral forums in the South & West Sides.

Lastly, the media never gave the other candidates a fair shake, or giving the public a reason to CONSIDER another choice (such as talking about the runoff system, which in this particular election,would have been actually a logical thing to have).

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Posted by JP John Paulus on 11/02/2012 at 4:38 PM

Hopefully, Rahm will follow in the footsteps of other presidential aspirants like John Edwards and Rod Blagojevich and withdraw from meddling, er, I mean, get lost. I don't know if the citizens of Chicago have the test... intestinal fortitude to vote the liar out of office.

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Posted by jimbo108 on 11/02/2012 at 6:13 PM

Welshman,

There seems to be an implicit assumption in your point about the number of non-voters that those who don't vote would be less likely to support Emanuel than those who did. Is that what you believe? If so, what makes you think this is the case?

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Posted by The original IAC on 11/03/2012 at 2:03 AM

Oh, c'mon Ben, really you can't find anyone who voted for Rahm? Funny, in my neighborhood I can't find anyone who voted for Del Valle. But then again he only got around 8% of the vote so I guess that is not surprising. Why don't you come to my neighborhood. I voted for Rahm, so did many of my neighbors and so apparently did some other readers of this column. Ben, maybe your circle of friends is not as diverse as you think. The funny thing about so-called 'progressives' is that they are not as progressive as they pretend to be. I find them to be as narrow-minded and hypocritical as their tea-pary brethren. Many of them have their progressive heads up their progressive butts. They think they are just a little smarter than everyone else. Do you think, that people did not know enough about Emanuel before the election, that he was a surprise to them? Don't think so. But feel free to delude yourselves with that belief if you wish. Maybe next election Miguel will get more than 8% of the vote, maybe he will get 10 or even 12%. Or maybe they will find another viable candidate, like say Jesse Jackson Jr, oh wait, he has his own baggage. Or maybe Karen Lewis will run against him, I would love to see that. Keep dreaming. And Welshman, your redundancy is the least of your problems. For the record, there are 1.27 million eligible voters in Chicago.I don't know what is worse your math or your logic. If only we could round people up and make them vote. And maybe you can educate them as to how to vote while you are at it. I don't know what to say other than your argument make no sense, but we are used to that. One thing that I am interested in is the CTU position on pension abuse. It seems like they are officially in favor of it based on their opposition to pension reform. Here is an interesting article from last week's Tribune. I would be interested in what any CTU defenders have to say regarding this...

http://eeditionmobile.chicagotribune.com/O…
Teachers union fires back over pensions
http://eeditionmobile.chicagotribune.com/Olive/Tablet/ChicagoTribune/SharedArticle.aspx?href=CTC%2F2012%2F10%2F30&id=Ar00100
Teachers union fires back over pensions
eeditionmobile.chicagotribune.com
Pension reform in Illinois got a rare legislative victory when the General Assembly moved to close loopholes that allowed labor leaders to land six-figure public pensions based on their much higher union salaries.

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Posted by Bruman on 11/04/2012 at 4:09 PM

"If only we could round people up and make them vote."

Ald. Colon proposes to top that: "Fines for failing to vote or register."
http://www.iviipo.org/2011CandidateAnsw/colon,%20rey%2035.pdf (p. 5, question 19)

Sadly, he is not the only alderman in City Council ignorant of our nation's laws. Moreno quickly comes to mind.

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Posted by Claridad on 11/04/2012 at 7:06 PM

"Why don't you come to my neighborhood. [sic]"

What is your supposed neighborhood again?

"They think they are just a little smarter than everyone else."

It's twoo, it's twoo!

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Posted by FGFM on 11/05/2012 at 5:45 AM

2012 Mayoral Results
Reg Voters Total 1406037
Total Ballots Casted 594734


Emmanuel 326331 55.28%

Del Valle 54689 9.26%

Braun 53062 8.99%

Chico 141228 23.92%

Van Pelt 9704 1.64%

Walls 5343 0.91%

Total Cast for Mayor 590357

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Posted by M Gerena on 11/05/2012 at 8:58 AM

"There seems to be an implicit assumption in your point about the number of non-voters that those who don't vote would be less likely to support Emanuel than those who did. Is that what you believe? If so, what makes you think this is the case?"

Nope, no such assumption whatsoever.

My irrefutable point is that a majority of Chicagoans - pay attention, Bruman - as measured against the sum of registered voters did not vote for Emanuel.

I think there are a few reasons for this, which the Reader writers covered ad nauseum:

1. Daley outflanked any progressive candidate by waiting until very late in the game to declare he wasn't running for re-election.

This meant that someone with ties to deep pockets (a la Emanuel) had a considerable advantage over a Del Valle, who was behind before the race even started.\

2. Emanuel got the Obama blessing without many voters understanding his position on the issues.

This ties into the timing, there wasn't a lot of time to vet Emanuel's positions.

I don't disagree Emanuel has many supporters, and I'll give him his due on quite a few things. The guy is smart, there's no doubt about it - no way would he have stupid enough to fall for the parking meter privatization fiasco, for example.

I'm tired of the broken record about pension reform. If there's corruption in union leadership, have at it. I am generally fairly suspicious of anyone making 6 figures or more on essentially the public's dime.

But don't hold a grudge against the rank and file who understandably don't much cotton to the City not living up to its end of an agreement.

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Posted by The Welshman on 11/05/2012 at 9:33 AM

Albert, you smarmy little turd burglar, how nice to hear from you. For those of you not familiar with Albert, is that what your imaginary friends call you, how have you been? I was worried you wouldn't have anything to add, I was right. This is a guy who has to have the last word, unfortunately he never has anything to say. For the record, I live in the South Loop, a nice townhouse, but it is not government subsidized so I am afraid you could not afford it. Where do you live, what do you do? How about sharing some details regarding your pitiful existence.

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Posted by Bruman on 11/05/2012 at 9:58 AM

Welshman, you argument and your logic are flawed. Where did you study Civics, in the Chicago Public School system? By your flawed logic all elections in the U.S. would be invalid because most people do not vote. The fact that the majority of voters did not vote for Emanuel is just irrelevant. That is not how elections work. That is a fools argument and you are very comfortable with it. But feel free to keep your head inserted up your butt and disregard any election results that does not meet your approval. I can hardly wait for Karen Lewis to run for mayor, the press will have a field day. You say that Emanuel's supporters have deep pockets, that is true. But maybe Rahm had their support because he was perceived as the best candidate and Del Valle wasn't. Some people like to support winners rather than whiners, you can make all the excuses you like, me i can't wait until the next election to see what wonderful candidate the 'progressives' come up with. And I would be tired of the pension reform argument too if I was constantly on the wrong side of it.

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Posted by Bruman on 11/05/2012 at 10:22 AM

Sorry, no time today to engage with the tin-foil-hat crowd.

But topical, here is a good clue as to why CPS is in such a state of fucked-uptitude:

http://www.suntimes.com/15975238-761/why-d…

Read it and weep.

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Posted by The Welshman on 11/05/2012 at 10:44 AM

No time today huh? I am glad you were able to take time from your busy school day to post your musings. You seem to find a lot of time for that. I assume you are a teacher based on your support for the CTU. Shouldn't you be teaching or preparing a lesson plan or whatever bull you say you do during the school day? Along with pension abuse, this is just a great use of our tax payer dollars.

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Posted by Bruman on 11/05/2012 at 11:09 AM

"For the record, I live in the South Loop, a nice townhouse, but it is not government subsidized so I am afraid you could not afford it."

Sounds like you have a real estate theory!

"Where do you live, what do you do? How about sharing some details regarding your pitiful existence."

Care to try your hand at some portfolio theory questions?

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Posted by FGFM on 11/05/2012 at 12:43 PM

"No time today huh?"

You always seem to have plenty of time on your hands.

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Posted by FGFM on 11/05/2012 at 12:43 PM

Portfolio theory, sorry not my field. Apparently, not yours either given the amount of free time you seem to have. If you were successful, you would be spending more time at it and less on your worthless postings.

"We are waiting for some details as to your pitiful existence."
Still waiting

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Posted by Bruman on 11/05/2012 at 1:27 PM

"Portfolio theory, sorry not my field. Apparently, not yours either given the amount of free time you seem to have. If you were successful, you would be spending more time at it and less on your worthless postings."

Well, given that you freely admit your ignorance, you are obviously not in a position to evaluate my knowledge of it. Furthermore, how I spend my time is none of your concern.

"Still waiting"

Keep waiting, I don't volunteer information to hostile Internet trolls on demand.

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Posted by FGFM on 11/05/2012 at 1:35 PM
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