Rahmnesia | Bleader

Mayor Rahm Emanuel accepts the 2012 Visionary Award Monday at the Harris Theater
  • Dom Najolia/Sun-Times
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel accepts the 2012 "Visionary Award" Monday at the Harris Theater
A week ago, President Obama began poking his rival, Mitt Romney, with a new term: "Romnesia." A press release from his campaign helpfully offered the pronunciation and definition:

"Romnesia [Rom-nee-zhuh] Noun—a condition affecting Mitt Romney, who has shifted his positions from 'severely conservative' to 'severely kidding'—conveniently forgetting the conservative promises he’s made over the past six years that he’s been running for president."

In a campaign speech yesterday morning in Ybor City, Florida, Obama elaborated on the ailment. Romnesia means "you can't remember what you just said last week," the president explained, and a symptom is "a sudden fuzziness about what's on your website." But "this is a curable condition," the president added, to great laughter, "and Obamacare covers preexisting conditions."

Of course there's a simpler phonetic spelling than Rom-nee-zhuh: Rahmnesia. Some Chicago tweeters immediately thought of this, and so now there's a #Rahmnesia Twitter topic, in honor of our mayor.

This is but one of the tributes bestowed on Emanuel recently. On Monday, the VIPs behind the "Chicago Innovation Awards" gave him their 2012 Visionary Award. Governor Pat Quinn got the Distinguished Innovator Award, which makes me think the Chicago Innovation execs should have given themselves a Political Ass-Kissing Award.

Rahmnesia would explain a few things. A month and two days ago, I asked the mayor's office how Emanuel was addressing Chicago's rising rate of child poverty, and in particular the city's more than five-to-one disparity in black and white rates of child poverty. A spokesman promised to look into it. I'd been wondering why the spokesman hadn't gotten back to me, but now I realize he most likely was stricken with Rahmnesia.

The mayor himself rarely talks about his city's poverty and never brings up its segregation. Emanuel is very learned, though, and I concede that he's probably forgotten more about these subjects than I'll ever know.

Emanuel and Romney are hardly the only forgetful ones. When it comes to poverty and segregation, oblivion rules the country—it's epidemic among our elected officials, as well as those electing them.

I don't believe Obama has forgotten about poverty and segregation, however. He just has laryngitis. For politicians on the left, that's a pervasive condition.