Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, December 8

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

The Mechanics
« Rodriguez To CTA? STOP: Stop Closing Mental Health Clinics »

Daley Sun Feb 08 2009

Mayor Daley, the Blushing Flower

With hundreds of millions of dollars to stream into Chicago from federal sources, Mayor Daley is refusing to release "his" (actually, "our") list of "shovel-ready" programs that will be kick-started by federal monies.

I read this at the time and meant to post on it, but I wanted to think of something grandiloquently clever. But then I realized that would just be annoying and distract from the fact that our mayor, a supposed big-city politics tough-guy, is, in fact, just a hothouse flower, ready to wilt at the first hint of scandal.

"Yes, we do, we have our list, we've been talking to people. We did not put that out publicly because once you start putting it out publicly, you know, the newspapers, the media is going to be ripping it apart," Daley said.

In other words, because the city's media is mean to him (which means, I guess, they only agree with him 70% of the time or so, unlike "his" -- our -- legislature, which agrees with him 100% of the time), he is not going to release to the public, the list of public works programs that are going to be funded by public money.

Our money, our programs, our city, but we don't get details because our mayor is taking our ball and going home.

Besides revealing the Mayor to be unbelievably thin-skinned, this is a profoundly anti-democratic act. This isn't your money, or your developer friends' money, or President Obama's money, or Dan Lipinski's money, or Ed Burke's money, or Rahm Emanuel's money, or Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s money, or anybody's money but ours, our money. And our programs, and our city.


GB store

Good Luck / February 9, 2009 8:55 AM

aw, Ramsin. You don't like how things work now that your socialist/collectivist government is in control?

Ramsin / February 9, 2009 9:30 AM

You have never successfully made sense in a comment, GL. Keep at it, though; cowering behind phony email addresses and pseudonyms is humiliating enough--you don't want to also be known as a nonsense-drooling idiot to boot.

Hasn't Mayor Daley been in control since I was 8 years old? Yes.

Good Luck / February 9, 2009 10:50 AM

Isn't that the type of "ad hominem" attack that you so oppose? Just pointing out hypocrisy when I see it...

Anna Tarkov / February 9, 2009 5:30 PM

If I may interject, Ramsin and I hail from different ends of the political spectrum, but we agree on a great many things nonetheless. And one of those things is that elected officials need to be as transparent as possible when taxpayer dollars are going to be spent. Especially in a place like Chicago where taxpayer money goes God knows where and we're usually told they need more and more of it all the time.

GL, I'm going to take a leap and assume the socialist/collectivist government to which you're referring is actually the Obama, not the Daley administration. If that's the case, then I don't see what it has to do with Ramsin's post which was about Mayor Daley, not President Obama.

Bad Luck / February 9, 2009 6:27 PM

I'd like to see Ramsin respond to the "ad hominem" post.

Ramsin writes about very interesting subjects...but when someone challenges him he will immediately look for the "attack". When the "attack" is shown, that becomes with subject. Or so it seems for the last 5 years or so.

Here we have a situation where Ramsin clearly attacked GL.

So Ramsin...Daley has been mayor since you were long have you been a hypocrite?

Ramsin / February 10, 2009 12:01 AM

Glad you asked, BadLuck.

I don't think I've ever hidden the fact that I'm given to changing my opinion about issues, policies, people, and anything else that any intellectually honest, reasonable person can come to change their opinion on. You can call that hypocrisy, I guess, but I think of it as intellectual honesty. I was criticizing the Mayor harshly--something I wrote about him negatively was read by an Alderman in a City Council meeting in 2004--and praising him other times. Over time, both circumstances and maturity have brought me to a new position, but I also refuse to treat politicians like cartoon characters in a narrative, wholly good or wholly evil, something that took time and reflection to arrive at.

As for ad hominems, I am to the point where I just can't stand people "debating" something I wrote by calling me a socialist, or a collectivist, or a statist. Take issue with my argument, or my facts, or my assumptions, and I'll try to answer truthfully, but if you're just going to follow me around calling me a socialist, I'm going to call that a personal attack meant to undermine me rather than the argument. That's what a lot of partisan and political writing on the internet has become--questioning the writer's political bias or personality, without also addressing specific issues or arguments. It's a waste of everybody's time to engage in "You're a socialist" "No I'm not" back and forth.

Here was a post about Mayor Daley's lack of transparency. There's a counter-argument to be made--that releasing the list creates unnecessary controversy given that the money has not been appropriated--and I may not agree, but it's a reasonable argument that I would have to answer. What does calling me a "socialist collectivist" have to do with anything.

Aren't we supposed to change and mature over time, particularly in our political opinions? If we didn't, wouldn't we never make progress? I'm not embarrassed by the fact that I've been wrong and willing to evaluate my thinking, so maybe that's why I don't try to hide it when it happens. Should I?

Bad Luck / February 10, 2009 12:03 PM

I don't see hypocrisy in your writing at all. Far from it. Intellectual honesty and all that, sounds great. Agreed.

Mine was a simple point. You call someone out on an "ad hominem" attack, but you respond by attacking the person you are calling out.

You said:
You have never successfully made sense in a comment, GL. Keep at it, though; cowering behind phony email addresses and pseudonyms is humiliating enough--you don't want to also be known as a nonsense-drooling idiot to boot.

Nonsense-drooling idiot? This is clearly you attacking GL.

I'm all for "but if you're just going to follow me around calling me a socialist, I'm going to call that a personal attack meant to undermine me rather than the argument"

You clearly responded by attacking GL.

Why the double standard regarding "ad hominem"?

Ramsin / February 10, 2009 12:22 PM

I misunderstood your "hypocrite" accusation as being about the Mayor.

As for the attack on GL, it was a response to his attack on me. GL has made a habit under this and other aliases--always anonymous--of making these kinds of personal attacks, never engaging in debate, just personal accusations against me. So I responded in kind, and, what a surprise, like most bullies and cowards he whimpered.

What can I say? I'm human and frustration can boil over. But with somebody who has no interest in debate, what option do you have but demonstrating that you're not going to sit back and allow personal attacks to take place without responding.

I don't make personal attacks in my pieces and I expect commenters to follow those standards. Deleting ad hominems would be censorship, the other option is ignoring them, which I usually do--but should do more often. But occasionally, I'll hit back.

bad / February 10, 2009 12:55 PM

Fair enough.

I can see what you are saying...well put.

Whether I agree with what you write about or not, you write about good stuff, Ramsin. Keep it up.

This piece here is spot on.

Good Luck / February 10, 2009 1:24 PM

Yeah, really cowering and whimpering.

My point is this: Ramsin advocates a collectivist style of government (most people call this socialist) where power is derived from control of the masses. In their utopia, it is always a benevolent power, but in reality it never works out that way (plenty of evidence on that point, but useless when dealing with idealogues).

So who is surprised when we see that our socialist president empowers our autocratic mayor to give the public a big "%@&% You" in regards to their plans with our money.

Its hope and change baby.

Anyone bother to notice that the market just shit the bed after the stimulus plan passed?

Bill / February 10, 2009 6:29 PM

It is a little bit of all those politicians' money.

GB store


Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project
GB store

About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Mike Ewing,
Mechanics staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15