Tuesday, June 8, 2010



I sent the following e-mail to Carol Marin, one of Chicago’s premier political columnists, in response to a commentary piece she wrote on the Illinois U.S. senate race. I thought my readers might enjoy it.

In your 6/6/10 Commentary piece, you make several points, some valid and some not so valid, at least from where most people stand.

You state in that article

Alexi Giannoulias is the warm guy, the one who, as one political observer put it the other day, makes older women want to mother him and younger women want to marry him.

Huh? As you know, I follow politics quite closely. I live in Naperville, home to many of the independent women whom you correctly state will decide this election. I also teach at a college in the city where most of my students are young women, most of whom are apolitical. I have yet to meet one woman, in Naperville, the city, or anywhere else, who wants to either mother or marry Alexi Giannoulias (though some of my students, struggling with the debt that so often accompanies education today, say that Mr. Giannoulias’s personal wealth might incline them in the latter direction of all other methods of repaying said debt fail). The consensus of the women with whom I speak about Mr. Giannoulias seems to be that he is a (How do I put this nicely?) an arrogant child of privilege, and he seems to exude this characteristic in both appearance and mannerisms.

Later in the article, you state that

“…when it comes to domestic or foreign policy, his record on Israel, and his command of legislative factoids, Kirk carries himself with authority.”

Double huh? Mark Kirk is the guy who tells us that French commandos killed pirates on the high seas off the coast of Somalia, thus effectively giving French ships safe passage in those dangerous waters when neither portion of that particular whopper is true. Kirk is the same foreign policy genius who tells us that we import “80 billion barrels of oil from the Iranians” when we import zero (0) barrels of oil from Iran and buy nowhere near 80 billion barrels of oil on an annual basis from every nation in the world combined. Then Kirk bungles a seemingly plausible explanation (i.e., that oil is a fungible commodity and that the particular country from which we import it has little or no impact on the price of this globally traded product) by launching into only the latest round of his butchery of the English language, to wit:

Oil is a commodity. An international good as it is flowing into an international market quickly loses its identity. In international markets, people will change the papers very quickly.”

Triple huh? One can only guess that Mr. Kirk’s hero, George W. Bush, must be very proud that his star supplicant has picked up his facility with the language.

Carol, you are not the only media insider who seems to think that Alexi Giannoulias is the reincarnation of Cary Grant and that Mark Kirk has a grasp of foreign policy that would make Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger envious. But where is the evidence for these contentions? Those of us who are not privy to the type of insight that would lead one to such conclusions, but who pay attention and vote, simply cannot see the merit of either argument. But we all see, and maybe the media are catching up to us on this one, that Illinois once again is faced with a choice between two miserable candidates for yet another very important public office.

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