At least Scott Brown’s historic victory in Massachusetts sure is.
That election result going to change national politics from here
forward. Looking at the Chicago Tribune today, you’d never know it even
happened…..unless you continue paging through the first section, all
the way to page 14. The upset, if not the repudiation of Obamacare as
some say, is at least the repudiation of politics as usual in
Washington. Even Democratic pundits on the morning news shows have
agreed on that.

The Trib editorial board has been on a mission
to repudiate politics as usual in the state of Illinois, and some of
their strongest words apply perfectly to national politics if you just
insert the word ‘America’ everywhere they mention ‘Illinois’ in their
series.

“If you enjoy the political culture as is — with the next corruption
scandal never far off and with your public officials borrowing future
generations into penury in order to prop up today’s treacherously
uncontrolled spending — then you should support candidates who’ll
protect the status quo. If, however, the failure of too many
politicians to make urgently needed reforms infuriates you, then reach
for a broom…

“Together, the Feb. 2 primary and Nov. 2 general elections can —
must, if Illinois is to liberate itself from this predicament —
constitute The Revolution of 2010. To make that happen, though, each of
us needs to shoulder a sword.

“We need not only to educate ourselves and then vote for the best
candidates on those two Election Days. We also need to create the
informed buzz, and make the one-on-one personal outreaches, that will
bring our family members and friends to the polls.

“That is, each of us needs to engage a few apathetic or otherwise
underinvolved citizens to vote in 2010. It’s a sure thing that the
political oligarchs who run Illinois will have all of their family
members and friends at the polls. That’s how they grip power until the
day their anointed successors — usually chosen by the other oligarchs,
not by mere voters — pry it from their hands.”

The morning after Massachusetts voters did exactly that, the Trib
was nearly silent. The results were in early enough Tuesday evening to
make the morning paper, but it was buried.

Curious. Especially after the editors’ strong words about reforming the so-called reform.

“Half-measures will not suffice to repair our State’s troubled
(governing) infrastructure or our citizens’ broken confidence. … Past
reform efforts have met with forces just as destructive as
self-interest or corruption: apathy, inertia and cynicism.”

Okay, this is their rallying cry to the citizens of Illinois to
prepare for the February 2 election. President Obama’s former Senate
seat is up for grabs in that election, and there are several pro-life
Republicans running strong campaigns for that seat. National news media
have been ignoring that story.

Never mind them. “Create the informed buzz” as the Trib editors call
you to do. Just don’t trust them to give you all the news you need to
be informed.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....