Today’s topic was gonna be how conservatives can’t govern their way out of a plastic shopping bag, but that one will have to wait for Wednesday because CNN “analyst,” John Blake wrote a column entitled ‘The ‘Terrible’ Hypocrisy That Got Chicago’s First Black Lesbian Mayor Elected.’
And you thought I had brevity issues!
Look! You can joke about ‘Chiraq’ even though St. Louis, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Newark, Orlando, Memphis, and even Elkhart, Indiana, all boast higher murder rates.
You can make fun of Chicago’s vast penchant for political corruption and the fascinating ways in which these criminal masterminds try to pull it off. Fast Eddie is going to the pokey? Say it ain’t so!
You can joke about the futility known as the Chicago Cubs and that other South Side minor league team that can’t win a game, too. But if you don’t truly understand the word “clout” and you don’t begin to comprehend how Second City politics really work, then don’t embarrass yourself by writing about it.
Because Mr. Blake did just that by declaring how ironic it was that Chicago’s black churches got the eminently gay Lori Lightfoot elected mayor despite their vast and unrepentant homophobia. All I can say is, Mike and Slats are laughing their asses off in that netherworld Billy Boat Tavern over a couple of Old Styles and a pack of Marlboros.
And just what is the basis for Blake’s black church bestowing the mayorship upon Lightfoot contention? One of those ministers told him so.
Anybody who’s ever REALLY covered politics knows that anyone who helps a candidate in any way – no matter how minimally – will claim complete credit for their victory. It’s yet another bizarre form of human nature, and that’s exactly what these generally ineffective black ministers just did.
All you have to do is take a look at the numbers.
In what turned out the be the February primary, Lightfoot received 97,667 votes. Third place finisher Bill Daley got 82,294. Do the math and you come up with a 15,373 vote margin of victory. With the massive current Chicago African-American exodus and the light voter turnout, there’s no way black church goers tipped those scales, especially with another black woman in the race.
Citylab writer Brentin Mock proved just that in this astute column where he crunches all of the applicable numbers.
Then Lightfoot proceeded to run away with the subsequent runoff by a three-to-one margin, or 239,109 votes, which means she would’ve have won without a single African-American pulling the ballot trigger. So, it would be an understatement to say the black churches had very little to do with that election.
Meanwhile, the Chicago papers have been gushing non-stop over how Lightfoot’s “unconventional” campaign mysteriously worked. But, despite those reporters’ and editors’ regular Windy City coverage, they’re dead wrong, too.
Lightfoot prevailed in the primary thanks to 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke being arrogant enough to extort a Burger King restaurateur on his fricken’ cell phone. Those “timely” federal charges are the only reason she won.
Not only did the Chicago press hammer the Preckwinkle-Burke connection home, but Lightfoot’s campaign did a masterful job of communicating that same point through a series of TV commercials.
And, as we’ve previously stipulated, Lightfoot destroyed runoff opponent Toni Preckwinkle as a result of that race becoming a referendum on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s bizarre absolution of ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett.
All Tribune Columnist John Kass had to do is point out that Foxx was a Preckwinkle protégé, the rest of the press picked up on it and, stick a fork in Toni, she was done! It had absolutely nothing to do with African-American churches or Lightfoot’s campaign.
All that said, I do agree with Blake’s contention that it’s beyond ironic for a group that’s had to deal with the worst kind of intolerance to similarly heap that abject bigotry on their gay brothers and sisters.
I too, hope that’s not lost on Ms. Lightfoot, but I also hope she understands that all of Chicago elected her, and not just one franchise.
As for Mr. Blake, I would encourage him to stick to writing about ghost hunters, Jimi Hendrix, and Bigfoot because he’s clearly more suited to those kinds of feature columns. Perhaps he could even write something about his Baltimore hometown because that municipality makes a Saturday night in Chicago look like a walk in the Park.