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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some Perspective on Sociopathy, Rod Blagojevich and the Illinois Political Machine

Here is how Sociopathy is defined.

Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a mental disorder. It is defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: "The essential feature for the diagnosis is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood."[1] Deceit and manipulation are considered essential features of the disorder. Therefore, it is essential in making the diagnosis to collect material from sources other than the individual being diagnosed. Also, the individual must be age 18 or older as well as have a documented history of a conduct disorder before the age of 15.[1]People having antisocial personality disorder are sometimes referred to as "sociopaths" and "psychopaths", although some researchers believe that Psychopathy/Sociopathy are not synonymous with AsPD.[2]

Here is a review of the charges against Rod Blagojevich. First, he is suspected of attempting to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama for cash, favors, jobs for himself and his wife. He is charged with attempting to extort the Chicago Tribune. He wanted to remove those critical of him from their editorial board in exchange for funds the company needed to complete the sale of the Cubs and Wrigley Field. Furthermore, he was charged with withholding funds from a hospital unless its principle contributed to his campaign. He even attempted to broker a deal in which the SEIU would provide him with a cushy job in exchange for a favorable pick to the U.S. Senate. In other words, here is an individual that was entrusted with serving the public and he used this position for nothing more than personal gain. Never has there been a more clear example of a sociopath than this.

In the aftermath of these startling allegations, much of the media and political establishment in Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield have reacted with horror and shock. It is as though his behavior is peculiar and surprising. Is this really so? Here is how John Kass, the only Chicago area media person to write about the corruption here with unvarnished truth, put Blagojevich's actions into context.

But that same day, I diagnosed Blagojevich as quite sane, because all he did was act like just another corrupt Chicago politician. He squeezed people. That's how things are done in the city that is not Camelot.

Still, Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan asked the state Supreme Court on Friday to declare Blagojevich "disabled." She called on the justices—some of whom are there by grace of the Chicago machine—to remove Blagojevich, pronto.

"State government is paralyzed by a governor who is incapable of governing," Madigan insisted. "We would look to the fact that the term 'disability' legally is very broad, that it is not simply isolated to a physical or mental disability."Incapable of what? Signing his name to bills? He can sign his name, to bills, or to a federal witness list, which would be much nicer. But they don't want that, or another week or two of Gov. Dead Meat leading the nightly news.

The fact is that what has shocked the city, county, state, nation and world is the brazen nature in which Blagojevich committed his corruption. The corruption itself is frankly an everyday part of doing business. Todd Stroger, current President of Cook County, recently raised the Cook County sales tax above 10%, the highest in the nation. At the same time, he cut the budget of Cook County Hospital, also called John Stroger Hospital (named for his father the previous President of Cook County), and according to the local CBS affiliate Stroger has put multiple of his friends on the County's payroll with cushy six figure jobs.

Meanwhile, Lisa Madigan, the current Attorney General of Illinois, has been all over the news lately. She has in the last couple days been fervent in her opposition to Blagojevich and demand for him to step aside. This is a rather peculiar position. That's because while Blagojevich has committed his crimes she has been silent and absent in her role as top prosecutor in the State. I'm sure the fact that she is on most Democrat's short list to be the nominee for the next Governor has nothing to do with her new found righteous indignation.

Then, there is the head corruptor himself, Richard M. Daley. He runs the city of Chicago much like his father Richard J. Daley did, like a political machine. So, we can be sure that business is conducted based on patronage, bribes, favors, and back scratching. The list of corruption tied to Daley includes the Hired Truck scandal, patronage involving his chief deputy Robert Sorich, and a scheme in which $100 million meant to go to affirmative action recipients went to his WHITE friends. The city of Chicago isn't run for the benefit of the people he was elected to serve but rather for the benefits of the friends of Richard M. Daley. The same goes for the way in which Todd Stroger runs Cook County, and Rod Blagojevich has run the state of Illinois.

In my estimation, there are only two politicians that are genuinely against corruption, Tony Peraica a Republican and Forrest Claypool, a Democrat. So, as we all react with shock and horror to the revelation that Rod Blagojevich is corrupt, let's keep things in perspective. I'm not saying that the entire political apparatus in Chicago, Cook Cook County, and Springfield is sociopathic. All I'm saying is that my default position is that they are and each politician will have to prove to me otherwise.


Anonymous said...

Sociopathy derives from an inability to care about others, it is a really dark thing, not terribly common, and brain-based, most politicians of my experience just care about themselves too much and that overrides their feelings for others, like most good salesmen.

Mary Ann said...

Why Does the World Feel Wrong?

Because it's run by sociopaths.