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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thanks Blago A HSD Rewind

From time to time, I like to check my statistics to see what if any of my previous posts are getting the most hits.  This month, the most looked up of all my posts (by over 100 looks) was a post I wrote about former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich back in June 2011 shortly after he http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/11/10/blagojevich-to-start-working-in-prison-library/
was found guilty on several counts.  I wrote this post as an epilogue of sorts to all the teaching and parenting material Blago's missteps had given me. 

I am reprinting it here, as an HSD rewind. 

It was a Tuesday, that's all I remember for sure. That's the day the kids had their enrichment course. (It's a co-op, but they don't call it a co-op. They call it enrichment courses.) Puppy and I played in a kid's area while Bunny took an art class and then Spider Droid took a chess class. I was driving to enrichment classes, (that's how I knew it was a Tuesday) when I heard on the radio that our state's governor Rod Blagojevich had been arrested on federal corruption charges. The most egregious of which was trying to sell the then President-elect Obama's vacated senate seat to the highest bidder.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich by captainleadbottom
Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a photo by captainleadbottom on Flickr.

It was there in the car on the way to enrichment classes, that our 2 1/2 year civics lessons began. Theses include lessons in filling vacant seats, abuse of power, impeachment, trials, hung juries and retrials. Then today as I went to run errands with the bigs, I turned on the radio and they announced a verdict had been reached in the Blago retrial and would be announced in the early afternoon. As quickly as that, our civics classroom started all over again.

Here are a few educational and pseudo educational moments from the last 30 months of Blagomania:

  • When Spider Droid first heard about the Blagojevich arrest he assumed that the governor had been framed since a governor would never do anything wrong. What I wanted to say to him was "live in Illinois much?" But I went the AWANA route and reminded him of his memory verse, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

  • Many of Blagojevich's public appearances gave us quite a lot to discuss. I tried to find a video of him quoting Rudyard Kipling shortly after his initial arrest. The only one I could find was merged with Simpson's clips. So instead here is the beginning of an interview he did with Dave Letterman shortly after the impeachment.

(The video did not come up when I cut and past my original post. Click here if you are interested in seeing the video.)

  • The kids' impression of him was aided by the media. At one point between the arrest and the impeachment, the kids got to calling him "Governor Deadmeat" because he had been referred to that way in a local paper.
  • We even did a Lego workshop about him. . .

rod blagojevich by robayre

Just kidding! Here's the real credit: rod blagojevich, a photo by robayre on Flickr.
Blagojevich's downfall seemed to be that he felt that his years of service to the public entitle him to some sort of payback. During the past 2.5 years, even in his trial, he talked about all the great things he did for the state of Illinois. His defense seems to be (a) This is what politics is(everybody's doing it)and (b) I deserve something out of this. I am sure that in his mind, which must be an amazing place to visit, he did nothing wrong.

Interestingly enough, these are my kids' two biggest excuses for not admitting when they were wrong. "They started it"and "But I wanted it." Blagojevich serves as a warning to my kids and hopefully everyone who tries to cover up their misdeeds with excuses.

So thanks Blago, for all the civics lessons. I guess we'll just have to wait until your sentencing date to learn more.

Meanwhile back in 2013 . . .

After Blago was sentencedin late 2011, I did glean a few more lessons from his transgressions.  That post can be found by clicking here.  I had not heard anything about him since his incarceration until I saw this article http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/11/10/blagojevich-to-start-working-in-prison-library/from November 2012 in preparation for this post.

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