The audacity of a dope

Dial up The Untouchables — there’s corruption in Chicago! Go figure.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on corruption charges — including trying to sell the vacated Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama, saying it was “gold” and “you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

There were federal charges, shake-downs and wire-tapping. The only thing missing was bootleg whiskey. This tale of corruption makes Watergate look like a Nancy Drew crime caper.

The Land of Lincoln, whattaya thinkin’? Honest Abe is somewhere in the afterlife reaching for the Maalox.

Blagojevich is on tape conspiring to sell the Senate seat for campaign cash or plum jobs for himself or for his real-esate agent wife. He even had delusions of grandeur that he could become an ambassador to some country (how about North Korea?) or even a Cabinet position in the Obama administration (sorry, attorney general is already taken, Mr. Tweed.) The audacity of this bozo extended to the idea of appointing himself to the Senate seat.

Apparently there is no limit to this guy’s ambition — which was going to get done “The Chicago Way.” He even applied strong-arm tactics to get the editorial staff at the Chicago Tribune fired because they criticized him (the paper was sitting on another Watergate and didn’t even know it. They should sell that thing. Oh, wait, they did.)

Blagojevich was arrested but released on bond of only $4,500. The courts must’ve figured he wasn’t a flight risk — this guy’s ego wouldn’t allow him to leave the state he likes to call home — and would probably mortgage.

Obama said he had no dealings with the governor or his staff at anytime concerning the Senate seat vacancy. But that’s not stopping good ol’ Fox News, where the news minions were already salavating at the fact that it was a Democrat behind this circle of corruption. You can bet your Cubs’ season tickets that Fox will be relentless in trying to tie Obama to the criminal activity with the only M.O. they can spew: guilt by association. Which is unfortunate, because nobody wants to put Fox hounds behind bars because they know Rupert Murdoch.

To take a quote out of context delivered by Claude Rains in the classic film “Casablanca”: “I’m shocked. Shocked that there’s corruption going on here in Chicago.”

Corruption in Chicago is the only thing in that city with a longer streak than the Cubs not winning a World Series. Unlike Chitown’s other baseball team, the White Sox, who threw the 1919 Series and became known as the Black Sox, the Cubs could never be accused of being corrupt. They blow games, don’t throw games when it matters most.

In order to play ball with Chicago politicians you have to know how to throw law enforcement curves — and when you steal a base you literally have to steal the base.

Blagojevich faces charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and solicitation to commit bribery, or as it’s known in Chicago politics, the bronze and silver medals. If he got away with it, he would’ve snagged the gold. Then he’d be in the company of the late Mayor Richard Daley, who was Nero to Chicago’s burning during the 1968 Democratic Convention. Daley was to Chicago dirty politics what Nixon was to law and order. Blagojevich wouldn’t even be in charge of buying the fabric softner to do their money laundering. He’s just a reminder that Chicago is known as the Windy City not only because of the weather –but because its politics really blows.

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