Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ald. Joe Moore: Inaugural Interruptus

They wouldn't let him into the Inaugural Ceremony. Although Chicago Alderman Joe Moore is a member of the Democrat National Committee (DNC), and he campaigned hard for Barack Obama, and his wife sent out a whiny plea to voters just before the November election, in which she bragged about being personal friends with the Obamas. He travelled to Washington in anticipation of attending the inauguration ceremony and shaking President Obama's hand. O, shattered dreams... Despite all of his campaigning for Obama in Ohio, despite his claims of great personal friendship with Obama, despite his (now tarnished) membership in the DNC, despite everything, the 49th Ward alderman (Rogers Park) was not allowed to enter the inauguration ceremony. Joe Moore, self-proclaimed Obama buddy, watched it like us little people did: On television. A fine report from Mick Dumke at The Chicago Reader relates Moore's explanation of why he was not allowed in to see the ceremony up close: For starters, Moore said, there were no signs offering directions to the various entrance gates. Then it turned out that wasn't his biggest problem. "The gate we were supposed to go into was closed for some reason," he said....So Moore went to the offices of the National League of Cities, where he knew some people. "I watched it on TV," he said. "But I did get to see the parade go by from the comfort of a heated office." Full Article... Too bad Joe Moore doesn't know "some people" connected with Barack Obama. Oh, he does? Then why was Moore not allowed to pass into inauguration ceremony? That reason is this: Moore was late to the gate. Security concerns being what they were, the area was properly locked down with military precision at the designated moment. Moore is habitually late to community meetings that he himself sets up in his 49th Ward of Chicago. Judging from his comments in the Reader, it apparently did not occur to Moore that his tardiness, or concerns for security that day, had anything to with being denied entrance to the event. Instead, he blames it on "some reason," as if it's a great mystery. "For some reason," Moore's self proclaimed close friendship with Barack Obama didn't count for anything as he was told to step away from the gate. Imagine Moore getting hissy with the gate keepers. "Do you know who I am?" he might have said. "I'm Joe Moore, a member of the Chicago City Council! Barack Obama wouldn't be here if not for my and my wife! You must let me in! Barack Obama is expecting me!" Moore would have then squinted his eyes menacingly at the gate attendant, lowered his voice an octave, and growled, "What's your name? What's your address?" The method of intimidation is a Moore standard. He does it to his own constituents who dare to challenge him openly. Moore might have added another remark to the by-the-book guard who kept him out of the ceremony. "Do you realize that The Nation magazine just named me the Most Valuable Local Official in America? Do you? Do you?!?" Moore has a history of rejection in Washington. On July 31, 2007 he was told to go away when he presented himself at the White House gate. (Click here to see the sadly hilarious video.) Moore was trying to deliver resolutions from various city councils and other elected officials expressing opposition to the occupation of Iraq. Moore was accompanied by John Cavanagh, the Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, (IPS). After being politely refused entry, Cavanagh turned to the news cameras and said, "It would seem it would be a simple courtesy for [Pres. Bush] to meet with the local elected officials, but he has chosen not to do so." But Moore and Cavanagh had no appointment - they dropped in unannounced, which is just plain rude in ordinary circumstances but unbelievably stupid when it's the White House you're dropping in on. To paraphrase Moore, it would seem that it would have been a simple courtesy for him and Cavanagh to call ahead and make an appointment with the Commander in Chief. Behaving like a door to door vacuum salesman is not how you get in to see the President of the United States. Moore added this absurd statement when Cavanagh finished: "We have [resolutions from] elected officials who represent over a hundred and fifty million people. That is practically half the country, uhm, who have passed resolutions calling for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq." Moore's statement was absurd for several reasons: (1) Not a single one of the various city council members or state legislators was elected to deal with matters of international policy and, additionally, none of them had or have the authority to make policy for international relations; (2) Moore said that the signers of the resolutions in his hands "represent....practically half the country," apparently unaware of the fact that more than half of those 150 million people are under the voting age, and that of the voters who voted in 2004, "practically half" of them voted for George Bush; (3) Unlike the local and state officials who Moore claimed to represent, Bush was elected partly for the purpose of dealing with international issues (including Iraq, of course). As President and Commander in Chief, Bush was repeatedly authorized by the elected officials in Congress to do so. Congress repeatedly approved and re-approved funding for the war, then the occupation. Joe Moore seems to have been unaware that Congress represents exactly the entire freeking country, not just "practically half" of it, as he falsely claimed his signing local officials did; (4) Of the 150 million people that Moore claimed to be representing by proxy, it is probably safe to say that far fewer than half of them were even aware of the resolutions signed by their local officials. Moore made it sound as if every one of those 150 million people (a) knew about the resolutions, (b) agreed with the resolutions, and (c) would approve of their local officials wasting time on issues that they're not paid to deal with even if they had been aware of it. So, Joe Moore dropped in to the White House unannounced in 2007, then whines about not being let in. A year and a half later, he arrived late to a very big, ultra-high security event, arrogantly (or ignorantly) believing that he, The Most Valuable Local Official The World Has Ever Known, would be allowed in. Tens of thousands of people waiting many hours, some of them camped outside overnight, to catch a glimpse of Obama's inauguration. Why couldn't Joe Moore have arrived at such a momentous, historic event an hour before it started? Subscribe to Chicago News Bench