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That's The Chicago Way

The distinguishing characteristic of Hyde Park’s political history – the feature that sets it apart from every other neighborhood in the city – is its longstanding defiance of the Chicago machine. ~Thomas Frank

That must be why Obama, true son of Hyde Park, is deeply opposed to the Chicago machine.  Oh, wait, that’s completely untrue:

Obama the reformer is backed by Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Daley boys. He is spoken for by Daley’s own spokesman, David Axelrod.  He was launched into his U.S. Senate by machine power broker and state Senate President Emil Jones (D-ComEd).

As I have made clear already, I think the Hyde Park-bashing attack is ridiculous, but any notion that Obama gets to take credit for Hyde Park residents’ opposition to machine politics in Chicago is even more so.  Did the WSJ give Frank a regular column deliberately as a way to embarrass the left, or was it just a happy accident?

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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