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Today’s dissent

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* From Tom Roeser

Gee whiz, moans Capital Fax, which has an abiding tolerance for Leftist demagogues…in contradistinction to the Right which it despises…the Illinois Senate “won’t be the same without Rickey Hendon.” No-no, the publication sees no connection between the West Side flash-in-the-pan’s instant resignation and the federal probe underway for state grants he authorized—of course not; it would be mean-spirited and racist, that’s what. Also that’s the courtesy the publication gives to all its liberal friends (no connection, see, because he seems so calm—just suffering from hypertension).

The same salute “won’t be the same without Rickey Hendon” could have been said years earlier by some indiscriminate drinking buddies about the departure of Mississippi’s Theodore Bilbo. Like Bilbo Hendon had an acid tongue which he used unsparingly after which he would slink over to his victim and apologize. For no particular purpose other than Bill Brady is a conservative did Hendon assault him before the cameras as “the most racist, idiotic, sexist, homophobic” person he ever knew. Then he tried to apologize to Brady who deserved none of those epithets….tried to apologize as he featured himself as a character who could say whatever he wanted and be forgiven later.

It may be good old Hollywood Rickey to Capital Fax because he practiced the bigotry and character assassination lefty hypocrites secretly enjoy as they snuffle their laughter behind cupped hands—language they would faint over near-dead about if it were conveyed to any of their friends who, like Hendon, practiced the art of racial racketeering and slander. We’ll see how much of that hypertension is caused by hidden concern that the Feds may be on to something. No-no-no, not our Rickey.

Your thoughts?

* Related…

* Hendon abruptly quits state Senate

* Rickey Hendon Retires from State Senate - Calls mayoral election ‘black political disaster’

* State Sen. Rickey ‘Hollywood’ Hendon steps down after 18 years

posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:16 am


  1. My thoughts? Consider the source.

    Comment by ChicagoR Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:21 am

  2. Sounds like a perfect description of Hendon.

    Comment by Dan S in Springfield Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:24 am

  3. What is great about America is that everyone has a right to express their opinions, which includes Leftist demagogues and Right wing nut jobs.

    Comment by Jellybean Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:24 am

  4. Rich, I think what you were getting at with the Senate not being the same without Rickey was how the now former Senator always spoke his mind. He didn’t hold back. Did he go too far? Yeah, sometimes and the left knew that.

    Just treat a Hollywood moment the same way you would a Bill Black rant. It’s just Rickey/Black being Rickey/Black. Nothing to see here, folks.

    btw - Yeah, most of us did chuckle at the Brady comment, but I think a lot on the left knew he went too far with it.

    Comment by Dirty Red Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:24 am

  5. Roeser did a good job of proving your point that the Illinois Senate “won’t be the same without Rickey Hendon”

    Comment by Robert Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:25 am

  6. I’m not sure what thoughts I’m supposed to have, other than “Roeser uses a lot of words to say ‘I don’t like Rickey Hendon’.”

    Comment by Dirt Digger Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:26 am

  7. Who’s Tom Roeser?

    Comment by piling on Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:27 am

  8. “abiding tolerance for Leftist demagogues” then again from his perspective I am a leftist demagogue..

    Comment by OneMan Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:27 am

  9. Chuckle as you may have Dirty Red, but had that style of acrimony originated from the Republican side of the isle, impeachment proceedings would have begun/at/that/very/moment.

    Comment by in absentia Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:28 am

  10. ===impeachment proceedings===

    Only if the Republican was in the executive branch.


    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:29 am

  11. Whether there’s anything substantive with Hollywood Hendon and the federal probe will all come out in the wash eventually. Only time will tell.

    As for Roser’s comments–the tone is (ironically) pretty harsh, but he does have a point. It isn’t secret that partisans on both sides aren’t the fairest judge of political or personal behavior. They tend to give their buddies and fellow travelers far more leeway whereas when their sworn ideological (or intra-party) rivals make a mis-step, they pounce with abandon.

    The Gotcha Game isn’t anything new. What frustrates me is that it’s a logically flawed argument. It’s basically saying that if XYZ person has personal failures or behaves in a reprehensible fashion, that it somehow invalidates their entire political platform. That’s total nonsense.

    But alas, it’s a favorite political parlor game. And in reality, to the often disinterested voter, those logically flawed arguments often work quite well from a rhetorical/scoring cheap political points perspective.

    Comment by John Galt Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:31 am

  12. Actually I see where he’s coming from. During the first few cycles I worked with a personal interest in a race I would get furious at press send-offs of colorful but otherwise objectively bad elected officials who lost. If your entire investment in a race is in opposition that can happen.

    However, it turns out that not investing ALL one’s energy in disliking the other side is both better for the blood pressure and better for seeing different/opposing points of view.

    Comment by Dirt Digger Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:32 am

  13. @in absentia

    “But it’s all in the game.”

    Comment by Dirty Red Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:34 am


    The column is spot on.

    Comment by Living in Oklahoma Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:35 am

  15. I don’t like Roeser, but agree with him today. Your lamenting the retirement of Hendon was overblown and did not resonate with me.

    I won’t miss him, didn’t like him and tried to avoid him at all costs. Ironic to me that you wrote a piece about the new guard vs. the old guard and at the same time you somewhat glorified Hendon’s unproductive antics.

    Comment by siriusly Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:37 am

  16. Tom sounds like he isn’t getting enough fiber in his diet since he doesn’t get the freebie oatmeal from Quaker Oats anymore.

    I didn’t know “The Right” was “despised” here. Learn something new every day. Also: contradistinction. I’d never heard that one before and am looking forward to using it as soon as possible.

    Comment by wordslinger Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:45 am

  17. Actually I thought it was a pretty good article. Seems to have nailed it. It sure won’t be the same without Rickey but there are plenty to fill the void, shamefully so. Some of whom we’ve yet to see.

    You can’t have a rat race without rats.

    Comment by Justice Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:45 am

  18. Roeser does little to argue his case. Instead he offers his judgment on what is and isn’t racism. He offers his judgment on where the political center should be.

    I don’t agree with Roeser on these issues and I don’t trust his judgment.

    Tip to Roeser: if you want to be seen as credible outside people who agree with you already, you should try making arguments with facts and reasoning instead of labels and bile.

    Comment by Carl Nyberg Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:47 am

  19. With the rhetorical blast from Roeser’s blog, Capitol Fax will see its readership zoom today by, what, 2 or 3 visitors?

    Comment by Louis XVI Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:48 am

  20. Any marginal amusement at Hendon’s antics and “Rickey being Rickey” ended abruptly with the Axley comment and the Brady slurs. Those statements forced many people to accept that Hollywood Hendon was not merely being flamboyant but that there was seriously something wrong with him in the head.

    It is sortof hard to understand how anyone can say they will miss Hendon–at least the Hendon that was on display recently.

    Comment by Responsa Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:48 am

  21. Read Tom Roeser if you wish to improve your vocabulary. Tom is a class act. His Radio show Sunday night WLS am 890 is great.

    Comment by Patrick McDonough Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:48 am

  22. - secretly enjoy as they snuffle their laughter behind cupped hands -

    I take offense to this. I openly enjoyed these comments and laughed heartily out loud about them. This is politics, and people on both sides of the aisle cross the line sometimes.

    Comment by Small Town Liberal Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:49 am

  23. wow. I have never thought that this site was for leftist demagogues. it’s such an interesting mix of opinion and fact an has a low tolerance for, as is stated above, “sock puppetry” and insults.

    but on a good note, he also slammed you along with Ms. Walters so maybe your next stop is Hot Topics on The View! you are in good company all around in Roeser’s hits today, including William and Catherine who were just nice, fresh and fun in yesterday’s ceremony.

    Comment by amalia Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:52 am

  24. I did not interpret your comment that the Senate “won’t be the same” without Hendon as a compliment to his politics. Am I secretly a leftist? Tom Roeser has me all confused. But, I’m going to stick with my belief that Cap Fax is the best, most unbiased source of IL political news.

    Comment by chicagorepub Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:52 am

  25. I didn’t realize Rich and Rachel Maddow had anything in common besides a nifty hairdo, and I appreciate Tom clearing up the confusion in his typical calm, thougtful, and reasoned manner.

    Perhaps Tom should’ve taken a few moments to read Rich’s most recent column before posting his diatribe on the intertubes. Seems to me that Hendon is most definitely a part of what Rich describes as the “old guard”.

    His politics aside, Hendon definitely made state politics more interesting that it would have been in his absence. But considering the two are not always compatible destroys Roeser’s narrative, so he chooses to ignore it.

    Comment by The Doc Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:53 am

  26. Word - It’s what Oliver North got when he sold arms to Iran and used the money to fund Nicaraguan rebels.

    Comment by And I Approved This Message Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:54 am

  27. –The announcement was, in my opinion, basically an attention-grabbing stunt and mostly a joke. But, overall, Tryon is one of the more thoughtful House members. He has several good bills in the hopper to make government run better.–

    This analysis just is dripping with your “despise” for the right. Tone it down Rich.

    Why is it that right-wing bloggers and talking heads always take such an all-or-nothing approach to evaluating their commentator colleagues? They are a disservice to the politicians they intend to serve. It is impossible to be a critical thinking, responsible member of the media without being deemed a liberal. Case in point, see the thousands of posts on the intertubes that point to the late Time Russert’s supposed liberal bias.

    Comment by Anon Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:54 am

  28. A couple of blocks away from Hendon’s Chicago office is a mural of Chairman Fred Hampton. I can tell you one thing, Hendon was no Chairman Fred. He was in it for himself and not the people of his westside ward. He was part and parcel of the “old guard” and his departure is not a sad day by any stretch of the imagination.

    Comment by bdogg Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 11:57 am

  29. For you lefty and righty demagogues out there, Rich only despises those who break his rules of blogging etiquette!

    Comment by Fed-Up Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:01 pm

  30. –It is impossible to be a critical thinking, responsible member of the media without being deemed a liberal. –

    Critical thinking is unwelcome among the Tea Fest types and their blowhards. It gets in the way of the bombast.

    Comment by Louis XVI Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:03 pm

  31. It may be the first time I have ever agreed with Roeser.

    Comment by Anonymous Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:10 pm

  32. Who will earmark Illinois taxpayer dollars for churches with Democratic party voters now that Ricky is gone?

    Comment by Steve Bartin Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:18 pm

  33. Pardon me while I snuffle.

    Comment by Way Way Down Here Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:19 pm

  34. Read further down in Roeser’s column (apparently, he doesn’t like the Windsors), and he describes the President of the United States as a “royal, mysterious Half-Breed African Prince.”

    Do I detect some Tea Party demagogues snuffling laughter behind cupped hands? I fail to see the contradistinction.

    –What is there about Americans who feel their lives are incomplete unless they learn about these rascal liberal maleducated wastrels? The only good thing they did….and I imagine it was done collectively…was to nix our own royal, mysterious Half Breed African Prince to William and Kate’s wedding—suffice it for returning the bronze bust of Winston Churchill and his illiterate veto of the invitation to Queen Elizabeth to the ceremony for D-Day failing to appreciate that of all world leaders in power on June 6, 1944 she alone survives.

    Comment by wordslinger Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:24 pm

  35. Rich,

    That reminds me, we really missed you at the last revolutionary anarcho-syndicalist cell meeting.

    You were supposed to bring cupcakes.

    – MrJM

    Comment by MrJM Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:24 pm

  36. You hit a nerve because whenever someone leaves the stage it’s a reminder to Tom that he should have left the stage about 15 yrs ago.

    Comment by just sayin' Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:33 pm

  37. Epistemic closure, right-wing derangement syndrome, etc. etc. Call it what you will, but the right in this country has become so loopy that it has vacated the vital space in any democracy that is conservatism. These people need to step back and take some chill pills and actually look objectively and in a balanced way at facts, instead of believing everything Rush and Glenn tell them. The more our national conversation consists of a shouting contest between a disorganized collection of politicians on the center-left whose main concern seems to be surviving in office and a hard-right rabble whose main concern seems to be vindicating stupid conspiracy theories, rather than a debate between liberals and conservatives, the more our politics will become a value-free zone in which the main question, especially among those who hold the advantage in our society, will be, “Where’s mine??”

    Comment by Angry Chicagoan Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:35 pm

  38. This is like the national media’s bias: they report on the “Republican-controlled House” passing a bill, not the “US House’ (these people were all elected to be there!). The media never reported that the “Democratic-controlled House” passed Obamacare, etc. They are largely unaware of their own bias in reporting.

    Comment by formerpolitico Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:37 pm

  39. We decided to move our earlier comment on Mr. Sleaze up a little. Roeser won’t like the shot at Ailes, but who gives a bleeping bleep?

    Speaking of sleaze…which is the category one finds when you Google Hendon….meanwhile here is a summary of a NYT piece that should give anti WingNut factions something to smile about on this snowey morning
    Fox News Boss Urged Employee To Lie to Feds

    Fox News haters will be rubbing their hands together in glee following revelations that could bring down its boss, Roger Ailes. In 2006, publisher Judith Regan accused an anonymous News Corp. exec of encouraging her to lie to the feds about her affair with former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was being screened for a position as the secretary of homeland security. Now, court documents show that Regan pointed the finger at Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, reports the New York Times. Ailes apparently tried to hush up Regan in order to protect the presidential prospects of his pal, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had been mentored by Kerik. The documents also reveal that Regan taped a telephone conversation with Ailes in which he talked about her affair with Kerik. News Corp. swiftly settled with Regan for almost $11 million in 2007, but the existence of the tape means Ailes could be guilty of conspiring to lie to federal officials, which is a federal crime. Regan herself fell swiftly from grace after commissioning O.J. Simpson’s hypothetical murder confession, If I Did It, in 2006. Meanwhile, Kerik is serving jail time after committing tax fraud and lying to the White House. A News Corp. spokesman did not deny that Ailes appeared on Regan’s recording, but the spokesman said, “The matter is closed.”

    Comment by CircularFiringSquad Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:43 pm

  40. My post name says it all!

    Comment by KnuckleHead Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:45 pm

  41. What’s frightening is the increasing number of people who believe and agree w/ Roeser, Rush, Fox, etc. as demonstrated by the last election. “Idiocracy” the movie is moving closer to reality.

    Comment by D.P. Gumby Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:45 pm

  42. Formerpolitico - type “democratic-controlled house or senate” into any search engine and let us know if you still have the same opinion.

    Comment by Holdingontomywallet Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 12:56 pm

  43. I cant stan hendon and his race baiting, I am glad he is gone… BUT

    CapFax both made clear he had issues, but instead of going with a one sided revieiw went to some effort to counter balance the bad with a few good points. i.e. I thought the capfax piece was more a fair neutral descritption. The guy was not always bad.

    Now back to reading the ngative articles Rich writes aboutBlago, QUinn, Maigan and the others he supposedly only describes in a positive way….

    good thing we have Tom “Glen beck” Roser to keep the conversation fact based and neutral…

    Comment by Ghost Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:01 pm

  44. Don’t through pearls before swine, Rich. You’re blog is fair all around. I’ve never once read a post which tolerated left wing demagoguery & showed contempt for the right.

    Comment by David W. Aubrey Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:19 pm

  45. Um isn’t it CapitOL Fax? Is this some jab I’m not getting? That’s enough for me to not read Roeser again.

    Comment by Mad Brown Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:22 pm

  46. Piling on @ 11:27, Well played.

    Roeser’s seething jealousy is flowing. CapFax has much more visibility and influence than he does/ever did/ever will.

    Comment by Northsider Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:22 pm

  47. In my reasonably long memory, no person has suffered any great harm because of Mr. Roeser’s attacks, and in many instances, it’s good for their checkbooks. I suppose that statement makes me a leftist demagogue, though there are many others who would disagree with that assessment.

    Comment by Thoughts... Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:44 pm

  48. The words “Bite” and “Me” come to mind when I read Tom’s piece, but then that’s because I must be one of those leftist demagogues he’s talking about. His piece being in contradistinction to reasoned, non-partisan political discourse

    Comment by PublicServant Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:09 pm

  49. That’s a good QOTD by the way Rich. Who can use the word “contradistinction” in a sentence. Best sentence wins a dinner with Rich at a table in a restaurant behind Tom Roeser, where you can stare daggers at the back of his head.

    Comment by PublicServant Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:15 pm

  50. I usually enjoy reading Roeser’s pieces…not that I agree with him, but because he represents the old Catholic grumpy uncle contingency that we all know is out there, and take him with the requisite grain of salt. Dennis Byrne is the heir in waiting when Tom leaves.

    As far as Hollywood goes, some people get a pass because of their personality and how we come to read it after awhile. We would’ve been shocked to hear words come out of Paul Simon’s mouth that would roll off our backs if we heard them from Rickey.

    Comment by Six Degrees of Separation Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:27 pm

  51. I second @Anon and…

    ==he practiced the bigotry and character assassination lefty hypocrites secretly enjoy as they snuffle their laughter behind cupped hands==

    I am so sick of the hypocracy of right-wingers claiming character assasination when they are the ones who get people fired and often on falsified claims (can we say ‘reverse racism’ in the Dept of Ag? Planned Parenthood tapes?)

    How they claim such righteouness! give it up already (of course they won’t)

    Comment by listening in Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:36 pm

  52. I think people like “Ricky” and “Tommy” deserve each other. A couple of jerks. Meanwhile Governor Sunshine continues to sink the state. When will get some grownups in Springpatch?

    Comment by wishbone Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:46 pm

  53. Just so I’m clear here: WLS-890 and everyone else who trots out Roeser as a “conservative voice” are cool with him calling the President of the United States a “royal, mysterious Half Breed African Prince.”

    Comment by wordslinger Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:02 pm

  54. Thoughts?

    It is ironic that the only reason some of us read Roeser today was because Rich posted it here, on his hippie liberal blog.

    Comment by Obamarama Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:03 pm

  55. Half Breed is a discusting terminology. Being of mixed race myself, I am EXTREMELY offended by that word and anyone who is OK with him saying that. And they have the audacity to call Hendon a biggot? Those words would never come out of his mouth. I guess Tom is just happy that Hendon isn’t there anymore to call out everyone, on BOTH SIDES, like he always did. Obviously, Tom also needs to get a dictionary of what terms are racist, because he just called himself out as being one. Half Breed? Really? No wonder he fears Hendon, I guess too much “color” scares him.

    Comment by Sooooo... Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:54 pm

  56. The supreme irony here is how Tom engaged in a hugely over the top attack because of a perception that I defended a hugely over the top person. I’m not sure he quite appreciates what he did, but I thought it was perhaps the most “self unaware” piece he’s written in a while.

    Anyway, it was worth a giggle.

    And, no, Tom, I still won’t appear on your show. I stopped doing WLS when the station glorified Rod Blagojevich.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:04 pm

  57. Rich, it was definitely a giggle!

    Last note, I didn’t know that every time someone apologizes for something they said wrong, it shouldn’t be accepted. So, now forgiveness is considered too far left of an idea? Tom, you should “skulk” around and apologize to all of us “half breeds” immediately. At least Hendon recognizes when has has gone too far.

    Comment by Sooooo... Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:17 pm

  58. Hypocrites? Demagogues don’t believe they’re hypocritical, rather they’re rightous, Roser is proof of that.

    Comment by Wensicia Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:39 pm

  59. Sorry, ‘Roeser’.

    Comment by Wensicia Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:40 pm

  60. I find the Capital Fax to be “Fair and Balanced”
    I love reading it because we get all sides, and it gets you thinking.

    And Tom Roeser, has views to one side, and blinders to anything else.

    Comment by 3rd Generation Chicago Native Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:44 pm

  61. I know Fred Hampton Jr and his family and others involved with the Black Panthers as well as people in the CPD who did not like him–NEVER heard the nickname cash and carry Fred Hampton.

    Tom Roeser and Ricky Hendon share in common that they both called President Obama a half breed (as did Donne Trotter) and nicknames like “Halfrican American” and “I’m not going to fall for that banana in the tailpipe”

    Comment by Steve Saturday, Feb 26, 11 @ 4:47 pm

  62. Yep. My bad. Deleted.

    Comment by Rich Miller Saturday, Feb 26, 11 @ 5:59 pm

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