A firestorm is raging all over Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in the fight of his political life.
It is a fight Rahm might not survive. If he does survive, he will be damaged goods, unfit for voter consumption and big wigs at the DNC know it.
It’s only been a week since the late release of the Laquan McDonald police shooting video
and the cracks in Emanuel’s once impervious political armor are visible.
Last week, thousands of protesters clogged Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district. Ducking for cover, the Chicago City Council’s Black Caucus — which backed Emanuel for re-election — are now crying, “they were misled” about the video.
Buckling under the pressure, Emanuel quickly
threw his top cop, Supt. Garry McCarthy under the bus Tuesday to quell public outrage.
Could Rahm be next?
Rahm isn’t just any Democrat. He served three terms as a Democratic congressman and was a senior adviser to two Democratic presidents, Obama and Bill Clinton.
The impact crater of this political crisis reaches beyond Chicago’s city limits. This is a national political crisis for President Obama and the national Democratic Party.
This is not a race story or even a police story. This is a cover-up by a Democratic mayor in a Democratic stronghold.
As the Watergate era-inspired mantra goes, ‘It’s not the crime, it's the cover-up.''
He’s Rahm the liar. The Democrat’s Nixon.
For 13 months, Emanuel, the Democrat, fought the public release of the police video showing the last moments of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald’s life.
The African American teen was shot 16 times by Chicago police officer, Jason van Dyke, who has now been charged with first-degree murder.
The video shows McDonald walking away from the officers — not lunging — before being shot. Crumpled on the ground, more shots are fired at the teen, and wisps of gunfire smoke are visible.
It wasn’t until a court ordered the release of the video that Emanuel and the City of Chicago was forced to comply with the state’s open records law. If it had been up to Rahm, the video may never have been released.
Just days after Rahm’s re-election in April, the Chicago city council rushed through a “quiet” taxpayer-funded $5 million payout to McDonald’s family without a lawsuit even though McDonald was a ward of the state.
The people want to know: Was this hush money? Why was this video suppressed for so long? Why didn’t the media report this? Why did it take a year to file charges against the officer? Was this politically motivated?
Of course, this was political. Rahm and his city council cronies were in a tough re-election fight. The video would have tilted the balance against them in the black community.
This isn’t the first time Team Emanuel has buried scandals for political gain and questions remain:
Why hasn’t there been more attention to the inspector general’s report
that the Chicago police department is manipulating violent crimes statistics?
Why did the federal kickback scandal involving Chicago public schools chief Barbara Byrd Bennett
break a week after Rahm’s re-election?
But does President Obama have the guts to act against his former Chief of Staff?
Does he have the political courage to demand, as he should have already done, a federal investigation into the powers that be at the state’s attorney office, the police department or the 5th floor of City Hall?
I don’t think he does. He’s too beholden to Chicago’s political ruling class.
The black community should take note.
To date, the president has offered only a tepid response
to the McDonald shooting — a single sentence on Facebook.
Contrast this with the president’s reaction to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson:
- Within a week of the shooting, Obama issued a statement, the FBI opened a civil rights investigation, and the White House sent three top officials to Brown’s funeral.
- Attorney General Eric Holder also visited Ferguson to meet with investigators.
So what should we make of Obama’s lack of reaction to this Chicago shooting? What message does this send to African American voters who have always considered the Democrat Party their political home?
Chicago has long been a symbol of Democratic power. Mayor Richard J. Daley once ruled this city for decades, greasing the machine’s wheels and churning out one political success after another.
In Chicago and nationally, the Democrat party’s lock on the African American vote is critical to maintaining that power.
Rahm has put all of this at risk and placed Obama in an uncomfortable position.
Rumors have circulated for years that Rahm was being groomed as a White House contender. Or perhaps a vice presidential pick for Hillary Clinton.
Instead, Emanuel will be known as the mayor who suppressed the Laquan McDonald video for political gain.
President Obama, this fireball is in your court.
William J. Kelly is an American producer, television and radio host, commentator, media strategist, and critic. In 1994, he ran for U.S. Congress. In 2015, he made waves when he busted the campaign finance caps in the Chicago mayor’s race. He is the founder of RevDigital, an independent TV and documentary production house. Kelly is a frequent contributor to The Washington Times, American Spectator, and others. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.