View Full Version : Senator Durbin and the Stupidity of Liberal Democrats in Illinois

07-01-05, 06:39 AM
Senator Durbin and the Stupidity of Liberal Democrats in Illinois
Written by Robert Klein Engler
Friday, July 01, 2005

The debate over recent remarks by Senator Dick Durbin on the floor of the U. S. Senate shows little sign of letting up. When Senator Durbin compared the forceful interrogation of a few detainees at Guantanamo Bay to the atrocities of the Soviet Gulag, many saw this analogy as excessive. David Wallace-Wells of “Slate” echoes this criticism but goes even farther. He quotes Jonah Goldberg who says, “While I can muster the requisite moral outrage if necessary, what really astounds me about Durbin’s comments is the political stupidity of it.”

Such political stupidity demands a retraction. The senator offered a halfhearted apology. He also spent a weekend going around the state, qualifying his words and talking to veterans' groups. Senator Durbin also said on the Senate floor: “More than most people, a senator lives by his words; occasionally words fail us, occasionally we will fail words.”

I understand that in the heat of passion, words may fail a speaker, but I have no idea how we can fail words. I bet the senator has no idea about that either. He was just more interested in turning a phrase than making an apology. Be that as it may, what many did not understand was how such a man as Dick Durbin could reach the high office of senator and why he would say what he did.

To understand Dick Durbin’s rise to power, you must understand something about Illinois and its politics. Illinois has been described as one of the most politically corrupt states in the union. The past Republican governor left office under the shadow of a driver’s license scandal. The current Democratic “boy governor” of the state can’t stop feuding in public with his father-in-law. A hired truck scandal is getting closer and closer to mayor Daley’s office in Chicago, and the voters of Illinois just elected to the U. S. Senate Barack Obama, who may soon turn into “Carol Mosley Braun lite.” Little wonder someone like Dick Durbin can be twice elected by Illinois to the U. S. Senate.

The state of Illinois is also similar to a country like Argentina. Politics in Argentina is dominated by its largest city, Buenos Aires. Politics in Illinois is in turn dominated by its largest city, Chicago. In Chicago, politics is controlled by the Clan of Bridgeport and the Democratic Party. For 50 years the Democrats and their brand of Chicago liberalism for the most part have set the agenda for the state of Illinois.

Dick Durbin is the candidate of Democratic Party politics in the Land of Lincoln. This is why he got elected to the Senate. It was not his character nor his oratory skills that secured him his office. If Durbin knows this explanation for his election, then he is complicit with it. If he does not know it, then he is indeed as politically stupid as his remarks on the Senate floor lead some to believe him to be.

Political stupidity is not unusual in government or the annals of psychoanalysis. Because our minds work on many levels, it is not unusual that we may do and say things for which our motives are unconscious. We are all sometimes stupid to ourselves. Sigmund Freud described some of these episodes of stupidity as “defense mechanisms of the ego.” Freud called one of these defense mechanisms Reaction Formation.

Reaction Formation happens when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is the opposite of what they really want. Senator Durbin’s remarks are a classic example of a defense mechanism of the ego necessitated by his belief in a Democratic Party ideology. In short, Senator Durbin could say what he did because his words were motivated by a reaction formation against the truth about the Democratic Party, a truth he cannot consciously face.

The truth is that in Illinois the Democrats have presided over more policies of “ethnic cleansing” than any alleged gulag at Guantanamo Bay. If the media would only concentrate on these policy disasters at home, instead of those halfway around the world, they would report about how 50 years ago in Chicago, Harper High School was one of the best schools in the city. Now, it is one of the worst. This decline happened under the leadership of the Democratic Party, the party Durbin represents. Harper High School changed from all white students to all black students over the past 50 years. The school also went from civilization to barbarism. It experienced an American, urban “ethnic cleansing” presided over by the Democrats. This is not to say that Harper High School is bad because black students attend the school—but it is to suggest that it has been allowed to deteriorate because black students attend the school.

Richard J. Daly College, located on Chicago’s southwest side, has also experienced “ethnic cleansing.” Daley College was a viable, working class college that is now almost an all-Latino college. The surrounding neighborhood is home to many illegal immigrants. Lives have been uprooted there, jobs lost, and the neighborhood transformed in the past 10 years. All of this happened under the Democrats in Chicago.

Blind to what is happening before his own eyes in Chicago, and hungry for the ethnic vote to keep his party in power, Senator Dick Durbin now lashes out at what is far away, in order to cover up his own failure at home. In the meantime, the Chicago media will ignore 50 years of failed Democratic policies in Chicago to report avidly a story of a single, missing teenager on the island of Aruba.

The scholar of urbanism, Lewis Mumford, remarked that the time of the Enlightenment was a time when people yearned for humanity and had no heart for their own neighbors; a time when they philosophized about the state and forgot the community. If there is a better description of the split in Dick Durbin’s consciousness and in the ideology of the Democratic Party, then I’d like to read it.

Senator Durbin philosophizes more about what happens to a few at Guatanamo Bay than about the many living on the southwest side of Chicago. He yearns for humanity in Iraq but has no heart for the people of Illinois. It should not come as a surprise to Senator Durbin that the Soviet Gulag was as much about human displacement as it was about political torture. Such human displacement is taking place in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois during Durbin’s watch. Every day this disruption is furthered by more and more illegal immigrants to the state.

The transformation of neighborhoods and disruption of lives that occurs in Illinois is not an inevitable social process. It is a social process aided and abetted by the Democratic Party for the sake of votes and power. Unfortunately, many voters in Illinois have not yet made sense out of their dislocation and suffering to effect a political conversion. The best they can do so far is say that they are Reagan Democrats and halfway question the failed ideology of liberalism.

Senator Dick Durbin, however, fully subscribes to this failed, liberal ideology. Yet, he cannot admit its failure, so he says just the opposite of what should be said. He claims the gulag is in Guantanamo Bay instead of his own back yard. What Dick Durban said in the U. S. Senate is a reaction formation to guard against his own lack of insight. That’s why you’ll hear more from the senator and others like him. There is much in their unconscious that drives the Democrats to be stupid.

About the Writer: Robert Klein Engler is an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a versatile writer of op-ed articles, poetry, and philosophy. His recent book, "A Winter of Words," is available from amazon.com.