Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Slum-Times Columist Neil Steinberg Attacks Police
30 Mar 09
Police officers command automatic respect, particularly in numbers, and they do not engage in public protest often. So the Fraternal Order of Police picketing City Hall this coming Thursday, just as the International Olympic Committee rolls into town for a key visit, is shaping up to be the dramatic civic event of the week.
The idea, the FOP says, is to get Mayor Daley's attention, but I'm wondering if the cops have really thought this through. Isn't that sort of like getting a bull's attention by climbing over the fence and hitting it between the eyes with a plank? Great, now you've got its attention. What happens next?
If asked to toss out a few adjectives to describe our mayor, I'd probably start with "choleric" and "short-fused" but "vindictive" and "vengeful" wouldn't be far behind.
Actually, Daley and the cops make a matched set -- both habitually aggrieved, pretending they don't wield the power they do, hiding behind a false victimhood, treating each new problem that happens on their watch with shock, as if it were an unexpected bolt from the blue, and not a symptom of unaddressed perennial problems.
And while I'm not a gauge of public sympathy, my guess is that Joe Lunchbucket is not with the cops on this one. Between the drip-drip-drip of cop screw-up stories, plus a shuddering general economy rocked by daily mass layoffs and mandatory pay cuts, that 16 percent pay raise over five years the police are so offended by doesn't look that bad to most people -- I'd take it with both hands right now, but, alas, nobody is offering that to newspapermen.
The Chicago Police union might recognize this if they weren't so mad about everything all the time. While as individuals, police officers can be as calm, moderate and sensible as anyone else, somehow, as a group, being honked off has become a Chicago cop hallmark, the same tedious outrage served up daily on cheezedoffcop.com or whatever they call themselves. They don't realize that, if sputtering anger is the only flavor you sell, well, then it gets old, and people just tune you out. Just look at the mayor.
And for the record, yes, picketing is your right. But just because something is a right doesn't make it smart strategy. Anyway, there's no need to argue -- the picketing will occur, and we'll all see just how well it works. Because remember, Mayor Daley isn't going anywhere, he is absolutely fixated on the idea of getting the Olympics, he has a long memory, and paying back enemies is his idea of fun.
We have been without a contract since June of 2007 16% over 5 years is only 3.2 % a year its fair. The Mayor decided to pick this fight so yes we are going to fight back .
Today the slum-times filed bankruptcy I hope Mr. Steinberg is the first columnist cut