When Mayor Daley chose policy over politics, after he had secured his power, when he turned to academics outside of public service to call the shots - remember Frank Kruesi*? - Daley's fortunes turned south of north. CTA Policy? There's a head-scratcher. Ron Huberman is a protected species ( BTW, Who is Huberman's real Chinaman?)and generally follows in the wake of every Policy Disaster to a newer and more calamitous disaster - now with Public Schools.
Policy works for the candidate who has no record of service, much less of accomplishment.
Policy begins with an Agenda and the scary thing is who sets that agenda. It is promulgated by some written document - like the one Mike Quigley had drawn up by the University of Chicago when he thought that he might take over County Government - didn't happen.
The Small Schools Policy had less to do with getting fewer kids in the classroom than it did to allow Billy Ayers and Mike Klonsky the opportunity to play urban guerrilla in the classroom - kids are still learning next to nothing.
Policy is what ineffective political wannabees buzz - budget pie-charts, agenda advocacy groups, think tank wizards, political panjandrums ( people with only a tangible touch to political life-usually inherited).
Politics is the means by which government gets things done. Thus - Policy: No Smoking ban and the effect upon bar owners and the tax-base. Fewer or no cigarettes smoked and fewer dollars to the tax-base raised by Policy Wonks.
Moving out of Bridgport allowed Mayor Daley to embrace Policy and divorce himself from political accountability. He was no longer answerable to Gert, Tim, Stosh, Curtis and Jorge - Policy, Folks, Policy.
Politics requires accountability. Obligations to individuals does not allow for a universal answer of Policy in all things.
Policy pours lead paint over common sense.
Politics requires common sense and hard work. The people who can not get two people to to support their run for office depend upon Policy to change voting laws.
Mayor Daley depended upon Policy as political cover and as a sop to the howlers.
The Howlers are unleashed and that, I believe, will be Mayor Daley's Legacy.
We will have policy aplenty, God Help Us!
Policy, Dave, was once a euphemism for gambling . . .Oh, it still is . . .and a very bad gamble at that.
*Frank Kruesi is the former President of the Chicago Transit Authority. He resigned in April 2007 after serving 9½ years. He is now an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to his time at CTA, he was the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation.