Twenty years ago, I lost my wallet in a hotel in Chicago after a Grateful Dead concert. The show was at Soldier Field, and after it was over the Hilton on Michigan Avenue was a gravitational force for lots of people, myself included. The wallet was found by someone, a Deadhead, I think, who then returned it to me in the mail. All cash (there couldn’t have been much of it), credit cards, driver’s license, everything was right there inside of the box that showed up at my door. It was then that I believed in the power of karma.
I had to have done some good things in my life, for my wallet to get returned to me like that. And whoever found it and sent it back was getting some good karma of their own. The more you do to help somebody, the more it comes back to you in the end.
But it works the other way, too. We see it in movies all the time. The villain gets what’s coming to him, and when it happens we don’t feel bad about it. And in real life, it happens too. Joe Ricketts is learning that the hard way right now.
I’m a big fan and supporter of President Obama. Not everyone is, and that’s fine with me. This is America, and disagreement is how we do it here. But when that disagreement is based on cultural differences, then it’s not all right by me. When someone calls the president “Barack Hussein Obama,” even though that’s his given name, they have a purpose for doing it. It’s to emphasize the idea that somehow, some way, Obama isn’t as “American” as he should be. It ties into race, religion, culture, and a general outlook on the world. Gerald Ford’s middle name was a very foreign-sounding “Rudolph,” but I doubt that any Republicans pointed that out. Or any Democrats, either.
So when the so-called “Ricketts Plan” surfaced in the news last week, it didn’t look good. “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama” might get some right-wingers happy, but it smells like a great big load of manure to me. And whether it was approved or not really is besides the point. The idea was bad enough. The former governor of Illinois isn’t serving time in prison for what he did, but for planning something that never came to pass. The Ricketts plan, while not a criminal act, is in that vein, too.
So the Cubs–the baseball team that he owns–still haven’t won a game since the plan became public. Karma is at work in that, I think. As deep as my Cubs loyalties run, I can’t take the Ricketts family line on this. You think Obama’s a bad president and doesn’t deserve a second term? Fine. Make that argument, but don’t build the case for it on the suggestion that Obama is “different,” and this alone should disqualify him from another term in office.
There’s a blowback involved with trying to use money to undermine the man who has put himself in harm’s way for all of us over the past three-and-a-half years. How long will the Cubs’ current losing streak last? I don’t know, but it’s proving a point, at least to me, about how you eventually get what’s coming to you, one way or another.
UPDATE: The losing streak is at twelve games and counting.