Alderman Natarus of the 42nd ward took a header yesterday in council chambers during debate on whether to call for immediate pull-out from Iraq. Sun-Times, relying on the highly professional Fran Spielman, gives the debate its own story. (The alderman is o.k., by the way.) She quotes opponents of the resolution — it passed 29–9 — to good effect:
Balcer of the 11th (the Daley ward, for non-Chicagoans) recalled “demoralizing” protests when he was serving in Viet Nam, from which he “still carries scars.” Cardenas of the 12th said, “We can’t turn our backs [on our troops] and say . . . that the lives that were lost were for no reason.” Burke of the 14th, saying he had opposed the war from the start, said, “anything we do to dilute or . . . undermine [soldiers’] morale is wrong.” Preckwinkle of the 4th (liberal Hyde Park) and Stone of the 50th were quoted in support of the resolution, Stone having oddly changed his mind when he saw 25 coffins being returned to Cleveland — as if he did not know soldiers die in war.
Chi Trib, on the other hand, collapsed the alderman-collapsing and pull-out vote into one story (Trib usually does not give the same weight to local coverage as S-T) and also quoted both sides but not Balcer the ‘Nam vet with bad memories of protest, characterizing the Burke statement with a “Burke fumed” (earlier “declared”) when the eminently useful “said” was applied to all others. In fact, it’s even “said” when Cardenas yelled “Call 9–11!” when Natarus fell.
It’s a little thing that injects color in the midst of data. Anyhow, Burke fumes a lot, doesn’t he? He generally looks as if he’s about to fume or just did. It’s his nature. Between the two stories, S-T’s is more interesting, though the pull-out ordinance sponsor, Moore of the 49th (Loyola U. territory), gave his rationale in the Trib for all to cheer or jeer: “It is the obligation of elected officials closest to the people,” he said [declared? noted? proclaimed? intoned?] to goad president and Congress to do the presumably right thing.
Yes, and it’s also a neat distraction from corruption in city hall. Not that Natarus collapsing isn’t too, but it’s hard to plan that.