The Art of Politics Noir

Our politicians walk between the light of best intentions and the darkness of our times.


Steele is both a warrior and an apologist. The man just isn’t cool enough to be a super villain.


Heroes and villains do not appoint themselves. Anyone who builds a monument to their own perceived greatness may be a narcissist or egomaniac, but definitely not a great leader.

Roland Burris has neither a cape nor a cowl. No souped-up car or secret headquarters. No grand, altruistic plan for saving his city and its people. But he does have the uncanny ability to dodge bullets. In his public identity as an Illinois senator, Burris just managed to avoid being ousted by his peers.

However, the chances of his future success are bleak, so do not look for any T-shirts with the face of Roland Burris. He shall not appear in any comic books. No collector’s item value whatsoever.


As the fictional Baltimore politician in HBO’s now-departed, critically acclaimed show The Wire, Clay Davis had all the qualities of a villain. The people loved him, and the politicos hated him. He scammed angels and devils alike. Davis benefited from the money in other people’s pockets, and he used the power of his enemies against them.

With his charisma, nicely tailored costumes and a smile for both the officers of law and agents of iniquity, Davis became a player, a pimp and a legend.

Unlike both Michael Steele and Roland Burris, Clay Davis knew how to dig tunnels through which to escape instead of holes in which to bury himself. He didn’t backpedal or hesitate. His charm was the shield with which to deflect all attacks from his enemies.