Right around the year 2000, the American dream of a home, a family, and a white picket fence died and was replaced by the American dream of a scandal, nationwide notoriety, and a television reality show. Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich stayed true to his American dream when he got thrown out of office for being a villainously corrupt politician. He dutifully appeared on all the news shows, as well as some non-newsy talk shows, and even landed a book deal and a guest spot on a radio station.
Blagojevich made it clear that he only wanted to do the program in order to support his children, not because he wanted to spend a few weeks in a sunny Central American country with a gaggle of other Z-listers.
"It's not my first choice, but it's a living," he told reporters. He could have earned a big ol' sack of cash -- up to $123,000 if he didn't get kicked off the show.
Now he has been denied the right to make a living by some judge, who wants him to stick around to "read the government's evidence" against him in his upcoming court case.
The loss is both Blagojevich's and the nation's: lost income for him, lost joy and learning for the rest of us, and lost dreams for all.