Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blago Appoints Burris to Obama's Senate Seat

Why is Blago doing this?

Because HE CAN. Aside from the fact that this is a tainted appointment and that Roland Burris will never be seated by the U.S. Senate, while Burris may be personally "clean," he is 71 and is retired from elective politics after a long string of defeats (public repudiation, really). So, the inevitable perception is that Burris will be nothing more than a willing, or unwilling, placeholder for whoever is legitimately elected to Obama's vacated Senate seat. Which raises the LEGITIMACY issue all over again.

Bottom line: the appointment may be ILLEGITIMATE but it is CONSTITUTIONAL.

Accepting the appointment, Burris set himself up as the only person standing between economic chaos and peace and prosperity! Talk about hubris ...

Burris: "How much was it, $14,000? I gotta check my records (his law firm's), I didn't think we had that much to give to the governor."

Meanwhile, the Illinois legislature's impeachment proceedings, such as they are, have become a platform for Blago's competent lawyer, Ed Genson, to become the star of the show and cast aspersions on the entire process, as any counsel should do, with his "fighting shadows" and other media-friendly sound bites.

The Illinois impeachment committee look like a gathering of fools, sitting there with their paper name tags, while Genson holds court. There are no articles of impeachment, there are no witnesses called, there's no sense of direction, and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald indicated that the legislature is interfering with his investigation.

What are they deliberating about? With each passing day they look more and more like a foolish kangaroo court. The legislature couldn't even move quickly enough to enact legislation removing the Senate appointment power from the governor. Perhaps the tittilating release of the actual tapes, dangled as a possibility by Fitzgerald, may save the legislature from further embarrassment.

Blagojevich said he acted after the legislature FAILED to act on a special election to have the people decide. How appropriate. Congressman Bobby Rush defended the Burris appointment, saying "my prayers have been answered" that the governor would appoint an African American to the U.S. Senate. "Separate, if you will, the appointee from the appointor." He said Jesse White, Sec. of State, acted "prematurely" in stating he would not certify the Senate appointment.

Is it just me, or do Illinois politics look more like something out of a banana republic, circa 1950s? Corruption, pay-offs, buy-outs, dictatorial executive, rubber stamp legislature, corruption, outrageous political maneuvers, corruption ... Panis et Circenses, or to put it more parochially, pass the popcorn.

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