Stop Talking And Do Something

The Obama transition speaks out about the Burris pick:

Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it. I believe the best resolution would be for the Governor to resign his office and allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession to take place. While Governor Blagojevich is entitled to his day in court, the people of Illinois are entitled to a functioning government and major decisions free of taint and controversy.

I guess I just fundamentally disagree with what is going on here. We have a system of justice, and there are rules that govern how things happen in this country, even in Illinois. Gov. Blagojevich has been convicted of approximately nothing right now. Yes, there is some damning information and audio out there, and I think I have even called him corrupt in the past, but right now it really irritates me the way things are playing out. All of these folks are playing games and looking for the easy way out, Obama included.

If Blagojevich is so corrupt that he can not appoint an innocent and good man to take the seat, then the Democrats needs to do something about it. He can be impeached. They could have had a special election (something Blago supported, I believe). But sitting around beating our breasts and saying “he should resign for the good of the state and the country” is not cutting it, and unless and until the Democrats stop pussyfooting around and do something, they should all just shut up and cope. Right now, Blagojevich is by legal standards not guilty of anything, and he is well within his rights to appoint someone to that seat.

And all this pearl-clutching makes me want to vomit. If there is room in Washington for William Jefferson all these years, who was caught with 90 large in his freezer, or David Vitter, who was caught in his didy being spanked by a hooker, or any number of others, there is room for Roland Burris, who hasn’t done anything wrong.

We are a nation of rules, after all. How about we follow them rather than creating all this damned drama? Blagojevich will have his day in court, but for now he is legally the governor, he is legally carrying out his duties, and unless and until the Democrats grab the stones to get rid of him, they should suck it up and deal with his pick. All this gamesmanship and posturing is irritating.

*** Update ***

From the comments:

Also not sure why you don’t realize that a lot of what you call posturing is fairly astute maneuvering for the purpose of cutting off at the knees the inevitable Republican and MSM charges of the Senate Dem caucus’s acquiescence to a totally bent governor. We’ve been bitching for years about how Republicans mostly never let out a peep when one of their own gets busted; we’re now supposed to hand the media, the GOP and low-information voters the kind of ammunition they’d get from our blithely accepting a Blago pick for the seat he tried to sell? It’s not like we’re protesting him fulfilling a function of his office that’s wholly unrelated to the charges against him, after all.

Probably right. I guess I just hate pile-ons, even when they are directed at folks who probably are guilty. Come to think of it, I guess I just detest politics.

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119 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Stuck says:

    25 large in his freezer

    I think is was 90 large. Not to be pedantic or anything.

  2. 2
    Scott de B. says:

    There is a sitting impeachment panel preparing charges against Blagojevich, although it has run into the problem that Fitzgerald has declined to present his evidence against Blago to the committee.

  3. 3
    bayville says:

    I would like to disagree with a part of Commrade John’s post but unfortunately he has hit this one out of the park.

  4. 4
    evie says:

    The impeachment process is moving forward, it just can’t happen overnight. And surely you know that criminality and impeachment are two different things. Blago is an asshole of the highest order, clearly unfit for office, more evidence of which we have today where he made the most cynical move possible in choosing a senate replacement — and injected race into the whole thing to boot.

    Seems to me you’re the one clutching pearls here.

  5. 5
    KLG says:

    Eggszackly, John. You are new to this side, but as you already well know, Dems have elevated pearl clutching to a fine art. I fear that Obama will enable more of this ridiculous, self-defeating, and perhaps self-hating behavior.

  6. 6
    shortstop says:

    If Blagojevich is so corrupt that he can not appoint an innocent and good man to take the seat, then the Democrats needs to do something about it. He can be impeached.

    That’s in process. It takes a few weeks.

    They could have had a special election (something Blago supported, I believe).

    Not possible given the busted state budget.

    Not sure why you’re ignoring these points; although you may not have been aware of the second one, surely everyone paying attention knows about the first. Also not sure why you don’t realize that a lot of what you call posturing is fairly astute maneuvering for the purpose of cutting off at the knees the inevitable Republican and MSM charges of the Senate Dem caucus’s acquiescence to a totally bent governor. We’ve been bitching for years about how Republicans mostly never let out a peep when one of their own gets busted; we’re now supposed to hand the media, the GOP and low-information voters the kind of ammunition they’d get from our blithely accepting a Blago pick for the seat he tried to sell? It’s not like we’re protesting him fulfilling a function of his office that’s wholly unrelated to the charges against him, after all.

  7. 7
    Comrade Stuck says:

    The only things I worry about are; Is Burris free of corrupt IL politics. 2 is he capable of doing the job 2 Is there a good chance the people will reelect hiim.

    And every answer I hear to the first two things are yes and yes respectively. And that being true, makes him such a rare animal in the IL pol sewer, the people will be so happy to find one honest and competent politician in their state, and maybe make him into a God of sorts, or a full term Senator.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    We are a nation of rules, after all. How about we follow them rather than creating all this damned drama?

    We stopped being a nation of laws around Nixon. We stopped being a nation of rules around the Clinton impeachment.

    Impeachment has become the empty cannon with the wet gunpowder in politics today. Always off the table.

  9. 9
    Mike B. says:

    If Blagojevich is so corrupt that he can not appoint an innocent and good man to take the seat, then the Democrats needs to do something about it.

    An innocent and good man would refuse to be appointed by someone accused of Blagojevich’s crimes, for the simple reason that his good name is at stake. It’s nearly as important to avoid the appearance of impropriety as it is to avoid impropriety itself–if Burris takes office under these circumstances, he does so with zero confidence from his constituents.

    The fact that he’s both doing so and trying to race-bait his way into keeping the seat long-term, while not saying a word against the least popular Democrat in the country…well, it doesn’t bode well for the Democratic party’s chances of getting to 60 seats in two years.

  10. 10
    The Other Steve says:

    If Democrats started talking about the Rule of Law when it involved a corrupt Democrat… they would be attacked as weak on corruption.

    It’s really that simple.

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    @evie:

    The impeachment process is moving forward, it just can’t happen overnight.

    This is basically it. The government doesn’t move much faster than this at its best days.

    Dems asked Blago nicely not to select a Senator because it would look improper. I’m sure someone sent him a Sternly Worded Letter. Blago flipped everyone the bird and appointed a guy all the same.

    If the Dems had all just bobbed their heads and gone along with it, they’d have looked like all those idiots applauding Stevens’s return to the Senate after his indictment or Vitter returning to the Senate after getting caught with a diapered hooker.

  12. 12
    slip says:

    As a Chicagoan, I can tell you that Roland Burris is indeed a fine man. He is a fine dem. machine hack of a man, who is so accustomed to doing what he is told to do, I suspect he agreed to accommodate Blagojevich out of reflex. The only chance Blagojevich had in playing this game was to find someone stupid enough to play along. Roland Burris is that man. Blagojevich is displaying the conscience of a bank robber who returns to the scene of his crime to open a savings account. If you seat Burris in the Senate, Blagojevich has played you for a sucker.

  13. 13
    Reverend Dennis says:

    If Blagojevich appoints Burris who is then seated in the Senate the Republicans will bray that Burris is tainted.
    If Blagojevich appoints Burris who is then refused his Senate seat by the Dem leadership the Republicans will bray that the Dems are ignoring the rule of law.
    In either case, the yakocracy will immediately begin dark speculations about the transparency, honesty, intentions, etc. of the Obama administration.

  14. 14
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Mike B.:

    The fact that he’s both doing so and trying to race-bait his way into keeping the seat long-term, while not saying a word against the least popular Democrat in the country…well, it doesn’t bode well for the Democratic party’s chances of getting to 60 seats in two years.

    Yea, I heard Jim Warren saying pretty much the same thing earlier today, but haven’t been keeping up since then. It seems the Blago has the dem party by the short hairs right now. Maybe not the best choice, but if he’s clean, and there are a lot of rocks to be turned over on him in the coming days, then he will probably be seated. I don’t think Reid can stop that, although he could work to then start unseating him. And it doesn’t stop somebody else from running for the seat in two years. Democrats, you gotta love the Idjit Ballet they put on.

  15. 15
    C says:

    "I guess I just hate pile-ons, even when they are directed at folks who probably are guilty"

    Really, though. You’re so used to legitimate contenders being piled-on that there’s the tendency to want to defend the victim regardless of legitimate criticism.

    There are a few incidents in which the media and the blogs’ criticism coincides, and in those cases it’s probably a good idea to think before any of us kneejerk :)

    Also, Blago’s smug racism stinks of the GOP, not what I want from the Dems.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    We are a nation of rules, after all. How about we follow them rather than creating all this damned drama?

    John, I just woke up and I had this dream that I’d been living for eight years under a nutjob Republican President and this wackjob woodsman named Daryll. Or maybe it was Dick. And everyone was just crazy, there were no rules at all, or what rules there were made no sense and were completely capricious.

    Maybe it was that Japanese food I had before I went to bed.

  17. 17
    MarkusB says:

    I agree with your earlier point, John, that Blagojevich is just doing the only thing he can do (other than falling on his sword), which is to just continue to proclaim his innocence and keep on governerin’. But I don’t extend that to say that interested parties in the Democratic camp should just nod their heads and say, "yes, yes, you are innocent until proven guilty, and we shall surely take this nomination seriously even though it appears highly likely to anyone with eyes and ears that you tried to sell this very seat for money. This, in spite of our explicit warning in advance that we would likely not consider such an appointment."

    You don’t punish someone (throw in prison, levy fines) without a conviction, but that doesn’t mean you whistle Dixie and act like nothing’s happened (although the GOP seems to be pretty good at this). And speaking of the GOP, I agree with other posters here that if the Dems act soft on this guy, the Repubs will hammer them over the heads with it.

  18. 18

    I think the whole "I’m govenor, I get to pick the senator" stinks.

    But, Illinois should change its rules.

    I think Burris should have refused the appointment. Then the Democrats do an investigation, and if he’s clean, "insist" that he takes it.

    Either way, it would be a good support of the rule of law that if Blago goes down, Burris work with the Illinois legislature to hold a special election. Not only would it look cool, it would be great political theater

    But hey, power is power and its hard to turn down.

  19. 19
    tom p says:

    Gov. Blagojevich has been convicted of approximately nothing right now.

    John, I have to point something out: This gives Blago the right to continue walking the streets as a free man. It does not give him the privelage of continuing to serve as Gov.

    Even Nixon knew when it was time to cash in his chips.

  20. 20

    The Democratic Party is in a pickle.

    1. If Blago is impeached, he will take down the Illinois leadership during the hearings. Which is why I am doubtful that the Illinois leadership will impeach him.
    2. If Blago is not impeached, he will be a lead TV subject for probably years as the wheels of Justice turn.

    If Blago’s ability to name the Senator is ‘fucking golden’, his ability to harass the system and threaten the Obama Administration is pick-your-adjective Platinum. And the value probably doubled today.

    I’m to the point where I trust none of these guys, except perhaps the Oklahoma Senators, but do admit that this is fun to watch. At least taxpayers are being provided with entertainment. That picture headlining Drudge is very good.

  21. 21
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    A point that is being missed is how astutely Blagojevich threw the Illinois Dems under the bus for not holding a special election. Say what you want about that crazy fucker, he made a cold blooded political move today. For one no matter what Harry Reid says or even BHO for that matter, the Supreme Court has already set a precedent for Burris being able to take that seat. For two like Blago said, if the Dems had just passed the legislation for a special election he never would have "had’ to do it. For three RACE CARD BAY BEE! For four ask yourself a question, do you REALLY think Harry Reid has the balls to keep this story going indefinitely by trying to keep Burris out and opening himself up to a Supreme Court case over the matter? And last but not least, the guy is actually qualified and has won a state wide race for comptroller something like 3 times along with being a form AG of Illinios.

    Folks im thinking Blago was a Rethug in a former life or something because this move was nothing if not evil genius.

  22. 22
    Walter Sobchak says:

    We are a nation of rules, after all.

    I agree, this isn’t Nam. There are rules.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    Folks im thinking Blago was a Rethug in a former life or something because this move was nothing if not evil genius.

    Outmaneuvering Senate Dems in general and Harry Reid in particular hardly qualifies one as a genius, evil or otherwise.

  24. 24
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    @John Cole

    Outmaneuvering Senate Dems in general and Harry Reid in particular hardly qualifies one as a genius, evil or otherwise.

    Touche, BUT would you have ever expected anyone with a D behind their name to pull some shit like this? And I am not talking in terms of the move being right or wrong, I am talking about having the cojones to do it.

  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    Outmaneuvering Senate Dems in general and Harry Reid in particular hardly qualifies one as a genius, evil or otherwise.

    Yeah, George Bush does it all the time.

  26. 26
    Laura W says:

    Geez Louise, John…looks like you sailed right out of that Doldrums Sea you was a flounderin’ around in.
    I picked the wrong day to stop snorting coke work outside the home.
    (Kidding! In case a business associate sees this, KIDDING on the coke issue. Seriously.
    /snark?)
    Back to skimming threads in progress…

  27. 27
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yeah, George Bush does it all the time.

    Not for long. They’re packing up the Banana Boat for the money cruise to Pitchfork, Paraguay. George has his box of Pretzels and the time to finish My Pet Goat. Cheney will pack his sunblock and itty bitty Electric Heart and a fistful of Peso’s for the Senorita’s (yuck). They will both have an Easy Button to fuck with all of us and tap our phones any time they want.

  28. 28
    jerry 101 says:

    There are several problems with the special election.

    1. It’s Unconstitutional. The Illinois Constitution requires Senate appointments to be made by the Governor. A special election would first require a Constitutional Amendment. After realizing this, Illinois Democrats backed off the Special Election front. It doesn’t help that…

    2. Illinois Democrats (and National Republicans) are smart enough to realize that there will be an anti-Democratic backlash in any special election, resulting (probably) in Senator Mark Kirk.

    Furthermore, Rod Blagojevich is delusional, on a George Bush level. He will not resign. Impeachment is going forward, but Illinois Democrats are a bit reluctant to impeach their own, even if he is hated by about 80% of Democrats in this State. They also don’t want to have egg on their faces by screwing with the Federal prosecution, and end up with Blago being acquitted after removing him from office.

    The impeachment may fail if certain pieces of evidence being held by Fitz aren’t offered up to the impeachment committee. So far, Democrats on the impeachment committee have been unwilling to subpeona evidence that Fitz is holding until going to trial. There is also, probably, some dumbasses in the Illinois Legislature who don’t know the difference between a criminal prosecution by a Federal prosecutor and an inherently political trial by a legislative body, and resultingly don’t think they should mess with the Fitz.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about the pissing match between Blagojevich and Mike Madigan though. Madigan and the other Dems who want Blago to be gone and block him from making the appointment will try to throw up every roadblock they can (SoS White refusing to certify, which will lead to a lawsuit, which SoS White probably loses, compelling him to certify, which kicks it up to the Senate, which tries to block the appointment, resulting in a lawsuit, which results in…?)

    Hopefully, that gives the Illinois State House and Senate time to impeach and remove. Before the Senate has to vote on whether or not to seat Burris.

    The sad thing is this could have been avoided had Blago been willing to play ball instead of trying to screw everyone on his way down. Burris could have easily been appointed as a caretaker with advance blessing from Madigan, Durbin, and even Obama (or a surrogate). Once Burris had such blessing, then Blago could have said that he was appointing the guy everyone else wanted, not his guy. Burris could have said he won’t run for re-elect, and the matter would have been resolved.

    But, Blago is a delusional imbecile.

  29. 29
    jerry 101 says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    Yeah, that’s Rod Blagojevich for you.

    He’s our own little Democratic George Bush.

    He knows politics. He knows how to screw everyone else.

    He sucks as a governor and he pisses everyone off though.

    Plus he’s corrupt.

    But he knows how to play politics. He destroyed Judy Baar Topinka in a matter of weeks after she won the Republican nomination for Governor.

    He took the most popular Republican in Illinois and made her about as popular as a child molester.

    He is slick.

  30. 30
    maya says:

    It’s already apparent that "taint" will be the overworked word for 2009. I used to think it meant that warm dark region between the asshole and genitals. Perhaps it still does.

  31. 31

    I agree with the Obama statement, and the update from the comments.

    In politics, you put distance between yourself and somebody as toxic as Blago.

    Politics and government are not a blog.

  32. 32
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @jerry 101:

    But, Blago is a delusional imbecile

    Yes, but unfortunately he’s our delusional imbecile.

  33. 33
    Punchy says:

    the inevitable Republican and MSM charges of the Senate Dem caucus’s acquiescence to a totally bent governor

    Oh go fuck off (in a nice way). We JUST HAD A FUCKING ELECTION. Our side won–by a shitload. Why the fuck does the Weak Saucers always get the fucking vapors worrying about what a dead party of old southern crackers say about the party that’s got about a big a majority as possible nowadays. Why the fuck does the majority need to give two shits about what some ideologically dead, vapid assholes in complete party dissarray spew about a NON-CONVICTED gov undertaking his CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED appointment?

    Fucking christ on the short bus.

  34. 34

    Why the fuck does the majority need to give two shits about what some ideologically dead, vapid assholes

    Stop doing my schtick.

    I can’t live on Social Security, ya know. I need this job.

  35. 35
    Laura W says:

    @Punchy: I am pretty sure that is the longest comment I’ve ever seen you post. (Of course, I probably missed several others.) You must be passionate!
    Heretofore, you were the king of the one liners, in my feeble mind.
    Oh, I get it: Punchy!

  36. 36
    Silver Owl says:

    Blago fucked himself royally. Then found out he didn’t like it much and decides to be a petulant asshole to sooth his messed up ego he’s going to "stick it to someone".

    Don’t know about you, I’m tired of messed up, ill raised assholes with over inflated egos and a false sense of entitlement shitting all over the house expecting everyone to clean up after them.

    America definitely raised a whole lot of fucked up adults. The generations coming up do not have anything on the asshole adults we have now.

  37. 37
    david heron says:

    Not sure where the thought that the senate has a choice of who to seat in the senate comes from. The rules say it is the Governor who makes the appointment, so unless we want to have different rules that are unknown until needed, as we have for the last eight years, we need to go with what we got on the books. I am not happy with the Governors actions, but the U.S. Senate has little choice in who to seat. Unless it an issue of nationality they don’t have much to say.

  38. 38
    Punchy says:

    You must be passionate!

    I’m just sick of this pattern of acquiesence when in the minority, such that Dems may one day become the majority. Then, acquiesce (sp?) as the majority, so fearful of becoming the minority again. Always looking over one’s shoulder, fearing some toothless, worthless, racist fucks bitching incessantly about what the public has finally realized is complete bullshit from them.

    Shorter: Dems need to grow the fuck up.

  39. 39
    KG says:

    We have a system of justice, and there are rules that govern how things happen in this country, even in Illinois.

    Um, have you not been paying attention the last 15 years? We have two sets of rules, one for the rich and powerful and one for the rest of us.

    The rules for the rich and powerful can be summed up thusly: fuck it, there are no consequences to any of your actions. See: Clinton, Bill re lying under oath in grand jury testimony (something that would have sent the rest of us to jail without passing go or collecting $200); George W Bush re lying to start an unnecessary war and then fucking up the execution completely (no impeachment, no censure, no resounding defeat when seeking re-election); the financial "sector"; the "Big 3"; and Joe Liberman.

    The rules for the rest of us can be summed up thusly: you’re fucked. See: bankruptcy law; drug laws; tax laws; any attempt to litigate a mortgage fraud case (I am a plaintiff’s attorney on a few of these cases and am basically getting a middle finger from banks).

    I’m fairly libertarian in my leanings and don’t really much trust those in power to begin with, so my perception may be a bit skewed. But really, some days I think we’re closer to an oligarchy than we are a republic.

  40. 40
    jenniebee says:

    Nate Silver offers some helpful information:

    The notion that the Democrats can refuse to seat Roland Burris out of hand is, at best, constitutionally dodgy. This is because of the Supreme Court’s 1967 Powell v McCormack decision, in which it ruled that the Congress’s power to judge the qualifications of its members is expressly limited to the conditions mentioned in the Constitution (e.g. age, residency, and U.S. Citizenship). If the Congress wants to deny membership for any other reason, it has another power, which is expulsion. Although the power of expulsion is much broader than the power of exclusion, it comes with a higher price tag: two-thirds of the Senate must vote to expel one of its members rather than a simple majority.

    Given this, Reid and the Democrats have essentially three strategies they could pursue if and when Burris’s name comes before the Senate Chamber:

    1) Attempt to exclude Burris by majority vote, almost certainly inviting a court challenge.

    2) Attempt to expel Burris after seating him.

    3) Bluff at either of the above, but with the ultimate expectation that Burris will be seated.

  41. 41
    The Moar You Know says:

    The generations coming up do not have anything on the asshole adults we have now.

    @Silver Owl: I think when my cohort (the Gen Xers) get their hands on the levers of power, we all may be longing for the good old days when quality folk like Sarah Palin were running for office.

  42. 42

    Not sure where the thought that the senate has a choice of who to seat in the senate comes from. The rules say it is the Governor who makes the appointment, so unless we want to have different rules that are unknown until needed, as we have for the last eight years, we need to go with what we got on the books. I am not happy with the Governors actions, but the U.S. Senate has little choice in who to seat. Unless it an issue of nationality they don’t have much to say.

    Oh, a Constitutional expert, huh? Apparently not. Check out Article 1, Section 5:

    Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

    Do you get it now?

  43. 43

    The notion that the Democrats can refuse to seat Roland Burris out of hand is, at best, constitutionally dodgy.

    That may be true, but, it does present the question of whether an amendment should be introduced regarding possibly corrupt people being appointed to seats.

    It sounds like Reid is ready to lay his career on the line for this (a wholly uncomforting idea, since he is almost always a weak opposition leader)… still, it does find a hole in the Constitution document that may need to be remedied, and that, to me, seems like a good thing.

  44. 44
    cynickal says:

    Personally, if I were playing cards with Reid, I’d double down with every hand and bluff him out of his shorts with a broken straight.

    The guy folds faster than an accordion at a polka fest.

  45. 45
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII:

    The section you cite concerns elections and since there is a specific constitution call for only Governors to appoint, makes for a shaky stretch to the qualifications standard, which applies to the selected and doesn’t apply to Blago who hasn’t been convicted of anything yet anyway.

  46. 46
    Headache says:

    Blagojevich will have his day in court, but for now he is legally the governor, he is legally carrying out his duties, and unless and until the Democrats grab the stones to get rid of him

    Impeachment takes time, and impeaching a Governor charged with making brazen back room deals takes even more time in Illinois. The ones doing the impeaching down in Springfield have a great deal of back room deals to do themselves. Successors need to be determined, allegiances needs to be bought, etc.

    The mind boggling audacity of Blago’s misdeeds are of Bush-like proportions. The patronage system in Illinois is simply not designed to turn on this dime.

    And for what it’s worth, Burris, being a rather benign fellow but a creature of Illinois politics nonetheless, deserves no pity. Anybody dumb enough to accept an appointment from a Governor in this much hot water doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, much less a Senate seat.

  47. 47

    Stuck, does it? It cites elections, returns and qualifications "of its own members". If Burris is appointed, doesn’t that make him a member? I’m not saying it’s a cut and dried issue, but, I think it introduces a situation that needs to be considered. Appointees have to have qualifications too, don’t they?

  48. 48
    Duke of Earl says:

    @Reverend Dennis:

    In either case, the yakocracy will immediately begin dark speculations about the transparency, honesty, intentions, etc. of the Obama administration.

    I concur, this is a lose-lose proposition.

  49. 49
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII:

    Appointees have to have qualifications too, don’t they?

    Well yea, but that applies to Burris only, not the appointer. He was once the IL Attorney General and has been in gov a long time. I don’t think Reid can assign his disdain for a still sitting and unconvicted gov with his powers still intact, to Burris. And the constitution is most powerful when it states specifically where a power is to be. And it does so with govs to appoint senators without an advise and consent clause for anyone else. Reid could try it, but I don’t think he will. He made a threat he likely can’t carry out, But then again you could be right.

  50. 50
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Appointees have to have qualifications too, don’t they?

    What, then, are Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications?

  51. 51
  52. 52
    jon says:

    Have the Illionois Democrats appoint a commission to look into this and all other names, suggest suitable candidates, give Blogojevich his cathartic tongue-lashing while providing cover for his eventual choice, and the whole thing will have outside vetting with inside choosing. Everyone wins if the charade has a strongly-worded anti-Blogojevich summary report, a Senator is chosen (by the committee, of course,) and it will provide plenty of time to impeach the Governor while still letting him act as what he is: Governor.

    The risk: Illinois Democrats have to put up with some bad press until the impeachment starts, the impeachment–which already seems like a political stunt to quash criticism, which is because that’s exactly what it is–becomes even more of a fait accompli, and the Democratic Senators will have to find a way to accept the blatantly obvious plan as a valid one.

    It will work if the appointee of Blogojevich is willing to step down after impeachment, even if it’s only for a day or two until appointed by the successor.

  53. 53
    whatsleft says:

    What, then, are Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications?

    $$$ SATSQ

  54. 54
    leo says:

    I agree with your earlier point, John, that Blagojevich is just doing the only thing he can do (other than falling on his sword), which is to just continue to proclaim his innocence and keep on governerin’.

    You have to keep in mind that this is just the latest episode in a drama that’s been unfolding for at least two years now. The arrest was just the frosting on the cake of an administration whose hallmark was a sort of chaotic misrule and self-deception that’s completely stalled desperately needed progress in this state.

    We didn’t suddenly wake up a week or so ago and find Blago, otherwise a competent administrator, mysteriously arrested. Instead what we found was a wreak of a government with him at its head, involved in yet another mess of his own making — this time with potential jail time at the end of it.

    Reason enough to impeach and to limit the damage of any of his actions until he’s safely packed away and no longer in a position to do us harm.

  55. 55
    Silver Owl says:

    The Moar You Know,

    It will be a minimum of two generations before the conservatives can even attempt to cleanse the stench and rot from their own ranks. lol

    The whole marketing scheme of blowing smoke up everyone’s ass is pretty much worn out. While some gen xers and their elders may think fantasies of fucking the next gop candidate is great for a boner and popping a load while on the couch, the rest aren’t so eager for crap fairy tales nor screwed up personal issues about sex.

  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    Let’s get this clear, for all of Harry Reid’s blustering, I don’t know if they have the law on their side. The closest Supreme Court precedent is Adam Clayton Powell’s case, and the House lost that one.

    As for Jesse White (Secretary of State of Illinois) bullshitting that he won’t certify it, let’s just say he’s old and Black folk aren’t going to tolerate that BS from him. They won’t be forgiving.

    LMAO at Bobby Rush. Absolutely hilarious.
    I guess I take a different view of this because this is local to me. But, politics in Chicago hasn’t been this entertaining since the days of Council Wars.

    I am absolutely OK with this. I look at this through a local lens. Roland Burris is totally fine as a candidate. Black folk in Chicago want to put a Black person in the Senate. We see absolutely nothing wrong with Burris being the choice. Can he win in a Democratic Primary in 2010 – who knows. But, by 2010, Blago will probably be in an orange jumpsuit, and taken down several other folks with him. Burris will have the incumbency and his own voting record. At the very least, even if he doesn’t run for election, you would have given another Black candidate, the chance to begin from the starting line just like anyone else. This is about local politics, and we wish the President-Elect the best, but we have to take care of local Black folks. And, like I said, I wanna see Harry Reid take this to court.

    Black folk are ‘ suspect’ of the entire Blago takedown. Doesn’t sound right to us. Plus, if you’ve lived under King Richard Daley II, who has had pretty much EVERYONE around him arrested, indicted and convicted – it will take a lot to convince Black folks that Blago is the worst person, or even the worst Illinois crook. Blago’s only been around 7 years, and he’s been fighting with all the folks that have made Black folks’ lives miserable in Illinois for a long time before we heard his name. He probably is stupid. Crooked – yep. But, consider the crookdom that we’ve seen up close and personal, Blago just isn’t this scary bogeyman national media wants to make him out to be.

    I forgot to add that another impetus for this is the LOSS of Emil Jones as the President of the Illinois Senate. Jones has been very good to the Black community, fighting for it, cause we know how we are NOT served by Massa Michael Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House. That adds another level to this political drama.

    Funniest comment I read all day:

    Blago done pulled a shank out from underneath his perfectly coiffed hair and cut all them mofos and there’s not a damn thing any of them can do about it except put a Hello Kitty band-aid on the situation and call it a day

  57. 57
    srv says:

    John,

    You should submit something to Jon Swifts’ Best Blog Posts of 2008.

  58. 58
    bill glass says:

    i applaud blago for sticking it right in their faces. he’s still the governor and nothing – even the supreme court – will be able to block this appointment. add to that the racial component and, it will be defintely entertaining.

  59. 59
    joe from Lowell says:

    I second the host on Harry Reid.

    The man’s testicles suck up into his abdominal cavity whenever a Republican looks at him funny, but he’ll squash an inconvenient Democrat in a heartbeat.

  60. 60

    […] just that the shit Roland had to put up with was widespread on the left side of the ’sphere (even among good contrarians, like John Cole), and you know […]

  61. 61

    In case anyone missed it, I dutifully submit a transcript of Congressman Rush’s oration.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    Not that anyone cares, but I just fell off the wagon. I think I made it almost five weeks without watching Hardball, but there it was at midnight, on rerun, and the seductive mistess sucked me back in again.

    I feel dumber for watching it, and I know it is no good for me, but I just can’t help myself.

  63. 63

    It happens to many of us John. Sigh. Congratulations on the recognition.

  64. 64
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    Funhouse Proverb #46 — If you ain’t a little bit dumb, you can’t know what’s going on.

  65. 65
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    @John Cole

    You should have seen "the decider" yesterday. Matthews did a pretty good job of shitting on Bush for almost the whole hour. Don’t get me wrong, all he did was give a factually based account of the Bush years but there was little to no spin and it was brutal in different parts.

    Thats the only thing about Hardball, you have to pick your spots but you never know whether it will be a good night or a turd sandwhich.

    But if you want to feel better I suggest this clip from "Morning Joe". Straight PWNAGE from Mika’s dad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPY7O2eP-Fk

  66. 66
    Brian J says:

    The update addition from the comments makes a very good point, similar to what Chuck Todd was saying tonight. Basically, the guy Blagojevich picked was, according to Todd’s sources, the one guy who could be picked and not be seen as tarnished. It was, in short, a big fuck you from the governor to the Obama people, because it put them in a bind: either they accept the appointment and align themselves with a corrupt governor, or they go against a perfectly acceptable if poorly-motivated choice for Obama’s seat.

    Todd also made the point that anything Harry Reid does is going to involve trying to kick this down the road for at least a few weeks, when Blagojevich hopefully isn’t going to be governor anymore. I’m really hoping that’s what happens, since it will make everyone’s life a lot easier.

  67. 67
    not a Blago supporter says:

    ok John, I understand where you’re coming from, but what if Blagojevich had appointed, say, for example, his wife to the Senate seat? I don’t think you’d be saying the same thing (i.e., he’s the governor, he has the legal right to appoint whoever he likes, etc.).

    The bottom line is that the guy is tainted. Burris himself is not tainted, but the Governor is, and therefore the PICK is tainted. I don’t blame people for resisting this, even though Burris might well be a great pick for the seat.

  68. 68

    The Morning Joe clip was *extremely* good. I think it was one of those moments of clarity that Joe should have shut up and listened, and the show would have written itself. Instead, he had to be an assclown, and try to get his talking points in. How long before Joe starts calling critics anti-semetic.

    I still won’t watch the show, though.

  69. 69
    Mr Furious says:

    I haven’t heard ANYTHING CLOSE to a smoking gun regarding this allegation of his selling Obama’s Senate seat

    People are acting like this guy was busted like Jimmy Serrano with a cash-filled suitcase exchange. I’m not seeing it. I’ve heard and read nothing beyond what I imagine to be the sort of horsetrading that probably happens all the time in these situations—ie: "I appoint you, you campaign for me, scratch each other’s back, fundraise, etc."

    Fine, if you’re Obama, or the party, position and appearances matter: distance yourself from the guy, throw him under the bus, even ask for him to "step aside if he’s guilty." I’m all for zero tolerance and purging corrupt people from office regardless of party. By all appearances, Blago deserves to be alone on his self-constructed island, but at a certain point it boils down to this: he’s innocent until proven guilty and deserves a chance to defend himself. And frankly, if he thinks he did nothing wrong, he should tell Obama and everyone else to "Fuck off. I’m Governor, and I’m not going anywhere."

    And if that’s his position, I have no problem with him fulfilling his Constitutionally-required duty and appointing someone to Obama’s seat. Viewed in a vacuum, Roland Burris appears to be a perfectly good selection. Taking into account Blago’s situation, Burris appears to be the perfect appointment, and the Governor probably deserves credit for selecting him.

    Though the point upthread about Burris refusing the seat is very well taken.

  70. 70
    Mr Furious says:

    Stop Talking And Do Something
    by John Cole

    John clearly hasn’t been a Democrat long enough…

  71. 71
    Feebog says:

    First time poster here. This is about as fun as politics can get. And I must admit that I have a grudging admiration for Gov. Helmet Hair and his bit FU to the entire democratic party today.

    So the real question is whether Dirty Harry is just huffing and puffing as usual, or if he really is going to lay down the gaunlet. If he does, what irony; he finally finds a spine and tries to keep an obviously qualified appointee (make that an obviously qualified black appointee filling the seat of the only black senator, who happens to be movin’ on up to the East side) from being seated.

    I do agree with those who think the stall game is in. Best case would be for Reid to call for an "investigation" into the appointment, wait for Gov. Helmet Hair to be impeached, and then let Quinn appoint Burris for the two year term. That would conincide with the "investigation" concluding that there is nothing to see here, and everyone should just move along.

    Damn. I should be the Senate Majority Leader.

  72. 72
    KCinDC says:

    It was, in short, a big fuck you from the governor to the Obama people, because it put them in a bind: either they accept the appointment and align themselves with a corrupt governor, or they go against a perfectly acceptable if poorly-motivated choice for Obama’s seat.

    That may be, but by the same logic Burris is joining in the fuck-you, and has already aligned himself with the corrupt governor. It doesn’t seem like the ideal way to end one’s political career.

  73. 73
    Ripley says:

    Stop doing something and talk! Um, no, wait….

  74. 74
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    The man’s testicles suck up into his abdominal cavity whenever a Republican looks at him funny, but he’ll squash an inconvenient Democrat in a heartbeat.

    I heard that ol’ Harry got a brain scan and the doc noticed that his hypothalamus was abnormally small. When the doc told Harry about the problem Harry just laughed and said ‘Another doc thought the same thing years ago but further tests revealed that he had found my testicles.’

  75. 75
    Studly Pantload says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    Funhouse Proverb #46 —- If you ain’t a little bit dumb, you can’t know what’s going on.

    Totally agree. Here in Seattle, I remember several years back when a Riz Rollins, freshly-former columnist of the local hipster, cooler-than-thou alt weekly, The Stranger (the outspoken and too-often insufferable Dan Savage, current editorial director) participated in a public discussion attended heavily by Stranger staff. During his time up, not only did Riz — a gay man, like Savage, for what-it’s-worth context — roundly scold his former colleagues for their self-referential isolationism, but went on to remind us that if we, the audience, felt too cool to watch, say, Will & Grace, then we couldn’t know what was filling the heads of our neighbors, leaving us desperately out of the loop when trying to raise our own voices.

    Not only is it helpful to "read these idiots so you don’t have to," sometimes you gotta read/listen to the idiots a lot of the rest of us do, cuz if ya can’t keep yer finger on the pulse of the body public, yer just preachin’ to the choir in yer head.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Edmund Dantes says:

    allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession to take place.

    I’m sorry, but this line is wrong. I’m also disappointed Obama trouted it out too. There is nothing unlawful, illegal or inappropriate (legally) to this nomination. It might piss off Harry and Obama, but he’s well within his rights to do this.

    It might look bad. It might put them in an inconvenient place, but I have yet to see someone point to the part, statute, or code that says this couldn’t be done.

  78. 78
    kay says:

    @Edmund Dantes:

    The phrase comes after "resign" so I think it should be read as "governor, resign, lawful succession". Blago’s successor, not Obamas.

    I agree with Obama on this one, in part. Blago can’t function as a governor. He should step down.

    Go to trial, certainly, and he can pick the Senator, but he should step down. He can’t run that state (work with the statehouse, petition DC, allocate funds) after what’s transpired, and that’s his job.

    He’s a selfish creep. It isn’t all about him. His JOB is to run that state effectively. If he can’t do it, and I don’t think he can, he should step down.

  79. 79
    shortstop says:

    Oh go fuck off (in a nice way). We JUST HAD A FUCKING ELECTION. Our side won—by a shitload. Our side won—by a shitload. Why the fuck does the Weak Saucers always get the fucking vapors worrying about what a dead party of old southern crackers say about the party that’s got about a big a majority as possible nowadays.

    Piss off (in a neutral way). If you can’t tell the difference (and judging by the crappy analysis coming out of your little holiday trip to IL, you can’t) between constantly freaking out at what the GOP might do and simply avoiding handing them–and, more to the point, the MSM from which the average voters not fucking off on blogs all day get their half-assed perceptions–the gigantic Christmas present of appearing to sit still for Rod Blagojevich, then I ain’t the one having the fucking vapors. Burris will be seated. There’s a show we have to watch first.

  80. 80
    Punchy says:

    RoBurr on Today dis morn. Articulate as hell. Typical savvy Illy polly who knows eggacktly what to say. good luck gettin rid of this guy. He aint going willingly. And as a for. AttyGen, he most certainly knows the law.

  81. 81
    Punchy says:

    between constantly freaking out at what the GOP might do and simply avoiding handing them

    What’s the diff, exactly? Typical Dem you are: worry about the national media! No, worry about the Republicans! No, the media! Republicans! Voters too stupid to know the truth! Clearly, look at the 2008 election results!

    2 years later: how much work actually got accomplished? None, really? But who cares! Now the Republicans dont hate us as much and the media only says mean things about us twice a day, rather than thrice. Victory!

    You’re the Herm Edwards of politics.

  82. 82
    shortstop says:

    You’re flailing now, Punchy. You called this one wrong and rather than back away gracefully, you start making up a history of my supposed thought patterns not supported by my (admittedly few on this particular blog, but that weakens your argument, not supports it) posts. My criticisms of your comments are based on your actual posts. Yours of me are based on…hysterical hallucination.

    Dood, we’re all wrong sometimes. It’s no crime to admit it.

  83. 83
    Punchy says:

    You’re flailing now, Punchy. You called this one wrong and rather than back away gracefully, you start making up a history of my supposed thought patterns

    Wrong about what? Are you, or are you not, very concerned about what mean Republicans and Sunday talk-show hosts will chirp about a Burris pick? If yes, then I’m most assuredly not wrong. If not, then you’re a very shitty writer.

  84. 84
    J. says:

    Chutzpah: n. Supreme self confidence; nerve, gall. See "Blagojevich, Ron" and "Maddow, Bernard."

    Though actually I’m with you, John Cole, re the IL senate appointment. And having lived for eight years in Chicagoland think Roland Burris is OK/on the level.

    Time to move on…

  85. 85
    shortstop says:

    Good girl, Punch! Dig those feet in! Dig ’em deeper! Keep screeching!

  86. 86
    shortstop says:

    And having lived for eight years in Chicagoland think Roland Burris is OK/on the level.

    He is; he’s fine, and everyone in Illinois knows it. And he’ll be seated after the necessary theatrics take place for the benefit of everyone outside lllinois.

  87. 87
    Face says:

    shortstop seems concerned.

  88. 88

    All I know is my oxy connection in Wasilla is out of circulation.

  89. 89
    passerby says:

    He’s a selfish creep. It isn’t all about him. His JOB is to run that state effectively. If he can’t do it, and I don’t think he can, he should step down.

    I’d like to be proven wrong on this, but, couldn’t this be said about any of the 50 governors in office now. Yeah, some more than others, but, I’d bet that what we’re seeing in IL, is business as usual across the country and across party lines. And if there were enough manpower to investigate the 100 senators with regard to quid pro quo, what would we find? Rule of Law? We wish.

    As Silver Owl noted above, most political players** are not mature and rational public servants rather, they are self-serving princes and kings. You know, assholes.

    And with regard to the US Senate, this is a cesspool of rich, self-serving elite club members. At least the political scoundrel Huey Long was able to build the infrastructure of Louisiana, thereby benefiting his constituents, while amassing his wealth and power. Nowadays, the constituents (us voters) are given lip service and the money in play goes to a small circle of cronies.

    I think the selection of Burris is politically brilliant and if you saw the press conference, IL Rep. Rush made an elegant case for his appointment. I think the Obama camp should shut the fuck up about this process and let IL and the US Senate deal with the brouhaha. The transition team needs all the energy it can spare to go towards national problems.

    **"most people" can be substituted here

  90. 90
    kay says:

    @Face:

    Our creeps are as ballsy as their creeps?
    Stupid + stubborn + a monumental ego but he has CHUTZPAH!
    Who does he work for? How does any of this tough-guy posturing benefit the people who pay him?

  91. 91
    shortstop says:

    shortstop seems concerned.

    Only insofar as my CPR certification has lapsed and I can see the pulsing vein in Punchy’s forehead from here. Honestly, I’ve spent so much time smacking down true Democratic vapors that it bewilders me that some chick with whom I’ve never engaged would take one calmly rendered comment and extrapolate a history of overreaction from it.

    There really is a difference between being politically smart–this one is a no brainer if you stop to think about it for two seconds–and worrying needlessly and constantly about what the other team thinks. It’s not hard to see that screaming "But they’re only following the law!" isn’t going to do the trick with non-political junkies who are watching a gobsmackingly corrupt governor appoint someone to a seat he just tried to fucking sell. This one requires some highly visible pushback just to get it through the heads of people outside of Illinois (who are constantly assuming that everyone in our broken system is the best of buds and happily conspiring together) that the Senate Dems aren’t lying down for Blago. It doesn’t mean I think the voters are stupid (although I’m amused at the idea that the 2008 election results mean that everyone has suddenly become highly informed). It means that Reid, the Democratic caucus and Obama are taking the opportunity to distance themselves from Blago in no uncertain terms.

  92. 92
    Laura W says:

    some chick

    Wow. That’s a reveal!

  93. 93
    shortstop says:

    Wow. That’s a reveal!

    Why? Would "some guy" be a "reveal"? I have no Y chromosome myself, so it’s hard for me to see why one might be insulting and the other not. Is Punchy not a woman and it’s fightin’ words to have thought he was?

  94. 94
    Face says:

    I’m begging to agree with shorty. we should be very concerned how voters in Idaho and Mississippi and Texas and Okie take this Blago apptmnt. Otherwise Dems might lose those states, and we might then ONCE AGAIN get just hammered in national elections. Just like this past November.
    Hell, we should find out what car Blago drives and deny that maker a bailout. Don’t want that Blago taint!

  95. 95
    Laura W says:

    @shortstop: There was nothing in my four-word comment that stated, or implied, "insulting" or "fightin’ words".
    IT WAS A JOKE.

  96. 96
    shortstop says:

    Um, Face, you’re bolstering my case here by making ludicrous quantum leaps. Just sayin’. Do carry on.

  97. 97
    John says:

    I’m with you, JC. This is a lot of ridiculous posturing that’s going to look stupid when they have to seat Burris next week.

    Either that or they’re headed for a Supreme Court case which will make them look even stupider when they lose in a few months.

    Circus Maximus – Powell v. McCormack said that the only qualifications which congress may consider as the basis to exclude are the ones mentioned in the constitution – age, residency in the state, length of residency in the US. "Suspicion of corruption on the basis of being appointed by a governor who is suspected to be corrupt" is not such a qualification, so the courts would presumably find that Burris had been unlawfully excluded.

    They can expel him if they like, but that would require a 2/3 vote, and on what grounds would he be expelled?

    Does anyone really want to go down that route?

  98. 98
    shortstop says:

    Okely dokely, Laura.

    I’m gettin’ nowhere here. Perhaps some who know me will happen by and vouch for my non-vaporous status as a stiffly spined Dem. If not, oh, well; I’m doomed to the myth of having secretly believed that if we publicly tell Blago to fuck himself in a little sound-and-light show, we’re cowering in our beds and giving way on every single issue that ever presents itself.

  99. 99
    jenniebee says:

    @Reverend Dennis: "Qualifications" in this case is really limited to age, citizenship, and residency within the state the person represents. Any US citizen over the age of 30 currently residing in New York State is technically qualified to be the senator from New York. Same for residing in Illinois/representing Illinois.

    The Senate absolutely does not have the power to exclude someone on the grounds that their selection was ill-advised.

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @passerby:

    I think he can appoint the Senator.
    Governors are managers, in a way members of Congress are not. What’s it like when Blago goes to the Illinois Statehouse? Think a lot gets done? They’re RUNNING from him. How about 4 (or so) weeks from now, when he needs his federal stipend for extended unemployment benefits? Governors are looking (now!) at borrowing the money from the feds. They’re hashing out terms. How’s that going to go for Blago?
    What an ego.

  101. 101
    KCinDC says:

    The argument isn’t about qualifications. It’s the election (the appointment), which the Senate also judges, that is in question. Now the objection that the election was defective because the governor was trying to sell the seat may be invalid (or it may be that an appointment doesn’t count as an election, even though senators weren’t elected until the 20th century), but the Powell case is irrelevant, since in that case no one was challenging the election.

  102. 102
    kay says:

    @KCinDC:
    Blago is still the governor, so he can appoint the Senator, collect a paycheck, and hold press conferences.

    He should resign, because he can’t do the rest of his job, and unless I miss my guess, Illinois is going to want to be at the table in the next two months, and he’s a freaking pariah.

    As far as I’m concerned, he just threw every citizen of that state under the bus, in service to his own huge ego. When the governors start wrangling for position re: the new administration, with some very PRESSING problems, Illinois is at a distinct disadvantage.

    It’s a "screw you" to the people that elected him.

  103. 103
    passerby says:

    How about 4 (or so) weeks from now, when he needs his federal stipend for extended unemployment benefits? Governors are looking (now!) at borrowing the money from the feds. They’re hashing out terms. How’s that going to go for Blago?

    Yeah, this reminds me of LA’s Gov. Blanco after Katrina struck. While I don’t consider her an egotistical asshole, she was mired in LA political machinery which hampered her (already inept) ability to lobby the fed for the people of her state. And both Sens. Vitter and Landrieu didn’t fair much better as both are assholic political party hacks.

  104. 104
    Librarian says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t pick Tammy Duckworth. I know nothing about Illinois politics, but wouldn’t she be even more untainted and above reproach than Burris? It would have been pretty hard for the Senate to refuse to seat an Iraq veteran who has had both her legs blown off.

  105. 105
    kay says:

    @passerby:

    I’m not deluded about politicians. I just think at some point we should stop cheering for blowhard egotistical assholes, who have…CHUTZPAH!

    After 8 years…it doesn’t work out too well for the sucker-citizen, does it?

  106. 106
    KCinDC says:

    It would have been pretty hard for the Senate to refuse to seat an Iraq veteran who has had both her legs blown off.

    Saxby Chambliss would have no difficulty voting her down.

  107. 107
    passerby says:

    @kay:

    I’m not deluded about politicians. I just think at some point we should stop cheering for blowhard egotistical assholes, who have…CHUTZPAH!

    In total, 100% agreement.

    After 8 years…it doesn’t work out too well for the sucker-citizen, does it?

    Well, technically it’s been going on for decades (perhaps much longer than that) but I know what you mean.

  108. 108
    Dracula says:

    I’m gettin’ nowhere here.

    Spend less time mocking and more time explaining your point and more people will take you seriously.

    The Senate absolutely does not have the power to exclude someone on the grounds that their selection was ill-advised.

    Exactly right. Otherwise, if the precedent is set that the Senate can simply refuse to sit someone on idealogical or "tainted" grounds, it throws the whole concept of democracy out the window. This is why I believe the Senate and Reid are walking on eggshells, and I dont think they know it yet.

  109. 109
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Would this be the same scrupulous, high-minded Senate that ushered out convicted felon Ted Stevens with a standing ovation?

  110. 110
    kay says:

    @passerby:

    It was about Bush. The "eight years". There was this theme with liberals and Bush. Half the time, they were railing against his abuses. The rest of the time, they sounded secretly admiring, because he was….DECISIVE and a MAVERICK, and HE WON. Oh, hell. Won what? For whom? Who benefited?

    It’s like that with Rove, too. Do we disagree with Rove’s tactics or do we just want a liberal Rove-like individual? We…can’t decide.

  111. 111
    John says:

    (or it may be that an appointment doesn’t count as an election, even though senators weren’t elected until the 20th century),

    This is incorrect. Senators were not elected by popular vote until the 20th century. But they were elected – by the state legislature.

  112. 112
    KCinDC says:

    True enough, John, but by the same token a replacement senator is elected — by the governor.

  113. 113
    shortstop says:

    Spend less time mocking and more time explaining your point

    I started to get all het up about the seeming double standard of this comment. Then I realized that getting accused of excessive mockery on this blog takes some doing. So okay, I take your point.

  114. 114
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Dracula:

    Exactly right. Otherwise, if the precedent is set that the Senate can simply refuse to sit someone on idealogical or "tainted" grounds, it throws the whole concept of democracy out the window.

    This is correct. One of the prime duties for a Senator is to represent their state. That’s likely why the Founders expressly gave the power to appoint a replacement to that states Governor. Letting someone elsewhere, say in DC, pick , would not ensure the State Representation concern visa vi Federalism.

  115. 115

    Also not sure why you don’t realize that a lot of what you call posturing is fairly astute maneuvering for the purpose of cutting off at the knees the inevitable Republican and MSM charges of the Senate Dem caucus’s acquiescence to a totally bent governor.

    I think that’s bullshit. Claiming you’re going to do something that you don’t in fact have the power to do, just makes you look ineffectual. (Truth in advertising, I guess.) Whinging about something you can’t do anything about, ditto.

    Manning up, saying you don’t like it, but the Supreme Court said here’s the law, and we’re stuck with that, end of story, at least turns your inaction into not beating your head against a wall, which is as good as it’s gonna look, so you might as well go with it.

  116. 116
    KCinDC says:

    saying you don’t like it, but the Supreme Court said here’s the law

    That’s fine, but since the Supreme Court hasn’t yet said that I don’t see the relevance to this situation. This case has nothing to do with Powell.

  117. 117
    Ed Drone says:

    People who say Burris will have a taint on him may be accurate, but it would have been exactly the same, possibly even worse, if the indictment had come after the appointment. And if Burris can’t function, very few could in his place. I think the Senate should seat Burris, but immediately start an investigation to make sure that nothing untoward happened to diminish his appointment.
    .
    That way, we don’t have to wait for Blago to be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed from office. The result is continuity of representation for Illinois in the US Senate, and at least a caretaker office-holder in that seat whose politics are Democratic, the same as the majority of the voters of Illinois.
    .
    The talking points are:
    (a) It’s the law — the appointment is legal and can’t be undone;
    .
    (b) We’ll investigate whomever is seated anyway, and;
    .
    (c) We need to attend to more important things for this country, and a full Senate helps us do that. [We should also seat Franken for the same reason (assuming he’s certified by the elections board), and allow for removal if court suits call for that, down the road.]
    .
    We have to get about doing the people’s business, so cut this BS and let’s get moving!
    .
    Ed

  118. 118
    Michael Brown says:

    Oh bullshit, John, you were right the first time. Innocent until proven guilty. Mofo Blago hasn’t been convicted of shit yet, even kiddie rapists get to vote until they’re sent up, so he can appoint whoever he wants, especially a guy who has never been accused of anything. People of Illinois deserve two senators, and until they unseat the appointee or Blago gets what’s probably coming to him, nobody got killed.

    Drives me fucking nuts, that THIS is the ONE issue our bleeding idiot leader of the senate decides is worthy of a floor fight. FISA? Oh no, that’s meaningless! Jesus, fucking, Christ.

  119. 119
    gizmo says:

    http://www.propublica.org/

    John,

    If the facts as outlined in the enclosed article are correct, then Burris should not be allowed anywhere near the US Senate. Prosecuting a capital punishment case when there is substantial evidence that the accused is innocent should disqualify him from participation in government at any level.

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