It appears that now the Senate leadership is bending over backwards to seat Roland Burris. What a mess. There is, of course, no good and honorable way out of this for any of us, given the following absurd facts:
- The ridiculous person who is STILL governor of Illinois is utterly devoid of anything remotely resembling shame, or honor. There was a time (I think — or am I just romanticizing?) when anyone caught in a wringer this way would bow his head and disappear (in ancient Rome, he'd have sliced himself open in a hot tub — which I am NOT advocating here, I'm just noting the contrast). Not now. Not Blago.
- The fact that Mr. Burris had no more pride than to stand up and accept the appointment. That was my first reaction when I heard about this over my vacation: Who would accept this under these circumstances? The answer: Mr. Burris would. This guy has no particular big strikes against him, they say. But this is a pretty big strike all by its lonesome. What's in the water up there?
- The fact that this jerk is still the governor, and hasn't even been indicted, and we've got this "innocent until proven guilty" shtick in this country. Situations like this can make you hanker after the Napoleonic Code.
I figure that's enough to get y'all started on the subject. Fire away.
We are talking about the state of Illinois. We are talking about Daly. We are talking about Chicago. Blago did not get elected governor without the machine endorsing him.
Can you imagine what this guy knows about the politics of Illinois? Can he blow a whistle that can be heard throughout the country? Can he tie Obama to all the corruption that has gone on in Chicago and the rest of the state?
The FBI and the CIA directors cannot protect Obama if Blago wants to spill all he knows.
How did the country get in such a mess? People went to the polls to vote without a clue of the consequences.
Of course, he will be seated.
Democrats need the votes in order to cut off debate and ram through the biggest pork spending deficits in history without debate.
Governor Blagovich is still governor.
His appointee, Roland Burris, is less tainted by this scandal that Obama and his aides are.
The Senate has no power to refuse to swear him in.
But, as an historical aside, the House refused to seat the Libertarian candidate who won a Nevada Congressional election, after the Democrat winner was disqualified for vote fraud. Security cameras at the Post Office recorded Postal workers and other union members filling out absentee ballots the night of the election, to steal the election, and they were sent to jail.
Democrats left the seat empty rather than have a Libertarian hold it.
we’re talking about chicago here.
to them its a business, not public service. there is a spoils system to maintain after all.
ditto to lee’s point about the dems wanting another vote; politics will trump ethics as long as harry is driving the bus.
How can we the people of the United States of America, back away from the election process as given by law from the constitution? The Constitution of the United States is the law of the land. Can Congress change the constitution?
We are the people. We are in charge. We elect the people to carry out our wishes. Could the people get back in charge of government?
I wasn’t aware that “innocent until proven guilty” is nothing more than schtick. Surely you jest! As for the Code Napoléon, you’ll find a version of it still in force in Louisiana–and we all know what a paragon of honesty and transparency that state’s government truly is!
Blago has played the Senate like a flute, and they are just coming to realize it. While his tenure in office may indeed be tainted, this appointment surely was not, and the idea that the counter-signature of the secretary of state is necessary for Burris’ credentials to be valid is an absurdity since the Constitution grants the governor the authority to appoint the senator, not to the secretary of state who would, under the Senate’s interpretation, be exercising veto power over the governor’s sovereign function.
Let’s not forget as well that Blago has not been indicted yet, much less convicted. That process rightly should take months and any impeachment in the legislature should depend upon the outcome of any possible trial.
Yes, Blago is innocent until proven guilty. He probably has engaged in some sleazy pay-to-play behavior, but he has demonstrated a resolute determination to soldier on as governor until he is legally and constitutionally convicted of crime, impeached, and then formally removed from office according to due process of law.
This guy’s got balls–big brass ones. And you’ve got to admire his intelligence and courage.
He’s made the Senate look foolish and taught the whole country a civics lesson on constitutional procedure and due process.
Chalk one up for Blago!! I wish our governor had as much moxie!!
Will wonders ever cease. On some points, I actually agree with Rich only to the degree of law that allows the governor of Illinois to appoint someone to finish out the remainder of Obama’s senate term. Blago may be everything the feds have accused him of being but to date, he has not been indicted and no date has been set for a trial or impeachment proceedings.
If the evidence presented by the feds is not only accurate but true, then the man must face criminal charges or impeachment and removed from office. But, until that day comes and he is actually convicted, there is nothing illegal about his appointment of Burris. Questionable yes but illegal, no.
However and this is a big however, I cannot find one thing to agree with Rich on his assessment of the man in his last four paragraphs/sentences. I have no admiration for the man and to wish Sanford had the same “moxie” as Blago is ludicrous and absurd. Giving the guy credit for having big brass balls by an act of political defiance is one thing but to admire his intelligence and courage is another. if this were a Republican governor, Rich would be foaming at the mouth with outrage and indignation. He would be calling him an idiot, retard, criminal, and any other accusation he could muster. If this is the role model Rich looks up to, what the hell is he teaching our children in his classroom?
As far as making the senate look foolish, Blago won’t be the one to do that. It will be the seating of Al Franken. The seating of an unfunny comedian with no qualifications other than being annoying as hell after a crooked and unconstitutional vote scam in the recount. Inconsistencies and double vote counting when favorable to Franken but denial of the same due process when it came to Coleman. Now that the recount has produced more votes for Franken, the cry to cease the process is coming in a loud voice from the Democrats supporting the jackass. Well, what can we expect from a state that elected Jesse “The Body” Ventura as their governor?
Giving this guy Blago any favorable props is a clear indication of the lack of propriety and hypocrisy. Got it Rich?
Franken’s election by a mere 250 votes is hardly a mandate, but Minnesota law made the current situation possible since it provided for a painstaking, videotaped, public recount by a bipartisan board that carefully and painstakingly recounted the votes and awarded the election to Franken.
Granted, the margin is a not a clarion call to implement the policies and programs of the Democracy, but it would seem that Franken has indeed won. Coleman’s lawsuit might not even be heard; if it is, the fact that a bipartisan board carefully supervised the recount and rendered a judgment will be strong evidence in favor of Franken and of the more important principle that he should hold his office because he was “first past the post.”
Coleman is putting the state through needless expense. He has lost the election. The Republicans simply do not have the right to rule, and the quicker we lose the boorish, ignorant hard right in American politics, the better off we will be.
BTW, Panetta is a great choice as chief spook. He doesn’t need to know a damn thing about espionage except that this country should not torture or invade the privacy of its own citizens!!
Slow down everyone. The Burris situation is simple really. This is a case about substance not form. Unfortunatally Brad and others seem to put a great deal of stock in things that look “bad” seem “inappropriate” or are somehow just don’t appear “right”. That’s the kind of thinking that gets us into trouble over and over again. The only thing that matters is the law. Clearly that is on the side of Blago. He IS the governor of Illinois and has the legal authority to appoint whoever he wants to serve in the senate for the next 2 years. That is the end of the story, period. There’s nothing messy about this. Reid blew it by artificially making it messy. Let’s go ahead and seat Burris and move on. In 2 years there will be another election and the people can decide what to do about Burris then. Until then let’s stop all this nattering about pride and appearances. All that stuff is irrelevant.
Right, bud. The only thing that matters is the law. Reid can’t be seated until the Illinois Secretary of State literally signs on.
But Brad is right. Where is Blago’s sense of propriety? Where is Burris’s? And, as Brad didn’t say, now that we know Obama’s insistence Burris be seated led to the Democrats’ change of position a day after they were all against Burris, where is Obama’s moral compass?
The obvious answer: mired in Chicago politics. The second obvious answer: mired in racial politics.
By the way, Rich, your support for Blago here indicates you don’t have the moral compass to teach in a South Carolina school. Here’s hoping there aren’t many more teachers like you.
Name a Democrat who is not as corrupt as Blago.
P.M., this isn’t about someone’s “moral compass”. This is about the law. And the law is crystal clear: The Governor of Illinois has the legal authority to seat anyone of his choosing (assuming they meet the various age, residency etc. requirements) to fill a vacant senate seat. Heck, if we started to make decisions based on some fickle notion of what constitutes a moral compass we’d end up fighting in wars based on the president’s opinion of what constitutes the character of another nation’s leader. Whoops, been there and done that already. A
As for you GOPers out there lecturing the Dems about moral compass crap spare us please. Your guys (Vitter, Stevens, Craig, etc.) all have their moral compass pointing south. I suggest you get your house in order before pointing fingers.
It’s time to move forward on this. There are too many messes leftover from the carnage of the Bush years to continue nitpicking over one senate seat.
Bush recession II continues to take it’s toll on millions of Americans and it’s time to address that huge mess. We also have Bush imperialism to deal with. Obama should push for a good economic plan without regard to the feelings of the Republicans in congress. They got is into this mess and it’s high time to simply ignore their whining. With a majority in both houses along with the White House the voice of the people should be adhered to, not a bunch of crybaby losers from the GOP. Let’s worry about the country, not some feel-good bipartisanship.
Of course it’s about someone’s moral compass, bud. Yours. Mine. Rich’s. That of anyone mentioned above. Whence thinkest thou laws come?
Many of your Democrat friends, by the way, were complicit in Bush’s war. Pardon me if I don’t think anyone should be complicit in Blagogate.
No, bud. You don’t move forward from things until they’re finished. Blagogate isn’t done. The war isn’t done. Leaving the gas station without putting the nozzle back on the pump doesn’t work.
P.M. don’t confuse Blogo’s legal trouble with his right to appoint a senator. Until he’s removed from office (and hopefully that will be soon) he still has that power. I’m angry with the dems on this one. They’ve fumbled the whole mess from the get-go. If they had moved quickly to remove Blogo then maybe this wouldn’t be a distraction now. As it is the best thing for the Dem leadership is just to swallow hard and allow Burris to serve. How bad could he be? Heck, it’s not as if he’s a Republican or anything.
I am amazed at the temerity of the liberal eunuchs defending Democrats by their ostrich like behavior of burying their heads in the sand or a certain body orifice when it comes to assigning any responsibility for the financial crisis, Iraq, Katrina, or ethical lapses to their party members.
We did not arrive at this juncture in history without the complicity of both parties acting in accord or discord with one another to the detriment of the average working man or woman. In an effort to preserve their own positions of self importance, each damn politician who ever occupied a seat in congress has been willing to forego his or her ethical and moral standards, if they ever had any, in order to pursue an agenda for personal historical aggrandizement. The bottom line is that politicians will lie, cheat, and throw their own mothers under the bus for political gain. Every one of the following Democrats was heavily involved in the build up and follow up to the invasion of Iraq. It was not until the 60s crowd started their howling that the “eunuchs” in the Democrat party start to run for cover and find any cover they could. Plausible deniability is the proper comment I think.
Before the inauguration, there are a couple of things I would like to address. The first is Iraq and the misconception that it was not a bipartisan effort and the latter day denials are nothing but the actions of cowards and history revisionists.
The following quotes are included so that those who are too damn lazy or so indoctrinated with lies cannot say they didn’t have time to access them through links.
“……….Regime change in Iraq has been official US policy since 1998. The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, signed into law by President Clinton, states:
“It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”
Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
105th Congress, 2nd Session
September 29, 1998
“Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
Madeleine Albright, President Clinton’s Secretary of State
Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University
February 18, 1998
“People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”
Former President Clinton
During an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live”
July 22, 2003
“I’ve never said that troops should be withdrawn. What I’ve said is, is that we’ve got to make sure that we secure and execute the rebuilding and reconstruction process effectively and properly, and I don’t think we should have an artificial deadline when to do that.”
Senator Barack Obama (Democrat, Illinois)
During an interview on “Chicago Tonight” with Elizabeth Brackett
April 5, 2004
“Ten years after the Gulf War and Saddam is still there and still continues to stockpile weapons of mass destruction. Now there are suggestions he is working with al Qaeda, which means the very terrorists who attacked the United States last September may now have access to chemical and biological weapons.”
James P. Rubin, President Clinton’s State Department spokesman
In a PBS documentary titled “Saddam’s Ultimate Solution”
July 11, 2002
US Senators – 29 Democrats – who voted YES to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq:
Baucus, Max (D-MT)
Bayh, Evan (D-IN)
Biden, Joseph (D-DE)
Breaux, John (D-LA)
Cantwell, Maria (D-WA)
Carnahan, Jean (D-MO)
Carper, Thomas (D-DE)
Cleland, Max (D-GA)
Clinton, Hillary (D-NY)
Daschle, Tom (D-SD)
Dodd, Christopher (D-CT)
Dorgan, Byron (D-ND)
Edwards, John (D-NC)
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA)
Harkin, Tom (D-IA)
Hollings, Ernest (D-SC)
Johnson, Tim (D-SD)
Kerry, John (D-MA)
Kohl, Herb (D-WI)
Landrieu, Mary (D-LA)
Lieberman, Joseph (D-CT)
Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR)
Miller, Zell (D-GA)
Nelson, Bill (D-FL)
Nelson, Ben (D-NE)
Reid, Harry (D-NV)
Rockefeller, John (D-WV)
Schumer, Charles (D-NY)
Torricelli, Robert (D-NJ)
(for those who don’t remember, the Senate was controlled by Democrats by a margin of 50 to 49 with one Independent who almost always voted with Democrats)
“As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I firmly believe that the issue of Iraq is not about politics. It’s about national security. We know that for at least 20 years, Saddam Hussein has obsessively sought weapons of mass destruction through every means available. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons today. He has used them in the past, and he is doing everything he can to build more. Each day he inches closer to his longtime goal of nuclear capability — a capability that could be less than a year away.
I believe that Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime represents a clear threat to the United States, to our allies, to our interests around the world, and to the values of freedom and democracy we hold dear.
What’s more, the terrorist threat against America is all too clear. Thousands of terrorist operatives around the world would pay anything to get their hands on Saddam’s arsenal, and there is every possibility that he could turn his weapons over to these terrorists. No one can doubt that if the terrorists of September 11th had weapons of mass destruction, they would have used them. On September 12, 2002, we can hardly ignore the terrorist threat, and the serious danger that Saddam would allow his arsenal to be used in aid of terror.
The time has come for decisive action. With our allies, we must do whatever is necessary to guard against the threat posed by an Iraq armed with weapons of mass destruction, and under the thumb of Saddam Hussein.
The United States must lead an international effort to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein — and to assure that Iraq fulfills its obligations to the international community.
This is not an easy decision, and it carries many risks. It will also carry costs, certainly in resources, and almost certainly in lives. After careful consideration, I believe that the risk of inaction is far greater than the risk of action.
We must address the most insidious threat posed by weapons of mass destruction — the threat that comes from the ability of terrorists to obtain them.
The path of confronting Saddam is full of hazards. But the path of inaction is far more dangerous. This week, a week where we remember the sacrifice of thousands of innocent Americans made on 9-11, the choice could not be starker. Had we known that such attacks were imminent, we surely would have used every means at our disposal to prevent them and take out the plotters. We cannot wait for such a terrible event — or, if weapons of mass destruction are used, one far worse — to address the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”
Senator John Edwards (Democrat, North Carolina)
Addressing the US Senate
September 12, 2002
“Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.”
National Address from the Oval Office
December 16, 1998
CNN: How did Hussein intend to use the weapon, once it was completed?
HAMZA: Saddam has a whole range of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, biological and chemical. According to German intelligence estimates, we expect him to have three nuclear weapons by 2005. So, the window will close by 2005, and we expect him then to be a lot more aggressive with his neighbors and encouraging terrorism, and using biological weapons. Now he’s using them through surrogates like al Qaeda, but we expect he’ll use them more aggressively then.
Dr. Khidhir Hamza, former Iraqi Nuclear Scientist for 20 years
Interviewed on CNN
October 22, 2001
Now, bud, Rich, and the others on this blog who are constantly trashing Bush, Republicans, and conservatives on Iraq, prove me wrong if you can. It was a bipartisan vote and both sides had the same access to same intelligence. In fact, the basis for invading Iraq was set up by your own BEFORE Bush was elected.
There has never been one recorded incident of an American making a phone call to another American within the United States who had their call monitored or recorded by NSA or any other agency without a FISA judge’s approval. All that has ever been reported is that the program exists and at times calls were monitored WHILE waiting for a judge to approve. When not approved, nothing happened. Again, give specific names, places, dates, and incidents if you have them. Not some speculative report by an activist but an actual incident. Because of the amount of disinformation dissemintated by the media and Democrats, in order to be sure everything was legal and above board, Bush asked for specific guidelines on the use of wiretaps which had not been in place before.
Last, prove to the rest of us that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were not the main recipients of donations and favors from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyists. Prove to me that Barney Frank did not have a lover/husband/wife/significant other working at Freddie Mac for 10 years when all of the new initiatives for making subprime loan approval and buying of those loans easier for lenders and borrowers to manipulate. Prove to me that when attempts were made to provide additional oversight that those who were trying to have them enacted were not accused of racism and trying to deny people the right to own their own homes. The attacks by Democrats against the regulators in the hearings were scurrilous and without merit.
I have no hesitation to call any conservative or Republican to task to answer for their crimes and ill advised behavior and make no excuses for them. However, it has become very clear over the past few years that the same cannot be expected from the other side. The comments by Rich and bud are sufficient demonstration that the left refuses to acknowledge their own complicity in the problems we are experiencing in this country.
It was not all Republicans or Bush’s fault nor can it be attributed solely to their shortcomings. Everyone in Washington had their hands in the mix, no one can escape unless you live in a fantasy world like bud, Rich, and their fellow liberals.
It’s not just a question blaming Republicans for the last eight years, although their record speaks for itself. It’s an ideological question. What kind of America do we want?
The center-left is now taking power in this country. The liberal vision for America is one in which diversity is respected, equal opportunity provided, and secular government maintained. This last point is especially important.
This election was a decisive defeat for the religious right and their conservative social agenda. Public policy should not be based on religious doctrine, but it can be inspired by religious values, such as those of Dr. King who pricked the nation’s conscience with his powerful sermons in favor of racial equality.
Religious conservatives often advocate suppressing gay rights, stem-cell research, sex education, abortion, family planning, and the teaching of evolution in the schools. They want the government to promote the idea that this is a Christian nation, when what the founders intended was that we have a decidedly secular republic, regardless of the religious orientation of the majority.
As a man of the left, I want a government that protects people’s rights, provides an adequate social safety net, and assures a modicum of economic fairness and access to opportunity in our society. That’s not the Republican way, unfortunately.
In short, the Republicans could have been the very best stewards of the economy during the last eight years (which they were not!), and I still would have voted against them on the grounds that their socio-cultural perspectives are benighted and obscurantist.
Democrats have controlled spending for the last 2 years, and boy, look at the $1.2 TRILLION deficit for 2008, with $8.4 TRILLION more deficits already committed for 2009-2011, in addition to whatever waste Obama cooks up.
From 2001-2006, Republicans held the deficits to HALF what the Democrats wanted. It was still inexcusable – the increase in economic growth generated a 35% annual increase in tax revenue.
Government waste and corruption created this Pelosi Recession. Now comes the Obama Depression.
Bud, I’m not confusing anything. What’s legal is legal, and what’s right is right, but unless you get a combination of the two, you shouldn’t have the appointment of a U.S. senator. An appointment by a governor under a cloud of suspicion doesn’t cut the mustard.
When we have forgotten the concept of honor in this country, as your attitude demonstrates, Democrats will probably control both houses of Congress and the presidency.
After the Democrats finish stealing the election for Al Franken, I expect Obama to appoint Bill Maher to the first Supreme Court vacancy.
It is as though we are about to be governed by termites.
How is it “stealing an election” if Al Franken gets even one more vote than Coleman?? The vote recount took two months and was painstakingly supervised by a bipartisan election commission. Chances are, Coleman’s challenge will be rejected by the high court in Minnesota. The whole process has been pretty transparent. As for Burris, he was duly and legally appointed by a governor according to the Constitution.
This is a far cry from the judicial theft of the presidency perpetrated by the Supreme Ct. in 2000. Think of how different the world might be if we had not elected President Dum-Dum!
Every time I listen to Republicans such as Sarah Palin speak (the gift that keeps on giving), I become convinced that this is a party that must either change and acquire some intelligence and learning or it will be reduced to a regional party of resentful rednecks and fundies without a political future whatsoever.
Suffice it to say, Rich, that though Coleman had more votes to begin with, after running into a Secretary of State considerably more sympathetic to Franken than the one in Illinois is to Blago, Franken has mysteriously gained a few hundred votes, some of them found in the trunks of cars.
But, of course, this suits Democrats like you just fine, as long as the Democrat wins. Bart has the lot of you pegged above.
We have reached a sad state in this country when duplicate ballots give the court jester a Senate seat, the governor of a neighboring state tries to sell a Senate seat, and a teacher thinks that’s all well and good.
P.M. the Minnesota governors race, unlike the 2000 presidential contest, is pretty simple: Al Franken got the most votes, after all the originally (and improperly) rejected votes were properly counted. Republicans need to get over it and stop acting like a bunch of sore losers.
You know what? Bud was right when he said, somewhere way up yonder above: “The only thing that matters is the law. Clearly that is on the side of
Blago. He IS the governor of Illinois and has the legal authority to
appoint whoever he wants to serve in the senate for the next 2 years.
That is the end of the story, period. There’s nothing messy about this.
Reid blew it by artificially making it messy. Let’s go ahead and seat
Burris and move on. In 2 years there will be another election and the
people can decide what to do about Burris then. Until then let’s stop
all this nattering about pride and appearances. All that stuff is
Bud might be surprised at some of the voices that helped me see this. The two most persuasive arguments I’ve heard on this score, other than bud’s of course, came from people who are more conservative (and certainly more Republican, but that’s not hard) than I am: Our own Robert Ariail, and Kimberley A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal. Robert pointed out earlier in the week, when we were discussing one of his cartoons, that there is simply no legal justification for refusing to seat Mr. Burris, however outrageous the situation may be.
Ms. Strassel wrote in today’s paper, among other things, that “Roland Burris began this week a man scorned. It didn’t matter he holds
the honor of being the first black man elected to Illinois statewide
office. It didn’t matter that he appears to have had no involvement
with Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Senate-seat salesmanship. It didn’t matter
that the Senate had no good legal reason not to seat him.”
She went on to explain why not seating Mr. Burris is far less justified than not seating Al Franken. The piece is worth reading.
So I’m persuaded. Mr. Burris should be seated. That doesn’t mean the situation isn’t appalling. It doesn’t change the fact that in his place, I would never, ever have accepted the position from Blagojevich, and it’s hard for me to understand how anyone could. But he was named BEFORE the legislature impeached Blagojevich. He has to be seated.
So much for honor, huh, Brad?
So much for this blog, too.
May you rot in hell.
Now the un-elected Governor of New York is going to appoint an unelected socialite with no qualifications to the U.S. Senate seat held by carpebagger Hillary Clinton, who never lived in New York.
Al Franken wins with 1,300 absentee votes “found” in the trunk of a car.
Obama is financed by millions of dollars from Wal-Mart cash cards, from Palestine.
Rahm Emmanuel and Obama ran Blagojevich’s campaign for governor.
Bill Richardson ran pay-for-play in Arizona, with contractors.
Burris donated over $80,000 to Blago.
So Blago and Burris are not unusual.
Give us some real news, like an honest Democrat.
You know, I usually see Brad not as some Democratic tool, but rather as a genuine conservative in the George Will, Pat Buchanan mold–someone intelligent with whom one can reason. Yet it seems that many of our bloggers view him as only slightly to the right of dangerous liberals like me.
I will admit what I am: a man of the left, a social democrat although not a socialist. A liberal, a secularist, and solidly anti-clerical and non-believing.
Brad’s right on his observations concerning Blago and Burriss, not to mention Franken. He is a voice of reason and moderation, even if his paper, much like the Republicans and the South in general, risks being eclipsed politically and facing national irrelevance, except when something especially god-awful happens here in South Carolina–a state too small to be a republic, as George Templeton remarked in 1860, and too large to be an insane asylum!
I can understand your position on the Blago appointment of Burris to fill Obama’s senate seat. I too do not agree with the manner in which it happened nor do I agree with the Chicago political games being played as usual.
With that said, the one important thing I try to remember in all of this, politics not withstanding, is that in the end, we are a nation of laws or we are supposed to be. It has become common practice to convict a person before he or she is tried in a court of law, flying in the face of one of our most important protections of the accused – “innocent until proven guilty”.
Blago, deserved or not, is entitled to the same protection as you or I and until that day comes when he is either convicted or exonerated by the impeachment proceedings, he is still the legal governor of Illinois and is entitled and expected to fulfill his job as such.
It would have been the right thing to do if he had stepped down and turned the reins of governerance over to the lt. governor until the matter is settled but under our system of law, he is also entitled to remain in office if he so chooses.
Do I believe there is a connection between Blago, Burris, Obama, and so many others in the Chicago political machine? Absolutely.
Will the truth ever come out? I doubt it. Just as Ted Kennedy has been protected for over three decades for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. It is in the DNA of the media to protect Democrats at all costs unless they are actually caught on film or tape committing a crime. Even then, the press tries to make excuses.
None of this is fair but sometimes we need to remember that life is not always fair and we were never “Promised a Rose Garden”. We are in the midst of a “Perfect Storm” of events and none bode well for conservatives, Christians, Republicans, or anyone in opposition to the newly elected ruling party. But, if we look back at our history and take comfort from the lessons of the past, this storm will blow over soon enough, the voters will wake up, and the pendulum will once again start its slow but steady swing back in our direction. What we must do this time is to be sure that those we put in office are honest, experienced, and committed representatives, not the inexperienced liars who fooled us before.
Stay with it and keep up your end. Your voice is just as important as anyone else.
Bart, thanks for your kind words, though under TypePad’s new terms for this blog, I can’t see them right now.
If I come here by clicking on the appropriate history line for my computer, I can see your Jan. 10 comment and one other preceding it. If I click on this site’s link to this thread on this site, I can see all the posts through Lee’s of Jan. 9, but no more.
In short, this site has come to reflect today’s journalism. It’s half-assed and see-through subjective.
Be that as it may, to explain my comment above: Brad initiates this thread with comments about honor, I agree with him, bud disagrees with me, and, of course, Rich disagrees with me, too, and then Brad effetively switches sides, according the letter of the law more respect than honor.
So I felt a bit double-crossed, and it occurred to if Burris must be seated because he was appointed before Blago was impreached, a meaningless technicality in the moral scheme of things, well, then Brad would support Jean Valjean spending all those years in jail for stealing that piece of bread in Les Miserables.
1) Bud delivers free pizza to Brad, and he doesn’t want it to stop.
2) Brad realized he had written something politically incorrect, because he actually criticized a black man for having no more honor than to accept a Senate seat awarded to him by a pay-to-play suspect, when here in the 21st century, we should all realize that whether he deserves it or not, any black man should be given the benefit of the doubt, even if he’s found standing over his wife’s bullet-riddled carcass with a smoking machine gun.
3) Brad just doesn’t think through things well, as evidenced by his belief that peaches are South Carolina’s principal crop, though I have demonstrated otherwise to him, and his support for government controlling behavior by taxation, even to the extent of a $2/gallon tax on gasoline that would destroy the economy in which he lives.
Whatever the case, Brad and I don’t see eye-to-eye on much of anything, though we’re almost exactly the same age, and our hometowns are a mere 45 miles apart and very close to the same size.
So, from now on, I’ll just lurk in the shadows here to laugh at the nouveau riche Democrats and The State’s fardling machinations en route to it’s death as a good Gamecock, always looking forward to next year.
“Social democrats” ARE socialists, Rich.
Just go read their speeches. See how many of them are “former” communists from the Soviet era, including the ones leading the Democratic Party in the US.
Brad Warthen is a big backer of socialist programs. So are you, Rich. I never see any of you backing programs where you pay more taxes and you get less benefits. It is always about how you have a “right” so some material goods you did not earn, and someone else having an “obligation” to provide for you.
As an Illinois resident who has never voted for Blago or Obama, I would like to point out something you all seem to be missing regarding the alleged connections between Blago and Obama.
Blago himself had ambitions of running for president — in fact that was probably his primary motivation for running for governor in the first place, to use it as a springboard for an eventual run for the White House.
Those ambitions, which he made no secret of, were the primary reason he devoted nearly every waking moment of his governorship to campaign fundraising (via shaking down potential state contractors and appointees) and to grand schemes such as a universal health insurance plan. He raised $55 million in six years– far more than he would ever need just to hold on to the governor’s seat. Why do you think he insisted on piling up that kind of money?
Early in his first term (2003 and early 2004), when he still had the reputation of being a reformer and his popularity was still high, Blago WAS being mentioned in some circles as a potential Democratic presidential or veep contender for 2008. BUT… then along came Obama with his DNC speech, and suddenly, HE was the Democrats’ darling.
As a result, Blago despises Obama and most likely blames him for having “ruined” his best chance to be president.
The two men may have gotten along fairly well prior to 2004 — Obama and Emanuel did participate in his 2002 campaign — but once Obama became a serious presidential contender and Blago started getting hit with serious allegations of corruption, things went downhill fast. This is completely in keeping with Blago’s jealous and vindictive character. Blago was probably seething with rage on Election Night because he still believes it “should have” been him up on that podium.
Blago was not invited to Obama’s campaign kickoff in Springfield in 2007, he was kept at arm’s length during the 2008 Democratic Convention, and he was not invited to Obama’s victory rally in Grant Park.
So, as much as you might like to think otherwise, Blago’s actions ALONE do not “prove” that Obama is corrupt. Blago is Obama’s sworn enemy and will, I am sure, do anything he can to steal the spotlight from him or make him look bad.
In fact I predict Blago will do something this week to try to distract attention from the Obama inagural. I’d like to think that gesture would be resigning as governor, but I’m not getting my hopes up. More likely it will be some kind of legal challenge to his impeachment process. We shall see what happens.
Again, I offer this not as a defense of Obama or his policies or to suggest that Obama is totally clean, but simply as a caveat against reading too much into the supposed relationship between him and Blago.