Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Governor Blagojevich

How about this guy? Guts--he has.

Yesterday, Governor Blagojevich shocked everyone and did what he is legally entitled to do: he named a replacement to the United States Senate seat formerly held by President-elect Obama. He called a press conference and named former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill the seat. The Governor was flip, arrogant, and bold. He looked bad at the press conference, though. He rocked back and forth while he was talking. He has that phony politician look about him. He just could not look more crooked and corrupt.

And, he has created a legitimate constitutional crisis. The Governor has not been formally indicted and the charges against him are only allegations made by a prosecutor. He was arrested on these allegations, but he is out on bail. No grand jury has yet to return formal charges. He is innocent until proven guilty. Legally, he has the authority to appoint the replacement for Sen. Obama and there is no actual, real, legal impediment to him doing so. He retains the powers of the Governor regardless of the evidence against him. Now, the Democrats are talking about not seating his choice.

Blagojevich also played the race card. With the departure of Sen. Obama, the Senate is without an African American member. Roland Burris is African American. Governor Blagojevich had longtime African American representative and former black panther, Bobby Rush, at the press conference to highlight the importance of seating an African American to that seat.

The Democrats in the Senate reacted negatively to the Governor's action and indicated that they are unlikely to seat him. Their authority to do so is unclear and it is very rare for Senators to block such an appointment. President-elect Obama also sided with the leadership of the Senate and called on Blagojevich to resign.

In making this choice in the way that he did and with a cloud over everything he does, Blagojevich has put the nation and the Democratic party in a real pinch. Do the Democrats who oppose him reject the presumption of innocence? Will they reject this choice leaving the Senate of the United States without an African American member?

Let's applaud the Democrats for trying to rid themselves of this scourge. And, let's not forget that the last Governor of Illinois is in federal prison and he was a Republican. Neither party is above scandal.

But, it is a little fun to watch Blagojevich stir-it-up in the way that he has...

Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve.