Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Auld Lang Syne: Durbin, Burris and Reid make friends way back on January 7th
You've got to hand it to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The guy really knew how to cause trouble. Hot Rod is gone from office and perhaps spending his time contemplating his plea bargain, but his one, big post-arrest official act lives on to haunt Democrats in Illinois and Washington.
After venting spleen against Blago's appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat, blustering about not seating him, and turning Burris away from the Capitol in the rain, Senate Democratic Leaders Harry Reid and Dick Durbin abruptly reversed themselves, made nice with Burris (see picture above), and embraced him. Burris was sworn into the Senate on January 15th, and now, a whole month later, Durbin has reversed himself again and wants Burris to resign. It seems that Burris left a lot out of his sworn accounts of contacts with Blago and his staff over the Senate vacancy. Who ever would have thought such a thing possible of a Chicago pol?
Illinois' new Governor, Pat Quinn, also wants Burris to step down, as do many of the other party leaders in the state who have gone through their own series of flip-flops about Burris in less than two months.
None of these guys was willing to do the one thing that would have cut off Blago's appointment power and avoided this entire, embarrassing fiasco: change the Illinois law to fill the Senate vacancy via a special election. Why? Because they weren't sure they could control the outcome of such an election. After all, there are all those voters!
So they're stuck with the results of Blago's corrupt politics and hoisted on their own petard. Serves them right.
What do you think? Post a comment.
Posted by J. E. Burke at 7:40 PM