The sad thing about Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s nomination of Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama as the junior senator from Illinois is that merely by doing so he inevitably taints a politician who’s always seemed like a pretty decent guy. And I disagree with Pat Quinn’s assessment:

CHICAGO — Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn says Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s decision to appoint someone to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate is an “insult to the people of Illinois.”

Quinn harshly criticized Blagojevich, who just minutes earlier announced that he’s naming former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate.

Quinn says Blagojevich made a big mistake in defying the will of the Illinois people, who Quinn says have made clear that they don’t want the governor to make the appointment.

The problem is that the elected representatives of the people are reluctant to do the job they were hired to do. They could have crafted a very narrowly tailored set of articles of impeachment, held quick hearings, voted on the measure, and passed it on to the Illinois Senate. The articles they did draft will, basically, enable Gov. Blagojevich’s attorney to drag the proceedings out until the end of his term or his conviction on federal charges.

4 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    My initial reactions:

    1. Roland have you no self-respect? I’ve heard/read a number of times that there was no need to rush to remove the Governor’s power to nominate a replacement because no self-respecting politician would stand by the Governor and accept.

    2. The problem isn’t the five or so nominees caught being discussed on wiretap. Dick Durbin says he discussed maybe a dozen nominees with the Governor.

    3. The problem isn’t that Burris might have paid for the job (highly doubtful), it’s the possibility that someone closely associated with Burris might have done so (still doubtful, see next point).

    4. It’s the race card being played.

    5. The Republicans still have a chance at the Senate seat the next election.

  • As I commented a few moments ago on another blog, I’ve always thought that Roland Burris was a decent enough bloke but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. This move confirms the latter and makes me wonder about the former.

  • PD Shaw Link

    I’ve not been impressed with Illinois’ Attorney Generals, they are usually using the office to run for another office. Second-rate politicians and third-rate lawyers.

    The thing that grates me about Burris is that he keeps calling himself (as he did last night) a Downstate Democrat. I think he’s lived in Chicago for over 40 years.

  • PD Shaw Link

    The larger picture would appear to be that the Governor was once again employed short-sighted theatrics that reduced his long-term options.

    If his chief ambition is to name a Senator, then he won. But if his chief ambition is to stay out of jail, avoid impeachment or somehow position himself to make some money, he lost. I’d say he is more likely to be convicted of impeachment today than last week; he has not made a potential jury pool more sympathetic and unless he thinks he can get a job working for the Chicago Area Black Panthers, his future employment prospects remain dim.

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