Poor Roland Burris- he is being played by Governor Rod Blagojevich like a dupe in some bad B movie. Burris wants the job of Senator so bad- it seems he’ll sell his soul to get it.
Yes Governor Blagojevich is still the Governor and he has the right to appoint a Senator to fill the seat being vacated by President-elect Obama. Every politician in Washington, Springfield and Chicago had cautioned the Governor from making an appointment. But Blagojevich decided to appoint Burris and give everyone a “bleep you”- no doubt one of his favorite phrases.
Clearly Blagojevich is trying to make life difficult for the President-elect and everyone else for that matter. Under normal circumstances Burris seems to be an adequate appointment. He doesn’t seem stellar, but adequate. And he sure as heck seems to want to be Senator – BAD!
I keep hearing Burris say that legally the Governor has the right to appoint a Senator if not the duty to do so and that Blagojevich had the obligation to appoint someone and it should be him. He says he isn’t tainted and the Governor’s problems are not his. He is either naïve, stupid or just too anxious to be Senator that he’s willing to compromise himself—in any of those cases, it probably means the guy shouldn’t be a Senator.
Technically Burris is correct. But he should know that in politics perception is everything. Any person appointed by Governor Blagojevich will have dirt on his lapels- no matter who he or she might be. Will Burris be doing the people of Illinois any favors by taking this appointment?
Even if they Senate ends up letting him in- which is questionable- they could make his life an unmitigated hell. The Senate is a club and they could shun him with poor or no committee assignments and an office in the basement of one of the Senate Office Buildings. He’ll get scant respect. He might as well be Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – because he won’t be allowed in ANY reindeer games.
Is this the sort of representation that Illinois needs? Mr. Burris says that the people of Illinois deserve two Senators at this time of national and international difficulty. He is right- Illinois and the United States deserve a full complement of representation. But is this appointment really doing that? I sadly think that his entrée into the Senate will cause less representation for Illinois in the long run- since he won’t be seen as an acceptable member.
It was disgusting and revolting when Congressman Bobby Rush invoked the word lynching and tried to guilt trip the Senate into appointing Burris by playing the race card so blatantly and distastefully. I agree that it is mortifying and reprehensible that there are no African American senators and there have only been 3 since Reconstruction – 2 of them coming from Illinois. But playing the race card to fill the President-elect’s seat is insulting to the President-elect. Mr. Obama was clear not to infuse race into the Presidential contest and it seems odd that as we are embarking on an historic moment by inaugurating a black president that anyone would use the word lynching. There is no love lost between Bobby Rush and Barack Obama- and you know that Rush was just looking for a way to stick it to Mr. Obama. This wasn’t about racial equity it was about Bobby Rush seeing an opportunity to get at the man that is about to become President and left him in the dust.
I think what is most pathetic is that Mr. Burris has said in a number of interviews that he IS the Senator from Illinois. Poor guy- he is deluded. He hasn’t taken the oath of office. Until he takes the oath- he is a Senator-designate. If he wants to be as technical as he has been with the Governor’s right to appoint him, he should be technical about his title too. Senator-designate Roland Burris is not short on hubris either. He already has a lavish — and expensive — cemetery plot/temple constructed for him and his wife under the seal of the state of Illinois listing his many marvelous accomplishments and room for his hopeful title of Senator. Poor guy- it really is pathetic.