Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Per the Chicago Tribune, it appears that Rod Blagojevich will name Roland Burris as the new senator to replace Barack Obama. I'll say this -- Blago has stones the size of the ones that Wile E. Coyote tried to drop on the Road Runner. And Burris is the perfect pick tactically -- not JJJ, a loyal Machine hack and African-American to boot. Blago is probably just daring Harry Reid not to seat this guy.

Get your popcorn -- this is gonna be fun.


nukeitfromorbit said...

Its extremely questionable whether congress has the power to do anything about it anyway. They can only refuse to seat a member based on the qualifications listed in the constitution (age, residency, U.S. Citizenship). Google Powell v. McCormack if you want the gory details. Now they can expel him from congress after he has been seated for a much wider range of reasons, but its not clear that "we don't like the guy who appointed you" is one of them.
Anyway, do you think Gov Potty-mouth has some kind of plan behind all of this or is he just nuts?

Mark Heuring said...

I think your reading of the situation is spot-on, NIFO. They can huff and puff all they want, but unless there's a legal means in Illinois to stop Blago from doing this, they'll have to seat Burris. Harry Reid doesn't have a reason to keep him out and deep down he knows this.

I don't really know what Blago's rationale is, but he's not nuts. I've read a lot of informed (and uninformed) speculation but it's hard to suss out. I suspect that Blago had a couple of goals -- (a) to block Quinn (the Lt. Gov) and the Madigans from having a role; and (b) to stick it to JJJ. Using Burris as his appointee (and then wheeling out Bobby Rush for some really top-shelf race-baiting) was certainly designed to drive the Jacksons nuts. But ultimately he wanted to stick it to Quinn and the Madigans. And he did; all they can do, it would seem, is sputter with rage.

I also think that Blago has decided that if he's going down, he's going to take as many people down with him as he can. I would say this -- Fitzgerald's ultimate target is almost certainly not Obama. It's Richie Daley.

Burris is a hack and he's not necessarily dirty, any more than anyone who emerges from Chicago is.

I hope that my friend Rich weighs in -- while we often disagree about political philosophy, he's always spot-on in understanding the byzantine world of Chicago politics and you can take what he tells you to the bank. Well, you could when banks were more reliable, I suppose....