There is little doubt that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is not a nice man but the fact is he is not yet a felon and still remains the lawful governor of the state. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has shown that “Blago” uses bad language, is a political hustler and wants to play “Chicago politics”, but it remains to be seen if he is a criminal because he has not been tried in court and has not been declared guilty of any crime, except in the court of public opinion.
Because of his ties to president-elect Obama, the Democrat party condemns Blago in the hope the problem will go away and cease to make headlines that may call attention to the corruptness of the Democrat Party and Democrats themselves. After all, Democrats must maintain the myth that Republicans are corrupt, not Democrats. Little is normally done about Democrat illegal activities, like taking bribes or inability to explain hoards of cold cash in freezers, because Democrats control the news media and the positions of power that have the ability to bring criminal Democrats to justice. Furthermore, Democrats are great at circling the wagons around their corrupt brethren while cannibalistic Republicans join in calling for the head of Republicans guilty of the slightest impropriety.
The Illinois governor, like other governors, has the sole right to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat of a senator from his state. There is no provision in the constitution that denies a governor this right because he is a bad person. While for some reason the senate itself has the right to decide who becomes a U.S. Senator, only the governor can fill the senate seat when an opening arises. Blago did just that and named Roland Burris, former Attorney General of Illinois and first African-American ever to win statewide office, to fill the vacated seat.
As Pat Buchanan says after naming Roland Burris to fill the vacant seat "National Democrats and their media auxiliaries went berserk.”
The New York Times, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, other Senate Democrats and Obama himself are among those who went “berserk” at Blago’s appointment. The New York Times said “the governor has taken his hubris to new heights and the misery of Illinois citizens to new lows." Obnoxious Senator Reid said this appointment “will not stand.”
Though Blago is charged with “hubris”, who is really guilty of that charge and why should the Senate deprive Burris of his senate seat? No one is saying that Burris did anything unethical or illegal to get this appointment. As I said, there is no doubt the Governor has the right to make the appointment since he is still governor of Illinois and has not been convicted of anything and his state is entitled to two senators representing Illinois in the U.S. Senate.
Burris is certainly more qualified than Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg to be a senator to fill the seat of Hillary Clinton when vacated (unlike Obama, Clinton has not yet resigned her seat). Burris has had a distinguished career as an attorney and has been engaged in state politics. Until now Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has shown absolutely no interest in public office or a public life; she hasn’t even voted consistently. What has she shown of political substance since demanding to be the next senator from New York? Are New York Governor Patterson’s motives in considering the Caroline appointment more valid that Blagojevich?
Critics, mostly Democrats, say Blago shouldn’t appoint anyone because he is charged with crimes (as yet unproven). As far as I know here in America, even a governor is innocent until proven guilty. The tapes used to condemn Blago show he used crude language and that he wanted to be rewarded with campaign contributions or high office in return for giving someone the Senate appointment. Has no other governor had the same expectations for making a similar appointment?
The problem here is that for some reason Fitzgerald cut short his investigation before a crime was actually committed. Had the U.S. Attorney waited until something changed hands, money such as apparently offered by or on behalf of Jesse Jackson’s son or an actual agreement to get a choice government appointment, then there may have been reason to conclude that Blago committed a crime. But Fitzgerald did not wait. Some might believe that prematurely charging Blago before more evidence was obtained was deliberate in order to avoid catching bigger fish in the net, perhaps even Obama himself and certainly his aides.
Using bad language and contemplating getting something in return for making a senate appointment may show Blago does not deserve to be governor but it does not itself show a crime was committed and certainly is no reason to deny the governor’s right to make an appointment to fill a vacant seat in the senate. Even though it is unlikely and probably untrue that Democrat Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., as he says, talked to the governor for 90 minutes about the Senate seat but was never solicited, or that he offered anything for the senate seat, or that Obama aides Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett both talked to Blagojevich about the seat without discussing a quid pro quo for an appointment, neither claims to have been solicited for any kind of bribe.
If Blago were to try to sell the senate seat, the obvious party to sell it to is the man with the power to appoint ambassadors and Cabinet officers or to convince others to hire Blago: President-elect Obama. But we can’t go there because that might tarnish the halo around the president-elect’s head.
It will be interesting to see if Senator Reid and Democrat Senators will deny Burris his seat in the senate. Burris is an African-American elder statesman of the Democratic Party, an honorable and distinguished man, appointed by the governor according to law and the Constitution, to fill a Senate seat. There has been no hint of illegal consideration asked or given by either the governor or Burris for the Senate seat.
Democrats and Obama proclaim support for affirmative action and integration yet are prepared to deny someone who would be the only African-American in the senate an opportunity to take that office. Of course this is consistent with other hypocritical actions by the President-elect. Obama and Michelle bypassed D.C. public schools to send their daughters to exclusive private schools in far northwest Washington. As Patrick Buchanan points out “not one white male Democratic Senator, in a caucus that has not a single black member, has ever volunteered to step down and let the governor of their state replace him or her with an African-American.”
“Not one. That would be liberals leading by example, not exhortation.”
When we have the likes of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg being seriously considered to become a U.S. Senator while his Democrat colleagues stand ready to deny Roland Burris a senate seat for which he is qualified, then those who elected Obama should be able to see what kind of a person and party they voted for. However that would require voters to open their eyes, and that is not likely to happen otherwise the messianic glow surrounding Obama will blind them.