Thursday, January 1, 2009

You're not entitled

When embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich named Roland Burris as his choice to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, it took all of about five minutes for a black leader to issue a warning against denying the position to an "African-American." Now, as you might recall, Blagojevich is under a taint perhaps not seen since the Nixon Administration. He had no business selecting anyone for a seat he's accused of trying to sell to the highest bidder. But putting that aside, what makes black leaders think that someone of their race is somehow entitled to this position? Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush (pictured), who was present at Blagojevich's news conference to appoint Burris, practically dared anyone - the secretary of state, the U.S. Senate, the state legislature, etc. - to attempt to block Burris. "There is no rhyme or reason why he should not be seated in the U.S. Senate," said Rush. "I don't think any U.S. senator ... wants to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate." When did skin color become a qualification for office? It seems to me we just elected a black man as president of the United States. Why don't some black candidates get into the Senate the old-fashioned way, by winning an election. Ed Brooke broke that glass ceiling decades ago. Are we supposed to create an affirmative-action plan for politics? Rush went on to say that Senate Democrats should not "hang and lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer." I'm sorry, but when you equate a disputed Senate choice with lynching, you're just making an ass of yourself. And while we're at it, is anyone else tired of all this "African-American" stuff? I understand that some black people have a "special history" in America, but many black Americans have no more of a connection to Africa than the pasty white guy writing this blog. It's not important where we come from. What matters is where we are now, and what we're going to do about the problems our country faces. Let's just be American Americans.



Blogger Roger said...

I have no interest in delving into the racial side of this matter. I'll leave that discussion to others, if they prefer to keep the wheel turning.

But, the entire Blago story just leaves me angry. So many people have commented in the past couple of years about the US status around the world, and how we are viewed. To people of other countries, the US must look like a bunch of bumbling, corrupt-laden idiots. What happened a few weeks ago with the revelations on the tapes was despicable. It makes a mockery of the democratic system.

Further, with the appointment a few days ago of Burris, the story even gets more bizarre. Blago is pushing the system into oblivion. The voters of Illinois should be ashamed about what is happening. Really, the voters in the entire US should be ashamed. How can integrity in politics get this far?

The other discouraging part of the story is that it now appears that Blago is driving down a path, one which nobody can knock him off. The fact the Prosecutor needs three more months to produce an indictment may mean their case is very weak, despite the tape evidence. Blago appointed the man to fill the seat, knowing that nobody is in a position to stop him. The stories in the newspaper from the Illinois Secretary of State who was to co-sign the appointment were a farce. He is bumbling, trying to find a basis for NOT signing. And, then Harry Reid says "we will not seat him." But, Reid is unable to come up with a reason. His best pass at a reason was something like "the appointment has a moral complication." Whoa!!! Somebody like Reid taking a stand about "moral complications?" Say what? This is the kettle calling the pot black, or something like that.

I believe the only requirements for a US senator is an age limit. When Ted Stevens was in a position of being reelected, but yet convicted of a felony, he would have been seated. One can hold a US senate seat as felon, even though a felon cannot vote. In other words, Burris meets all the requirements, and he was appointed by a sitting governor to an open seat. Technically, that is all the doors that need to be opened. I think Blago knows well that he will be challenged, but all the challenges will fall short. He will end up making the other 99% (ojbectors) look foolish. The AG already made herself look foolish with her appeal to the Supreme Court (but that move was politically motivated). Illinois legislative body has already made themselves foolish in their inability to "handle this matter quickly." Reid and other Washington politicians have made comments that are groundless.

Third world elections are starting to look pretty good. The US doesn't have much credibility to march around the world telling other "how to do democracy."

January 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact is that, legally, Congress probably can't stop his appointment, based on the Supreme COurt decision handed down conerning Adam Clayton Powell. The bigger question is, why are the Dems making a ruckus, seemingly continuing the partisan politics that Obama says he wants to stop? Why not hold a special election, even if it means thet the seat could go to a Republican?

January 2, 2009 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if Burris makes it to the Senate, I doubt he'll be able to elected in his own right in 2010. I'd say anyone in Illinois with designs on that seat should start raising money and hiring campaign staff.

--Brad Hundt

January 2, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Forget hiring a campaign staff, just put that dough in a paypal account :-)

January 2, 2009 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Here's a funny one. I was just watching "This Week" on ABC, and one of the panelists noted that Bobby Rush - he who doesn't want a black man blocked from the U.S. Senate - backed a wealthy white guy over Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate four years ago. Hmmmm.

January 4, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

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