It's been a while since this whole Blagojevich Bust went down, and I realize I never really posted on it. Early on, I snagged a few good pics and political cartoons to maybe use in a post, but it never materialized...mostly because I had other shit I wanted to discuss. But now that he's made his appointment to replace Obama in the Senate and thrust himself back into the spotlight, I suppose I'll wade in...
When this all broke, I'd heard the guy's name before, and I knew he was bad news, but I'd never heard the guy speak, nor could I pick him out of a lineup or pronounce his name. My immediate reaction to all of this was, "That guy's got a pair." and "Here's hoping Obama and his team gave this jackass a wide berth." I enjoyed the initial round of mockery and ridicule of his foul Chicago mouth and Fisher-Price hair, and wondered who the fuck would ever vote this guy into office. But as the story began to fill out I found myself departing—somewhat—from the company of just about every blogger I like.
This guy looks to be a douchebag of the highest order and probably should do the honorable thing and step aside because he's certainly too big a dick to be Governor. And it makes sense that he should probably refrain from making an appointment under these circumstances. But here's where I depart from the mob: I haven't heard ANYTHING CLOSE to a smoking gun regarding this allegation of his selling Obama's Senate seat
People are acting like this guy was busted like Jimmy Serrano with a cash-filled suitcase exchange. I'm not seeing it. I've heard and read nothing beyond what I imagine to be the sort of horsetrading that probably happens all the time in these situations—ie: "I appoint you, you campaign for me, scratch each other's back, fundraise, etc." Hell, even Obama's appointments are in some cases surely rewards for support.
I think he's probably guilty of this, and whatever drew him into U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald's sights in the first place—but that's my impression, and not based on any actual evidence that I'm aware of.
Fine, if you're Obama, or the party: distance yourself from the guy, throw him under the bus, even ask for him to "step aside if he's guilty." I'm all for zero tolerance and purging corrupt people from office regardless of party. By all appearances, Blago deserves to be alone on his self-constructed island, but at a certain point it boils down to this: he's innocent until proven guilty and deserves a chance to defend himself. And frankly, if he thinks he did nothing wrong, he should tell Obama and everyone else to "Fuck off. I'm Governor, and I'm not going anywhere."
And if that's his position, I have no problem with him fulfilling his Constitutionally-required duty and appointing someone to Obama's seat. Viewed in a vacuum, Roland Burris appears to be a perfectly good selection. Taking into account Blago's situation, Burris appears to be the perfect appointment, and the Governor probably deserves credit for selecting him.
What's unfortunate is Burris is now inextricably tied to Blagojevich, and if the Senate holds to it's stated position that any appointment by Blagojevich will NOT be seated, a good man was probably sacrificed as part of this ridiculous standoff.
Of course the Democratic caucus holding to a position other than bent-over is a goddamn joke. If Burris doesn't get seated it's more likely to be because Harry Reid has given Joe Lieberman a second Senate seat.
UPDATE: I could have saved myself the trouble and just posted a link to John Cole