Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Rod Blagojevich-Roland Burris Saga Continues

I'm confused.

Although Governor Rod Blagojevich has been charged with crimes related to attempting to sell the senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, he has not been indicted, impeached, nor tried and found guilty of any crimes.

Now I'm no fan of Rod Blagojevich. In fact, I think that he's pretty much an abismal failure and blowhard. But he's still the Governor of Illinois.

Since he was arrested on December 9th, he's been doing his job. He's signed bills into law, most notably a bill requiring insurance companies to cover autism. He also set a date for a special election for the vacated 5th Congressional Seat vacated by Rahm Emmanuel when Rep. Emmanuel was appointed to be President-elect Barack Obama's Chief of Staff. Next week, he will preside over the swearing in of new State Senators and Representatives in the 96th General Assembly.

No one has questioned Governor Blagojevich's ability to perform these duties. In fact, many people are quite happy about them. I, for one, think the autism law was long overdue. But why are people so loudly protesting the Governor's ability to appoint a Senator? If Governor Blagojevich is capable of performing some duties (e.g., signing bills into law, presiding over the Illinois Legislature, and setting dates for special election), why isn't he capable of performing other duties? Why isn't there an uproar over every action he takes? Why are people selectively questioning his legal standing to do his job?

I don't buy the argument that since he's been charged with trying to sell the senate seat, there's no way he can appoint anyone without people thinking there was some pay to play involved. It is unfathomable to me that anyone would say that Roland Burris in not qualified to be a U.S. Senator. He's been elected to statewide office four times.

When Mr. Burris arrived at the Senate door this morning, he was turned away because his credentials were not in order, but it's been reported that even if Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White certifies his credentials, which is what is currently lacking, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that Mr. Burris will still not be seated. What? Even if he has the proper credentials, Roland Burris will not be seated? Why not?

Mr. Burris is meeting with Senate Leadership tomorrow because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to "negotiate." What? What is there to negotiate?

Why is the Senate, made up of 99 mostly white men and women, telling 1 black man that he is not welcome?

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